So the last couple of weeks, I have been focused on balance. Trying to balance time online with time teaching with time crafting etc etc. I don't think I am there yet.
BUT I have learned a few things.
1. Mondays are always bad. So now we have nature study on Mondays. This gives us the opportunity to gradually start the school week. It works really well, and Rebel actually will provide work for it too :) Both Monday and Tuesday are far less stressful. Not to mention when you suggest the kids keep an eye open for autumnal things, they will spend the rest of the week looking.
2. Reading and/or knitting while the kids school is better than the computer. Unfortunately, the book you are reading or your knitting bag do NOT happen to have those files you want to listen to/print out. If you want to only turn on the computer in the afternoon, you are going to lose. So you will turn on the computer, you just have to NOT turn on the emails ;)
3. If you keep the kids out of their rooms for studying, then you will not have to fight over Lego's and Nintendo DS's. These things are quite safe when applying the rule "out of sight, out of mind".
4. Husband's working at home on the occasional one day a week are a novelty. The kids WILL interrupt him even if you promise they wont. However, after a week or two, it becomes a treat- the kids realise they can work while your husband does and when they are done, DAD will take them places :) Great motivation!!
5. The stereotypical table in the kitchen really is a nice place to make them work, BUT the little one will disrupt the older, who will try to do the younger's work- "because it is so EASY"! However, your control is a lot greater when they are forced to sit on a chair. It is NOT the best place for them to listen to read alouds- invariably they need to fidget!
6. Reading some of the 'My First Little House' books will lead to reading the real "Little House on the Prairie" because your 4 year old will demand to know "what happens next?" Your 9 year old son will want to listen too :)
7. Birthdays should always be taken off if you are a homeschooled kid :) After all, those presents are way too tempting otherwise! Yes, Rebel turned 9 in my time away! Wow... how those kids age FAST!
8. Sickness should be dealt with by unschooling. Hopefully some family friends will leave you with a supply of National Geographic magazines, which supply your children with days worth of reading. This does not require vast amounts of energy, concentration or pencil work. They will get interested in a subject and be willing to do a notebook page on it :)
9. 4 year olds will lose their books and no matter how hard you try you can't find the one you REALLY want. And this is despite you putting the books in the bags you made.
10. When you want the kids to go outside, they wont. They will want to play inside. When you want them inside, there is nothing they want more than to be out playing with that rabbit!