Thursday, December 15, 2011

Multi-Generational School Day

Please don't forget to sign up for the Pick and Draw giveaway here. I'll announce the winner tomorrow!

Blogger seems to be messed up this morning. Please excuse the small print.

Yesterday, Lauren, my oldest daughter, and her three children came to spend the day with us. We are blessed that she lives close enough to bring the gang over every other week or so to visit. Chase, my four year old grandson, loves to come and do school with us, so I had planned some simple activities to do using items from our craft cabinet.

First up after lunch and cleanup we made snowmen faces using paper plates and various foam shapes. I had originally intended to make entire snowmen, but sometimes when you have four boys ages 7, 4, 3, and 2 working together, you change plans mid-stream!! ; ) Here are some of the snowmen faces the boys made....some even have boots made from foam and leftover from Bible school crafts many years ago!

While I cleaned up the sticky, gluey mess, the boys took a sucker break. I am finding that you MUST keep them occupied at all times or things can get out of control very quickly. The suckers kept them quiet and as we don't let them walk around with them...kept them still as well.

Then we had Circle Time. When my older girls were little we began meeting together each morning to go over various facts, read a Bible story, work on Scripture memory, sing songs and read a book. Due to the HUGE age span of my children, I have not been doing Circle Time activities with my own little boys. We do the same things, but not during a set time. My days have usually been focused on the older children and the younger ones have tagged along and I have fit in their activities when able, but now that I will only have two older students, ages 12 and 15, I will be focusing more of my time with the younger ones. So, yesterday, Lauren and I gathered the four boys (and 14 month old Ashtyn Claire was in and out as well) and sat on the floor in a circle. We sang the days of the week, the months of the year, the name song for each boy, our phonics song and much more. As we sang we would either roll a ball to each other or toss a bean bag...trying to keep a little movement going is important for wiggly boys. We sang Christmas carols and finished up by reading a Curious George book. Whew!!

The boys spent some time outside on the trampoline and playing in the leaves. We took popcorn kernels, stale biscuits and cornbread out to feed the chickens and spent some time watching them gobble up the food. While the other boys were feeding, Kaelan took one or two of them into the coop to gather eggs. This is what she found. Do you see that teeny-tiny egg? Never have we had one that small! When the hens first begin to lay, their eggs are small and get bigger with time. The egg next to it is a very large egg.

After dinner we had another Circle Time repeating some of the same songs and activities to get them settled down before they headed home. My hat is off to those of you who have lots of littles with no older ones to help out. It can be exhausting and overwhelming! Planning some simple activities, though, to channel their energy helps to make the day more productive, fun and interesting for all! And this grandmother is so very thankful to have her own little boys and grandchildren to plan fun activities for!


HeatherQT said...

I am a new follower and love your blog! I did want to mention that the picture of the eggs only works when I actually click on it. All I can see within the blog post is a small rectangle.

I will be starting to homeschool my 7 year old in January and I am trying to read up as much as I can to see how to go about it. This will be a "trial run" to see how it all goes. If everything runs smoothly and Garry learns plenty my husband may let me continue on with it!

Roan said...

Anita, you are a fantastic grandmother! What great memories you are making for your little children and grandchildren....and what an example you are setting for Lauren!

Do your chickens slack off laying in cooler weather? The teenage boy that lives across the highway from us raises chickens. For almost a year now I have been buying 2 dozen eggs a week from him, but in the last month, he said they have stopped laying! He said he would let me know when they started laying again. I had to start buying eggs from Kroger, and those cage free eggs are $3 a dozen!!!

I am already thinking ahead to the next year and even the next holiday season, and I have one word stuck in my mind: Simplify! I am going to spend some time rereading your blog if I ever get some downtime to see if you have any suggestions for simplifying life in general......feel free to blog about that if you want! Ha!

Merry Christmas!

Anita said...

Roan, our chickens are young chickens and have not been laying long. They do go through cycles of when they quit laying. Right now we are blessed to have more than enough and are selling enough to pay for their feed, trading some for fresh milk and having plenty of eggs on hand for our use.

As far as simplifying goes...I just said NO to all outside activities except music lessons! We don't do electronic games and such in the house so the kids have lots of time for practicing piano/violin, cooking, drawing, reading and working. Our lifestyle has changed so much now that we are really trying to homestead and we have much to do on a daily basis.

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