I can’t believe it’s been a full month since my last post. I had a goal of writing weekly, just for some catharsis, to stay motivated and to have some accountability. So while I’m disappointed in my lack of updates, I’m really trying to forgive myself for it.
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Homeschooling a 4.5 year old, and a 2.5 year old, 4 months postpartum (and taking care of said 4 month old) is hard work. Throw in managing the house, grocery shopping, laundry, feeding those children (and a bunch of cats), running a craft business, working a Direct Sales business and then writing this blog and another – and then some things have to give. Unfortunately, it’s been blogging (although the other stuff is kind of more important lol).
I have a track record of taking on way too much and burning the candle at both ends. So one of the things I’m trying to do is be kinder to myself and to prioritize the important stuff. Sure, sometimes (or often) I still take on too much and try to be everything to everyone, but I’m learning to forgive myself when I drop the ball on the not-as-important stuff and to not try and juggle so many balls at the same time too!
So this past month we’ve had some great weather, and some not-so-great weather. Nevertheless, we took advantage of the great days with LOTS of outside play!
Most of it was unguided, and without direct adult supervision (in that I was not standing over them watching ever little move they made). This of course gave them lots of time to manage their own conflicts, engage in pretend play, develop gross motor skills and simply entertain themselves.
For the past couple of years, we’ve also had our own vegetable garden. Typically, I buy seedlings and plant them, but this year, I was inspired by The Millenial Homeschooler and decided to plant seeds with the kids.
We started off by reading Eric Carle’s The Little Seed and discussed the journey that seeds go on before becoming plants. The kids loved the story and were fascinated by all the obstacles that seeds meet on their journeys.
After we read the book (outside in the sunshine), the kids filled little planting cups with dirt and placed seeds inside. We labelled each pot with a popsicle stick and then watered them (I may have learned that doing it with a regular marker isn’t the greatest after watering time…oops!)
The day we did this was incredibly hot, so we made our way back inside after and they were so curious about the different types of seeds, that I was inspired to draw up a quick (and not so pretty) worksheet to guide our exploration of the different seeds.Nathaniel loves doing worksheets, so he quickly set to work and even decided to take it a step above and draw pictures of each seed. Sophia isn’t too enthusiastic about writing yet, so she answered orally. Nevertheless, they both enjoyed playing with the different seeds, organizing and categorizing them and noticing all of their individual nuances.
On the not-so-great days, we also kept entertained with activities inside. Every once and a while I pull out some actual workbooks for the kids to do, and surprisingly, they actually quite enjoy doing them. I love dry erase workbooks so we can go back over concepts and of course they can be handed down as each child moves onto the next level.
Sophia has recently taken quite an interest in princesses. She really has no idea who they are (has never watched any Disney princess movies) yet, she loves the idea of them. So, one day I was shopping online and found this great matching game. There are 6 different images focused on each princess, and in each image are various items. The game comes with little cards that show you which items to find. The kids had an absolute blast playing this and got a real kick out of the times they were “tricked” when they found the item they were looking for, but in the wrong colour. This definitely made for a fun rainy day activity.
And of course, one of the best ways to spend time inside is with good old fashion stickers! My kids love pulling stickers off of their backings and arranging them on paper. There never seems to be any rhyme or reason to the way they stick them on, but it keeps them busy when I need to get things done and is a great fine-motor exercise.
Finding a balance is still something I’m working on, but I’m loving the challenge! What are some of your favourite rainy day activities?