Friday, June 26, 2015

work hard. play hard. love hard.

these are the words my kids are hearing over and over this summer.

we are nearing the end of our first week of summer and it's been good. i spend a lot of time thinking through summer before it's here. it's a gift of time i have with my kids and i want to use it well.

we jumped into this week with 2 feet and i want to lay out our little schedule for 2 reasons. first, for my brain that will forget by next spring. i like what we're doing and don't want to have to re-create the wheel. second, in case it's helpful to anyone else!

our basic plan is to WORK HARD in the mornings so we can PLAY HARD in the afternoons.

every morning, i get up early and read and run before they get up. kids rise around 7 am (even rebekah! they will sleep in one day, right??) and we eat breakfast together. every morning, rebekah has cross country practice at 8 am. the younger boys and i head to the gym after i drop her off and joshua and bailey stay home and do chores or just hang out. they love that time in the house without their little siblings!

once we're all back home an hour or so later, we sit down and do schoolwork. one of the things i love is that once we get rebekah to cross country practice at 8 am, i NEVER have to know what time it is the rest of the day! we do school work til we're done. we eat lunch when we get hungry. i love not living by the clock, but, rather, by our bodies and spirits!

schoolwork. each day it's been a different length {read above ^^^ !! the kids seemed to be able to handle different amounts different days, and i pushed them a bit, but not too much.} on mondays, we're doing ALL our cleaning chores before we start schoolwork, so that means we just do a little bit of schoolwork. AND our cleaning chores are all done for the week! most days, our schoolwork has started with timed tests for math facts and then doing math facts with flash cards. then they each have workbooks for their grade (except levi - he and i are still going through his reading book together. and rebekah is going through a PSAT book for now.) one day we also practiced handwriting. and we will be adding writing {stories} to our repertoire eventually ;-) it's had it's tricky moments, for sure! levi takes my 100% attention. but then they all have questions about their workbooks at different (or at the same!) moments. so they have to be patient. and so do i. but it's good. all of it. they all need to keep up the skills that we are focusing on. and they need to be reminded that life isn't all "play"!

each afternoon we've done different things...gone to the pool. or farm. or just played outside.

and then, as dinnertime approaches, we have a little "wind-down" time to our day. first, we spend 30 minutes writing the Bible. we started this over a year ago, and have a LOOONG way to go...but they are super motivated and it's a sweet time. almost every day, someone says, "hey, listen to this verse!" and something new is learned or marveled at about God's amazing Word. while we are writing the Bible, we pass around this new book called, "642 things to draw". they each pick 1 thing and draw it. and write the date and their name. once it's done, i think it's going to be such a sweet book to look back through! after our 30 minutes are up, we write 2 cards to the kids in Haiti. we pick 2 kids each day. it takes a little while...because we translate the notes each one of them wants to say into Haitian Creole (so we're also learning a bit of Creole!!) hopefully we'll write each of them a note by the end of the summer! and maybe, one day, we'll all get to meet them! (EVERY note says, "i hope i get to meet you one day!") lastly, i go on a little walk with one kid. we have a garden, and a different kid is assigned to water it each day. instead of a new "system", if it's your day to water, it's your day to walk with mom. it's my little way of connecting with them one on one. it's overwhelming to try to do that when they are ALL around me ALL day long. it's been really sweet so far. i'm loving that!

then it's dinner time!!

and through it all, we love hard. we don't rush from thing to thing. we do things well. i try my best to not let the tasks be more important than the hearts. we speak kindly (this is the area we're working on the most!) we think about others...and how we can bless them in our day. 

each day....and each week will look a little different. but that's our basic framework and i've fought hard to be as consistent with it as possible this week so that we can all feel our new routine. i'll try to update how it continues to go as the weeks go on!

i've already learned something that isn't working. i was trying not to have any "alone" time for myself. but i just NEED that during the day for a few minutes. not to SLEEP, but i have to go in my room, close my door, and read or just rest for 20 minutes. if i don't, my head starts to feel like it's going to explode and i want to scream or something. if i DO have that time, it recharges me and i can plug through the rest of the day. it doesn't have to be at a set time. one day it was at 4 pm. another, it was at 12:30 pm. i just need it at SOME point. 

what new routines are you doing?? what is working? or not working?


Leighann said...

I love this! It's so purposeful. No routines this summer as we are out for surgery with Ryan. It's been very strange knowing we only have 2 weeks here on the front end before we all split up for awhile. I love the work hard mornings followed by play hard afternoons…. it has worked for us past years.

Ali said...

Sounds great!

Barbara Cassada said...

I love your plan, Courtney!

Julie for the Group said...

I have been thinking about this post since you wrote it. I finally printed it off to put in my file. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the ideas here.
I have 6 kids - 3 bigs that are mostly grown and 3 littles that we adopted. Your blog is encouraging to this introvert who is old and tired but content.
thank you!