Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Purge

It has been over a month since I have written. My goal when I started this blog was to write weekly on Thursdays. Well, today is Thursday & I hope to keep this up weekly.

The last month or so I have been going through a Spring Purge of sorts and I am still in the midst of it. After doing the 7 Keys Inventory, I realized just how important it is that I pursue my own studying. I came to the realization that our success in homeschooling depends on it. It’s an upward spiral that goes something like this.

 ~ I study daily, La sees this example, La gets curious about what I am studying, La gets inspired to study herself, I have more time to study because La is studying, which in turn inspires her to keep studying ~

So my first purge was a time purge. I redid our schedule in order to give us consistent study time daily. This is what it looks like after living it for a few weeks.

I get up between 6:30 & 7:00 ~ Do my Bible Study and prayer, check email
La gets up between 7:30 & 8:00 ~ We have breakfast
We do our individual chores, get dressed, then we do our Team Chores together ~ this is things like dusting, bathrooms, etc.. getting the whole house clean on a rotating basis.
By 9:30 or 10:00 we are reading to start Study Time. I always begin with reading aloud for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then we each make a list of what we are going to do with this time. I assist La as needed, but La is independent for good portion of this time. Almost anything goes during this time except TV & computer games ~ art, board games, dolls, sewing, math games, reading, etc... are all acceptable activities.
Lunch around Noon.
In the afternoon we either continue study time, do errands once a week, outside classes, fieldtrips, hiking, play dates, etc...
After dinner I am trying to limit the TV as well. I try to have games, or other activities to make TV less attractive.

With this schedule we are getting anywhere from 2 to 4 hours of study time in a day. But there is so much more going on with this. I purposely have work before studying so that we are learning that work comes first & that taking care of the home is an act of love towards your family & good stewardship of what The Lord has provided for you.  Even on the days when we only study from 10 to noon we are getting so much accomplished in the afternoon. Fieldtrips inspire & inform. Going grocery shopping is a life skill and provides lots of math practice. Hiking is nature study. Afternoon classes have ranged from art to PE.  All of this I count as learning time. 

I feel really good about this schedule. I feel like my days are in line with my core principles. My goal is to develop a lifestyle of learning & growing.  Academics are not separate from life, they are a part of life.

My second purge has been a stuff purge. I have been going through each room getting rid of stuff. Now, I am not a pack rat by any means. I love to clean stuff out. It makes me feel renewed! I have gotten ride of soooo many books.  Curriculum and guides I thought I would use but never have. Some things that La has even outgrown before I could use them.  Most of it has gone to the local library. Hopefully others can benefit from them. In doing this I feel like I have gotten ride of the last vestiges of the Conveyor Belt thinking. I have de-schooled our homeschool once and for all. I have vowed to stay away from curriculum until La is in scholar phase and is asking for one of her own choosing.

I still need to go through La’s stuff, and when I say stuff I mean toys. I know she has way too much and that they can be a distraction to her. This brings me to our next purge topic ~ Distractions.

I am just starting to think about this area of purging. I feel the need to get rid of things that distract our family from our goals of being a family that lives & learns together. Right now I am just starting to make a mental list of these things. This list will include all things that distract me as well ~ not just La. This will be the most painful part because it will involve dealing with habits & maybe even addictions.  Part of me is scared to do it and part of me wants to take the TV outback and shoot it!

OK, I am exaggerating. We are not Puritans. We all need a little entertainment, but finding the balance is hard. Once I have these distractions identified, my goal will be to develop a plan to either eliminate or manage these distractions. But that is for a later post. If you are so inclined, pray for me that God will make these distractions apparent to me & guide me in developing these strategies.

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