Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our Homeschool Day

     Since taking Liam out of preschool we have begun homeschooling, but because he is my oldest our days are pretty simple. Right now my main goal is just to have a rhythm to our days and a time where he knows that we will be doing some school work. Some days don't always go as planned and I also an flexible like when it was 60 degrees just a few days ago we spent the whole morning outside then after lunch just did a little work and that was mainly because he asked to do it. Here's what a typical day looks like here.

7am-8am We all wake up sometimes they all come into bed with me and we cuddle for a bit, other days it's straight downstairs for breakfast
8am-9am We eat breakfast which lately has been yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal because I am not motivated enough to cook. Then I clean up while they play. After that if I haven't done so already I get them all dressed and brush their teeth.
9am-9:30am Typically we will start school around this time. I am a former Montessori teacher, so alot of what we do is based on that method. I also ordered the curriculum book Five in a Row and we have been incorporating that as well.
9:30am-10:30 We usually do a number and letter activity if the younger ones want to participate they do, otherwise  they play or I have some practical life activities for them(I need to get more of these together for them and become more organized in general). We are not always working this whole time sometimes there are breaks it just depends on Liam's mood I want to make sure he's enjoying it.
10:30-11:30 We do an art project, cutting, geography, word building on the computer, research something they are interested in, or practice fine motor skills it depends on the day. Usually we also read our book from Five in Row and try to incorporate a lesson from it as well.
11:30-12:30 Prepare lunch, eat, clean up. Kids play.
12:30-1:15 Play, try to get outside if it's not too cold. I'm sure once it gets nice out we will try to go outside earlier
1:15-1:45pm Get ready for naps. Read a story.
2pm-4pm Nap time. Liam rarely naps now, but I encourage him to have some quiet time for at least an hour. Usually I try to relax for a bit, then I will clean and Liam and I will read stories or play some board games
4pm-5:30pm Everyone is up we have a snack, play, then I start getting dinner ready
5:30pm-6:30pm Dad comes home, we eat dinner, clean up
6:30pm-7:30pm Play
7:30pm-8:30pm Baths every other day, stories, bed time.
8:30-9pm I try to finish cleaning up 
9pm-11pm Relax, plan our next day,  try to be in bed before midnight :) 

     As often as possible we try to go to museums or exploring for hands on experiences. Here's some pictures from the Field Museum and the Planetarium.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homeschooling:The Beginning

     After lots of debating and researching we've finally started homeschooling. Liam was miserable going to preschool everyday. I'm not really sure what changed because he enjoyed it last year, but this year he kept complaining he was bored and there were no other kids his age there. Everyday was a struggle to get him there and even though I know he was fine once I left him, it just didn't seem worth it. So I figured after Christmas break was the perfect time to transition into homeschooling.
     Right now we just finished up our third week of homeschooling and so far I've really enjoyed it. No more fighting and rushing every morning and for now fingers crossed Liam really likes it as well. He's only in preschool, so the time we spend doing actual school work is pretty short, but it is something we both look forward to every morning. Most of what we are doing is Montessori based since that is what I am most familiar with, but I also ordered a couple of books to give me some different ideas of things we can do. I think we will end up with an eclectic style since I think there are many educational philosophies that have great ideas. The one book I just received in the mail is Five in a Row, which follows the Charlotte Mason method and I plan on adding that to our lessons as well. I will let you know how it goes.  I'm still not sure what we will do next year for now I am just trying to focus on this year and see how it goes. I also want to check out a couple co-ops so I can see what our options on if we continue down this path. If anyone is an experienced homeschooer or has been homeschooled themselves I'd love to hear your experiences and learn more since this is all new to me. Hope everyone is having a great weekend:)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thoughts on Having a C-section

        Wow, I can't believe it's already been over two months since my last post. I guess you could say I took a little blogging break over the holidays. Every time I try to write a post it seems like there is so much to say it comes out a jumbled mess.
      I am 30 weeks pregnant and will be meeting this guy in about 9 weeks I can't believe it. I will be having a scheduled c-section since all my others were c-sections as well. I struggled with this alot in the beginning of this pregnancy since I know it may be my last and I always read these amazing birth stories and think wow I wish mine could have been like that. I looked into finding a doctor who would do a VBA3C which was almost impossible. In the end though I switched providers and have an awesome midwife now and am planning a gentle cesarean. If you have never seen one you should look it up on you tube especially if you are having a c-section. I think for me at least it will make me feel more a part of the birthing experience and not like it is just a surgery. I never had any real complaints about where my doctors that I had my boys with, but I wish I would have found the midwife I have now sooner it makes such a difference to have a health care provider who you feel comfortable with and you feel like truly cares. At about 18 weeks I talked to her about how disappointed I felt with my other birthing experiences and ended up in tears, which is something I never would have done with my other doctor. After that I felt so much better about what we have planned for this birth and she even encouraged me and gave me the names to other providers if I wanted to explore having a VBA3C further. So after the birth I will make sure to write about it because I feel for me ti will be a healing experience after wishing for a vaginal birth and regretting my decisions and knowledge at the time of my first pregnancy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gender Reveal

       I know I said I was going to tell you guys Sunday, but I wanted to do something creative and just haven't been able to find the time. So, without further ado we are having a BOY!!!  I guess you can't stop a good thing. Here's three awesome older bothers.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm Back

     Oh, it's been too long like usual. I miss blogging I really do but by the end of the day lately I'm just exhausted and on my list of things to do unfortunately blogging ends up near the bottom. These last few days I've been in a bit of a funk too and am trying to get out of it. I was feeling better then today was one of those days where everything that can go wrong just does. Which reminds me that it is November and I wanted to start doing Thankful Thursdays again, but this week I missed it. I may just do it tomorrow. Somehow writing down all the things you are thankful for makes all those small things that go wrong in your day not seem so bad. Stay tuned Sunday I will also announce the sex of our next little one. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!
                                                                      The Avengers

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Mishmash

This post is just a jumble of what has been happening here at the Clarke household or what is soon to come.  I have so many posts half finished that I hope to one day post, but here are some random things that have been happening here or are soon to come.

*Saturday a friend of mine had a Fall equinox party, which was lots of fun. The kids had a blast and made scarecrows. Then we came home and saw my husband's car had a ticket for permit parking when he was parked across the street where you don't need one. Seriously WTF, someone must not like us. We were told they only come to give tickets when someone calls, at least check to see if we need a permit before you just hand out a ticket.
*Sunday Jack and I had a date night. We went to Starbucks for coffee then Carnivale for dinner. Super yummy food, I really wanted  some sangria it looked so good. I don't know why it always seems when I am pregnant I wish I could have drink other times I never think of it, maybe it's because I know I can't.
*Speaking of which hopefully if the baby cooperates we should be finding out the sex next week. You guys will probably be the first to know after my husband of course. We might wait a little longer to tell the family after having three boys all everyone can talk about is how they know we will have a girl or hope it's a girl and sometimes I just get annoyed when I tell them it's another boy like it's a big disappointment for them. so we may wait.
* I don't know if I I ever mentioned this before, but I can be pretty unorganized. I try but to be organized I really do but it is not one of my strong suits. This has led to our dinners being very boring or thrown together at the last minute with whatever we have in the house. Before when Jack got home early this wasn't really a problem because one of us could run to the store if needed or he would sometimes cook, but now he gets home around 6pm and we need to eat immediately since that's kind of late for my little ones. So today before I took Liam to school I put together a meal plan, which I basically just went through my pinterest board and quickly picked 6 things. If I really like any I will be sure to post them here. Maybe tomorrow I will post our menu for the week, hopefully I can keep this up.
* I still have been extra tired lately and once afternoon hits all I want is a nice nap, but that rarely happens these days
* About 2 weeks ago I started cloth diapering Declan. I got some super cheap and was hoping it would help lead to potty training quicker since I remember reading that somewhere. It really doesn't seem to make a difference on that end, but it's not as bad as I thought doing it full time. I'm still not thrilled with changing poopy diapers while we are out or really at all to tell you the truth, but it's been doable. I haven't decided if I will try to start Rory in them or not or the bay when he/she comes for that matter. I would have to get more if I do. I'm not sure if I can deal with the million poopy diapers a baby makes. Any cloth diapering mamas out there with advice I would love to hear it.
*I'm really loving this fall weather, it's my favorite time of the year
* Tomorrow we will be taking a trip to the Aquarium:)
Hope everyone's week is off to a good start!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Random Thoughts and a Rant

        I just wanted to say thanks for all the kind words from everyone. I truly appreciate them. I feel like I have been a hormonal/emotional wreck, so far this pregnancy. The littlest things seem to upset me and ruin my day. I try hard not to let them, but it's been hard. For example today after breakfast we went out front to play and I saw a ticket on our van. I went to see what it was for and  right in front of our house is permit parking, but I never got a permit since when I went to get it they wouldn't let me because our van is registered to my husband. So we parked on a part of our block that is not permit parking yet we still got a ticket and a note on it saying someone called about our car. Really, WTF!! We were parked in an area you don't even need a permit, so I had to make a bunch of calls and no one could really help me, they said just go to the court date. Really then I need to pay/find a babysitter. Anyways enough of my rant, it's just frustrating to get a ticket for something when you have done nothing wrong and this is the second time it happened.
     Also I am breaking out like crazy this pregnancy, so if anyone has tips I'd love them I feel like I've tried everything with no luck. On a different note it's really starting to feel like fall here, which is my favorite season so I hope it brings me out of this funk I am in. I can't wait for apple donuts, pumpkin patches, caramel apples, pretty leaves, bonfires,smores, and so much more. Hope everyone has a great weekend:)