Topic | CM days when mama is busy?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  4myboys 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • delldenise

    Ladies, we all have those days (or weeks or months!) when we are not able to sit down with the kids while they do their schoolwork and help them or guide them or keep them on task. My tendency is to want to give them worksheets which is not what I want to do but I don’t know how to do school the CM way if I am not present. Can anyone offer suggestions and share what works for your family when life gets crazy? Thank you! Denise in Georgia


    We usually jump to a light scedule on days (or weeks or months!  Wink) like that.  That way, we’re still getting schooling done, but not at such a rigourous schedule that more pressing matters can’t be taken care of. 


    We have this much more often since Mason was born last year with all his medical needs. Of course maybe him being the 7th child has something to do with it too, there is simply a whole host of children needing me…LOL! We have had 5 unexpected hospitalizations with brain surgeries for Mason over 6 months (not counting the 10 days when he was born), plus all his planned medical appointments. And that’s just one child.

    So what we have done is work consciously on developing independent skills for the 3 officially school age. Then they can keep doing school even when Mommy is doing Mason’s PT, helping one of the four little ones, or is not even home because of doctors visits. Each gets a weekly assignment sheet with each day’s work to check off. Most of it can be done without me, and if they need to narrate, for example, they can narrate to an older sibling, Daddy, or Grandma if Mom is gone. Oldest can write her narrations too.

    Things my kids can do without me:

    Math (other than the new lesson once a week which can be taught with the MUS DVD and teacher’s manual by daddy or with Grandma if need be)

    Language Lessons (from Queens for my 1st and 2nd grader, mix of copywork, picture study, and gentle grammar/LA).

    Analytical Grammar (6th grader).


    Piano practice.


    Read scriptures.

    Our usual family studies can be led by the 6th grader or grandma or daddy if mommy is not home.

    Gospel studies (scripture memory, hymn we’re learning, scripture reading as a group).

    History – We’re using Mystery of History for simplicity at the moment, days for history we read the selection and talk about it or they can do an activity. I write the lesson numbers for each day so if I’m not here someone else can read it aloud instead.

    Nature Study.

    Book club read aloud.

    The only thing that sometimes just has to be put on hold is science. And even then, often my children just go ahead and read, experiment, or explore on their own.


    And I’m all for a light schedule that leaves tons of room for children to explore interests on their own. I actually blogged about it recently because that is our norm.


    Audio Books! They do math, read their books, and copywork! Then go outside!

    That is what we do when I am not feeling well! Well we try to anyway :)



    Other than having a picture study available (which probably a dad or grandma could carry on with), what sort of things do you have your children do independently for art? Are you talking about just giving them paper, markers, paints, etc. & letting them “have at it,” so to speak?

    I’m asking this because I rarely seem to have anything ready for picture study….I think I should buy one or more of the SCM portfolios so I can hang them up to have them ready! (We haven’t done that before because we couldn’t guarantee their safety until my autistic one developed better behavioral skills, kwim?)


    @ Sue

    Art here comes in several forms.

    1. Free use of materials (paint, pencils, watercolor pencils, clay, pastels, etc).

    2. Chalk Pastel lessons in ebook format mean kids can do projects independently and often they create their own after trying a few lessons. (Get details to what we use in this post on my blog:

    3. Artistic Pursuits books: we only have a few we’ve kept, one is drawing with pencils the other adds in color. These include picture study if you want and teach techniques, my kids all know where the books are and can use.

    4. Other projects they’ve learned to do like origami, sometimes they decorate their own paper first, then do folds.

    5. Draw Write Now books for younger ones who want to draw ‘all by themselves’ and a few Draw and Write Through History books for those a bit older.

    6. A drawer full of paper projects printed and ready to be grabbed. Lately a few of mine are enjoying these Doodle Coloring Pages and some attempt to make their own:


    We just went through a move to another state. I put family studies on hold and made up simplified checklists for my children (ages 6 & 8). They had reading to do each day and then come find me to narrate. They did either a math sheet or practiced facts on the computer. They set a timer and did copywork. They listened to an audio Bible, practiced their memory verses, and that was it. Also, because we could not visit the library they got into the schoolbooks and read some I had planned for later this year, but that’s another story.

    The checklists I make are the key. Each child has a basket. In that basket is their checklist on a clipboard, their current books, folder with math sheets, folder with copywork, a pencil box, the audio CD, etc. Their memory work is on the clipboard under the checklist.

    They have everything they need. That has been important for us.

    Anything I want accomplished goes on the checklist. Notebook pages, maps, reading to their little sister, etc. You could even put to listen to a work by your current composer (make sure the CD or mp3player is available, or look at a picture and describe it to mom. Since it was winter we let nature study slide but in the past I have sent them outside with a piece of paper and told them to draw and label something for their notebooks. I think that once they understand the process they can become more independent. I also think it is important to let them find their way. When we have been hovering over the process we can look at the crude drawing of a mushroom on a piece of copy paper with an arrow pointing to it saying “mushrum” and think we should have been their to help them properly shade their drawing and make the entry more complex. Not so. We need to get out of the way. :-)

    Just some ideas. I got a little carried away.



    Love that doodle art link!  Thanks, Tristan!



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