Homeschooling, Year 2 – October

We seem to cruise through warm months and are always in the middle of a cooler/cold one. October can be warm in the beginning with an extension of summer weather, beautiful for sure with the turning of the leaves. This is a great time to get last-minute fall vibes and see the changes taking place in nature. We walked and spent a lot of time outdoors. Once the leaves drop, we can see animals and other parts of nature more clearly. On the hike below, we saw an impressively large owl! I’m sure many more animals see us when we’re out but they’re so quiet and peaceful, we don’t see much with a tribe of noisy kids in toe. We do, however, see birds, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and other vermin very often. Deer at this time of year go into hiding due to hunting season, but from time to time we’ll see their lights at night while driving. And the eyes of the coyotes and foxes around. This year, skunks had been abundant during the summertime months, but they were hunkered down at this point so we are less anxious about dogs getting sprayed or trash being broken into.

This year, we also took a trip to Old Orchard, Maine to visit some of my extended family. The beach was so peaceful and the ocean vibes made us all feel like we could reach for the stars – or moon! – even easier than normal. What goals do you set with your children? We talk about future plans and hopes & dreams openly with our children. The answers to these conversations are not surprising most of the time, but every now and then, they’ll have a new aspiration to share. I’ve encouraged our kids to write these down or create vision boards so they can look back and see which goals have been achieved and how long (or short) it took for them to come to fruition. Most goals come true when they’re on a shorter timeline. But, the sky is the limit, so I push them to think big!

A rare moment of the two boys below makes it seem like everything was always peaceful. What you don’t see are the other kids in childcare running around and the mess of the table where Big B’s supplies for the day were spread out.

Something I learned quickly was that organization of supplies and books is critical to homeschooling and for a busy life in general. I don’t have a lot of storage space, especially where we needed to work, which was the kitchen table. Occasionally, Big B would use the desk in his room, but he needed my help with reading, which was a huge part of all subjects so he needed to be nearby for me to care for kids and also assist him.

Moving drawers, small totes, pencil pouches, and pocket charts can help make your life easier. I used wall space that was open on the kids’ level for the calendar and pocket charts. I used pencil pouches I could stash in a drawer when we needed the table for meals and had a set of drawers on wheels I could move wherever we were or even outside. I also placed books on the top shelf of a bookshelf so that the little ones wouldn’t get into them. When Big B accessed them, it would sometimes stir the little ones up and they would want to read as well, so I placed books for them on the bottom shelf. It was a win for all of them and kept them occupied while Big B and I were working on an assignment.

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