Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Different December: How I Maintain our Mother Goose Time in Such a Busy Season ...

December, December. I have such mixed feelings about this month. I love the month for what it represents, my Savior being born. But I also hate this month because it can get a little insane. Rushing here and there. Christmas parties galore. Shopping. Wrapping. Cooking. And before you know it, the whole point of December being a special month has gone away. This is a month to cherish our families, spend extra time together, laugh together, play together. And instead, most times the opposite happens.  

Last year, our homeschooling in December pretty much flew out the window after the first week. I was struggling to maintain structure at the school table when I felt like I had 1,001 other things I needed to be doing. I knew the kids felt my stress. And it showed. Most mornings ended in a tizzy and I was crying over not making the adorable ornaments I picked out on Pinterest after narrowing it down to my 5 favorites for what seemed to take hours. 

This year looks so different. A good different. 

A great different. 

This year looks like looking forward to school every morning. And planning our schedule to have school all the way until Christmas Eve because we love it that much. And it looks like singing and dancing and creating art together. And it looks like actually reading all of the wintry books we picked out at the library. It looks not so chaotic.

Mother Goose Time has ignited a love for learning in our family, all the way from my second grader to my toddler. December is no doubt the busiest time of the year and you would think the most inconvenient time for homeschooling. But for us, it is the opposite. Here are a few tips for keeping the schooling not so crazy during such a busy season. 

1. Plan and prepare. 
It is no doubt that in a family our size, planning and preparing is a must. Trust me, I have tried it without it and I about lost my sanity entirely. One thing about MGT is how easy it is to plan your days ahead. Seriously, open a bag, look through it, establish a plan for the day and you are done! Planning is a must, but MGT makes it a breeze. Prepare. Grab any extra extras you know you will need for the following morning and have everything set out. For me, I set out 4 sets of whatever we are doing. Each child has a place at our table and I will set out their materials at their spot. When I call them to the table to begin our craft or lesson, everything is already sorted through and ready to go! My older boys have several other subjects to tackle, so I am also prepared for this time for Kruz and Kohen to have something to do. Kruz' current favorite is the counting bears MGT provided this month. He sorts them, counts them, makes patterns out of them. Having something planned for my little ones is a must because it keeps them out of trouble while my attention is primarily on my first and second grader. So plan, plan, plan and prepare, prepare, prepare. 

2. Forgive yourself. 
Seriously, it is not going to go perfectly everyday. Still plan, but forgive yourself if you end up counting blocks in the floor as math instead of your child completing their work in their MGT "My Little Journal". Just this morning, we ditched Language Arts and ended up dancing to "When You're Up, You're Up" in the living room. We laughed and laughed and I thought this- this is what December is about. Family. 

3. Take Advantage. 
There are some days during this busy time of the year when Mommy just can't be at the school table with her little chickies all morning long. A few days ago, my house literally looked like a train wreck had just occurred. And it needed attention more than most days. I had planned and prepared the night before knowing my attention would mostly be focused on the house and not the school table. I took advantage of an easier activity I felt Kollin (8) could lead the others in. I was close by in case there were any hiccups, but overall it went great! Busier days for Mommas are going to happen during busier seasons, that is inevitable. So plan for it and take advantage of an activity from MGT that will require less of your attention and that will keep your little ones busy on those mornings.  

4. Know It Is Easier.
I promise life is easier when your kiddos have received an adequate amount of your attention. For us, most times that is in school - which is really family time. Know this, your child is much more apt to let you get extras done in the afternoon when you have dedicated your mornings to them. I always try to have a little one-on-one time with each of the boys during our school hours. That time could be reading a book or counting blocks or checking math problems. Whatever it happens to be that day, fills my child's heart. Because I have spent the morning with them, they (most days) don't act crazy in order to get my attention. I am able to fold clothes or, for this time of year, address Christmas cards without them fighting for my time. So even though there are more duties than usual for us Mommas during busy seasons, be sure to fill their needs of attention first!

So chin up Mommas. We can do this! We can get through a busy season and maintain school time! If you have any more tips, I would love to hear them! 
Leave a comment below!

Merry Christmas!

"I received curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences in using the curriculum. I applied to be an official Mother Goose Time blogger and will continue to share my experiences throughout the 2014/15 school year."

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