After spending many hours of careful thought, research and preparation, I have found what I will hope will cut back on the whining and crying. Here is my new system.
Based off the homeschooling work box idea, and several million blog posts later, I have chosen to tweak it into a work folder/box for summer. Traipsing around several stores, I think I may have found a solution that will ft our family and allow for the space we need. Each child gets their folder (color coded of course) with 6 pockets and their drawer for me to fill with puzzles, treats and games. After much prayer and thought, and asking Katie what her goals were, and what I wanted to see accomplished, I have further split the pockets into the areas we want to study.
I have looked at curriculum, worksheets, books etc... and have found what I consider to be the best for us. We will be completing expedition earth and Summer Activities by grade level.
So basically our summer will look like this: 1. the kids get up and eat. 2. we will meet together and have our opening circle (including best of days, scripture heroes, calender time etc...) then the kids will need to have their rooms clean to begin on their folders. And here's the kicker, nothing else gets done until the folders are complete. no more whining and yelling, I'll simply ask "Have you finished your folder?" If not they just go back at it.
Their folders consist of worksheets, reading/snack, cleaning opportunities, PE, art projects, computers, typing, cooking, gardening and all things that need to get done or skills to learn or just having fun.
After folders are complete we move onto swimming at six flags (where we have summer passes) or anything else that St Louis offers (which is quite a bit...musicals, zoos, museums, hikes, shut ins, letterboxing etc) and then home again.
While dinner is cooking we will complete our study of animals from around the world as we visit every country during Expedition Earth.
Now I know several of you are thinking, what the heck? Why is Heather doing this, or how is she doing this? But I so excited. I am nothing if not flexible during times that life takes a different path, but I feel drawn to educate my children beyond what the public schools are doing. I know they are trying their best, but I think Heavenly Father created so much wonder and schools only tap into the barest part of it and even then they can't go into the spiritual connection the Earth has to us. And the knowledge we gain here goes with us into the next world so what can I say, I want my children to learn as much as they can.
I know, I know, summers are for playing...and trust me, you know how I am...Half of our lessons will be hunting for bugs in the yard and counting birds and just enjoying the trampoline and the hammock out back, roasting marshmallows and traveling to yet another state capitol. But I am a stay at home mom. I chose that so that I could teach my children all I could of this wonderful world. Now aren't you excited with me? Wish me luck. This will be a grand adventure...