Getting Back on Schedule

Our day started out completely normal; I got up, exercised, ate breakfast, cleaned the house, showered, etc.  The boys got up, played (outside!), ate breakfast, did their chores, etc.

Love the tunnel/ house that they built in our giant snow pile
Yet, somehow, we got totally off schedule.  It was 11 o'clock and I was stressing because school had not yet started.  We were leaving the house  around 1 so I could get to an appointment and I was starting to think we just weren't going to be able to have school today.

I'd like to say that we rarely veer off schedule but that's just not true.  Often I find that I need to redirect our day and get us back on schedule.

I finally sat down and thought about a few quick ways we could at least get SOMETHING done today. 

There are a few things I tend to do when we get off schedule:
  1. Ignore the schedule and carry on with our day.  Sometimes we get off schedule because we get involved in something else and in that case I just might let the schedule go for the day.
  2. Look over what I had planned and decide what MUST be done and just cover a few key subjects.
  3. Look for ways to combine lessons and learning to make our work go faster; and therefor get us back on track.
  4. Turn to games!  My boys love games and are so much more willing to work on school when learning is fun. 
  5. Put them in charge.  Many times when our day is slipping away I ask the boys to please pick two or three things to count for school and sure enough they often pick some great materials that I might not have thought of! 

Today I chose to turn to games and made up a new game I like to call Treasure Hunt.

  • I cut up three different colored sheets of paper- red for Ian, purple, for Alec, and Blue for Evan.  I wrote multiplication equations on the older boys papers and sight words on Evan's papers.  
  • I called them into the house and explained that for school today we were starting with a scavenger hunt. 
  •  I let them each know which colors belonged to which and told them to scour the first floor. 
  • I told them how many slips of paper they were looking for and sent them on their way. 
 They had so much fun!

I don't know why I didn't think of this "game" before.  My kids absolutely love to hunt for Easter eggs and aside from the candy treats inside it's kind of like the same thing.  I did have to start giving hot/cold clues at the end of the game as that last slip or two of paper seemed to be to hard to find but all in all it was a fan way to review facts and sight words.  I noticed Evan knew a few of today's sight words-- progress!!

Found one!
Once they found all the papers the older boys sat down for a math minute while Evan  read a short book of his choosing to me.

We then sat on the couch and I read the books we hadn't gotten around to reading yesterday.  We read Elympics and smiled over all the cute elephant pictures and Olympic themed poetry.  We also read Look What Came From Russia and learned about Russian foods, exports, and inventions.
I had downloaded Stack the Countries onto my Kindle and so I had the two older boys play Stack the States and Stack the Countries for a bit of fun geography learning.  I found Stack the Countries to be quite challenging myself; I swear I've never even heard of half these places!

I set the timer and told them they could both have a 10 minute turn playing each game.  Once the timer went off neither one of them wanted to trade Kindles since they were immersed in their games and beating their best scores. 

While the older boys played the games on the Kindle I sat with Evan and we played a board game that he really likes called Add A Bug.

I can see such a huge improvement in his math skills from when we used to play at trampoline!  He even used number sentences every single time he rolled the dice.   He started taking his bugs out of the bug jar and lining them up comparing which one was the most/ which was the least.  He'd tell me how many more he needed to make them match up.

Once we were done playing the game he wanted to continue playing with the bugs and he found out that there are an odd number of each type of bugs.  He put them into rows of two and then counted to see which bug had the most and which was the least; all kinds of self- guided math discovery!


 Another perfectly fun day and we managed to complete math, reading, and geography! 


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