I am finding that I think it’s similar with us in that we really need to get going on that school work early on or else it just seems like we’re lagging behind the rest of the day. We’re still in the learning curve stage right now with our schedule as we just started school last week and are implementing a new routine/schedule. Last week, things went really smooth as we followed the schedules set up. BUT, this week proved different b/c there were a couple of days that we didn’t follow the schedule out. I have to say I can see a difference for sure! By not following the schedule as I had set it up on those couple of days this week, it seemed like we were lagging behind on those days, trying to wrap up loose ends of school before bedtime. So it seems that the original schedules I made that we followed last week are probably our best way of doing things for now. Ah, the process of learning what works and what doesn’t.
Wow, Janell, I could never get up at 4am! LOL I am not a morning person. I have trouble getting up before 7am, no matter what time I go to bed! But I do try to roll out of there around 6:30/6:45am and jump in the shower. By then the kids are starting to get up, and as soon as my toddler is up – well, you know how toddlers are… I will have to do some thinking over night and see what I come up with fresh in the morning.
Mrs. K, I so hear you! If I stick with the schedule, all is well with the world. If not… I think a major factor in it all is discipline (especially obedience) with the kids. If I have to be in 4 different rooms at once, it just doesn’t work. Yet my 8yo really is too old to be following me around all day like a puppy, even if she does deserve it. Ah, parenting….
Don’t I know it! I try to be flexible, easy-going, follow rabbit trails, etc. but I’m just not wired that way. I feel much more accomplished when we know for certain that we (I) did our best to do what we set out to do. Yes, I’m a list maker-marker-offer! Of course I want the kids to learn and create and such, but I start losing it when we’ve gone off the deep end. It just doesn’t feel good to me. Awhile back my oldest mentioned that he didn’t feel very accomplished on this given day and didn’t feel he even deserved to play video games. He said he didn’t feel as if he had “earned” the right to relax. I said, “I know exactly what you mean.” And, I do. Most of our days are going to go one way or another and usually it’s up to me to make it feel as accomplished as possible. I know much is out of our control, but I just mean computer time, late sleepers….well, really, the pace I set in the morn, I guess.
We start school next week and I am excited about what we have planned and hopefully I can find a schedule/routine that feels right.
I’m a little embarassed to post after Janell – yikes! That’s amazing, I wish you were my mother so I could have been trained from a young age to be so self-disciplined – I pray that I am able to instill better habits in my own children…
But, I wanted to post because my kids are similar in age AND because we also live in rather undesirable weather (Nebraska). We try to keep going with “forgetful” subjects year round – math, beginner reading – because it’s easier than relearning everything in the fall, our goal is much more learning than required by our state so that whenever we do have nice weather in the fall/winter/spring we can throw the schedule out the window and enjoy the day.
While I think that four hours a day is a nice goal – I also think it’s important to remember that CM was just a woman, she’s not God, she wasn’t perfect, if you follow everything she did perfectly you still won’t have perfect children, etc… While I LOVE the CM method, I am sad when I read about the struggles women are having to attain a “perfect” CM education for their children. There’s always areas that we can improve, I don’t think we should ever be content or think that we have it all down pat, it’s good to have goals and to strive and to stretch, but don’t be burdened by “what CM said”. I’m sure you’ll raise lovely children, even if they only go outside 2 hours a day instead of 4.
Amen Rebekah! Hear Hear!
I LOVE CM too…but #1 She didn’t have children, did she? #2 She ran a school…so all the children were school age. #3 She had other teachers too…didn’t she? #4 She probably had a cook to make meals? I’m guessing, she didn’t have to stop everything and run to the kitchen to whip up a meal for the masses. #5 Did she have to do her own shopping? #7 Was she married–with all that entails? #7 When we try to get the ideal perfect CM education, do we realize that we are trying to recreate not what one woman did, but that one woman and ALL her helpers…and #8 she and they did it without a nursing baby at the breast or a toddler who just spilled the forbidden bubbles on the carpet and danced in them or a husband who asked us to rearrage the priorities for the day to accomdate X…etc. –the littles make my days take longer than if they were all older! #8 Also, she obviously lived in an area a tad more conducive to outdoor exploration…when we hit wind chill -25, I am sorry, but my kiddos and I are NOT going to study the rabbit prints in the snow. I won’t normally go out in sub-zero–which is pretty often here! And my friend in Phoenix has the same thing…when it is 120, they stay INSIDE!
We always must be careful in what we are trying to do. Are we trying to mimic all the details and kill ourselves doing it…when I read 4 hours a day I just about sat down and cried. It is not realistic. It is not really doable…for many reasons. And a napsack and a hike out for the day with a 7, 4, 2, and 9mo gluten free dairy free on a budget 1/2 the size of some of the ones I read about here the other day –so no sanck foods, no fillers–is funny. It would take a suitcase or two of stuff to do a little exploration like that. And I am NOT physically up to it most days.
OR are we trying to create the astmosphere? discipline? life? that she espoused? Am I inpired to get out with the children more–yes. Am I challenged to bring nature indoors if I can? yes! Am I willing to problem solve and plan for outdoor explorations…maybe even when daddy is home, absolutely…
she was a great woman with great ideas. but she was just that a woman…in her unique circumstances. as are we. unique. and i can’t kill myself trying to squeeze my life into her sized/shaped life. It is like trying to wear someone elses shoes on a 15 mile hike. setting self up for failure.
again, we must take this insane pressure off. use these ideas and methods to inspire and grow ourselves…not copy –not make into one more law based rule we must follow or we just aren’t doing it right! the cm way. And, let me confess…that I am preaching to myself as well!
Also, I might as well say. I am doing more science than is recommended. And more of probably several things…as relaxed as I can…but I am house bound, snow bound, ridiculous minus temps, etc. for many many months…with some very HIGH energy kids…I am trying to create a wonderful learning enviornment for my very science/art oriented spongy girl who is desperate for new ideas, acitivities, etc…and who without them just gets into more and more trouble as she bounces around this house in the winter…so if my children are FLOURISHING as we study more and do more activities and stimulate them with ideas…that is what I am going to do. I am using all of the CM methods that I can…but I am refusing to make her word–my law. That place is reserved.
Sorry for the vent. I am a very law based person. AND this is an area I am determined to grow in. Please know that I mean no disrespect to CM or SCM …or any of you ladies. I have been very blessed by all…
but I don’t want all this wonderful cornicopia of awesome ideas and methods to become one more spiritually binding rule to live by…
we are individuals and as such are responsible before GOD to husband our individual resources in our individual circumstances…standing before GOD, I am not going to be able to say…well, I did it that way cause CM said so…LOL. I must take ALL thought and sift it…and find the grains of truth in it that apply to my specific life and circumstances. There could be many other grains of truth in it that would apply to others…maybe when children were older, etc. I am not saying throwing out truth. I do believe Truth is Truth…Jesus is the Truth…I am not saying truth is fluid or anything…just that we must take what are so many amazing ideals…and see what fits us.
Gotta run…really had no idea was about to write all that.
Jo — that was perfect. At least it was perfect for me. Exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for writing it out.
Thanks, Jo. You’re right. Her ideals were for another time and place, under much different circumstances. Gotta learn to relax…… LOL
Jo reminds me of the verses “to everything there is s season…” And as Rachel recently reminded us, CM is more a philosophy and a way of life than an exacting task master. Janell, you are awesome! I am tired just reading your schedule. =)
I am finding for us that I had to relax the time tables a little and be more of a routine type mom/teacher and less of the every minute of the day mom. I stress sooooo bad if I get “off schedule and behind” and realized last year that it didn’t matter if we got math done 15 minutes later than the plan said. We still did it. I want to enjoy this…including outdoor time.
I had a couple of moms here last night and we were talking about nature study and outside time. One kept saying that the outside time was not just play time, but kinda more directed. I do nature study and then I figure as we walk or work in the garden I can do less directed things like, “cool. look at the turtle bite in the bottom of my ripe tomato.” But I figure that they need to be kids and be able to explore their world, make up games, enjoy the sun, and use their muscles and that is what I call our outside time.
We have a fenced backyard that I can watch from my kitchen. This is the time I find them acting out our study topics, making their own connections to nature. I don’t manage 4 hours everyday, esp. during school…again it is the time and season. We do not spend so much time outside in winter, but still do nature study using nature videos, things I have collected in a nature stduy box, and pictures we took of things we saw in the summer.
I just rejoice knowing that they are spending more time (and quality time at that) outside than most children I know. =)
Please forgive me if my posts were discouraging. I was just trying to express that it was okay to have outside activity in intervals and not in such a huge unrealistic chunk. We don’t like being overheated and in the direct sun, so we get our outdoor time in the morning before 10:00 and in the afternoon after 3:00.
While my schedule looks like a lot, I have very relaxed days. And we do live in a rural area on about 3 acres…and my children have outdoor responsibilities and projects because of our acreage. Outdoor time is a great incentive for my children to get their personal responsibilities done.
I hesitated posting my schedule…but I was asked. My husband leaves early for work and is working on some personal fitness goals early in the morning…and I am too (after having 7 children). As a family we try to get to bed early to accomodate his schedule. I get together before breakfast (while nursing baby) with my older children for an hour to do our teacher intensive work…before I am needed by the more dependent younger children.
Janell – you shouldn’t be sorry! I love to hear that there are real life Proverbs 31 women!!! How encouraging that she’s not some mythical creature from the days of Solomon, but a real life woman that’s living today and training her children to follow in her footsteps. I’d say it’s ENCOURAGING!!! We need more women like you and are blessed to have you share with us!
Agreed! Janell, inspiring!
Janell I LOVED reading about your schedule. It seems a beautiful example of a woman knowing what she wants, what her family needs, and finding a schedule to get that through living her days accordingly. I NEED to read schedules like that to remember that important piece that we all have to do what fits our own family. It was inspiring to me and I certainly need inspiration when it comes to discipline around a schedule!
But Sara, did you ever get the advice you were looking for? It seems specifics about your question/situation were not fully addressed. Do you have a solution yet?
Janell, don’t apologize for sharing! I love your ability to make this work…you were not discouraging!
Sara, just get them out as often as you can that is practical. After that, you’ve done your best. You are the sole teacher, and like many others have said, you do not have a governess, a laundress, a cook and a nanny so let some of it go! =) No more reason to stress over it. =)
I did figure out a schedule now, thanks to lots of advice and a sample schedule! We’re going to get up at the same time as always (6:30 for me, 6:45 for the kids) & do our morning stuff and chores, and at 7:45am, head outside for about 45 min. Then schoolwork for a few hours, lunch, read-alouds, quiet time for an hour, then outside again for about 2 1/2 hours. Then inside for various chores, piano practice, dinner, etc. I figure I will fit in art/handicrafts on a rainy/snowy/freezing/super hot day one afternoon a week or so. So far, I’m liking how it’s laid out. And the kids are excited to get to go outside in the morning (and the 4yo is just happy she gets to go outside twice in one day LOL). What’s really awesome, is this gives ME permission to go outside with them both times, and still get my stuff done (I’ll work on a project of some sort while they’re on quiet time, and we won’t have school on Fridays – that’s co-op day or cleaning day). Really looking forward to starting the new schedule tomorrow (since I threw away the old copies already ). Thanks for everyone’s help in helping me think outside the box. I really appreciate it!
I always took the advice from Charlotte to “never be inside when you could be without,” etc., to be related to the need to work against our inertial tendancies to just stay indoors. It seems that a lot of what I read in teaching books of her time period deals with similar problems to what we face today – children are cooped up and get into trouble, children have too much desk work and get into trouble, children are increasingly away from nature and hence lack empathy for the natural world and obsevational skills. In fact I think one of the most profound experiences I have had while learning about CM methods is realizing that these issues were alive and well in her day – and not only have we not vanquished these problems, they are so much worse now!
Here is what I look for in my own household as far as feeling like I am accomplishing my goal of having my children feel comfortable out of doors: making plans/accomodation for them getting wet/dirty, trying to be aware of which of their activities could be done outdoors as easily as indoors (playing barbies or whatever); intentionally taking advantage of each kind of weather and each time of day – going out in the rain, going out after a rain, going out as the sun is going down, etc; trying to help them take note of the patterns of nature (“oh look there is a black eyed susan, we haven’t seen that since last summer”) – part of that, for us, is keeping a bird list and taking care of our bird feeders.
I agree with all the above postings about Charlotte herself not having the same kind of household obligations we do – and I do not think it is a good idea to frustrate ourselves with daily goals – as if every day in every season would be the same! But I do think this is an important issue and one that almost every family needs to be mindful of – here is an excellent book about it from our own time period LOL “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv. To be honest, this need to have my kids living part of their lives outside is a big part of why they are not in public school. And us moms need to be outside, too!
I guess all I am saying is that we can make other goals than just an hourly goal for being outdoors – and maybe these goals can be more attainable over time than a strict hours-per-day goal.
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