Thursday, January 24, 2013

Multiple kids in one room?

We have four kids. Three boys and a little girl. If you are keeping track, that makes 6 people in a 3 bedroom home. No basement and no attic. I have to be creative with out space........very creative. This past few months I have really been working on organizing. I thought I had the boy's room organized, then it exploded. We cleaned it only for it to explode again. Obviously, my organization was NOT working. I had to figure something else out.

First, I got rid of their toy shelf. You know the shelf with that holds all the bins? Great in theory, but it just wasn't working for us. I kept the bins, they did come in quite handy. I organized all of the toys into categories. Like with like. By the time I was done, everything had a place. I labeled each bin and put them up on the shelf in their closet. Each time they wanted to play with something, they had to check it out from me. Like a library.

 Before you all get upset with me and tell me I'm depriving my children, by not allowing them to have ALL of their toys within reach at all times, take a deep breath and read on. I don't believe that children NEED toys to have a good childhood. I believe that a good childhood involves imagination and creativity. That stick can become a gun or a fairy's wand. I believe that children can quickly become overwhelmed if we overload them with toys and toys and more toys. Okay, I will step down off of my soap box for now.

Back to their room:
Just getting a majority of the toys out of their reach was not enough. Despite picking up at the end of the day being a DAILY chore, their room exploded again! Something has got to give here. What am I doing wrong? Is it just their age? They are 8, 6, and 4. They should be able to keep a tidy space, shouldn't they?

I spent 3 hours in their room yesterday! THREE HOURS!! Yes, I am yelling. This is ridiculous! I shouldn't have to spend that amount of time in any room cleaning and organizing, unless it is a deep clean type of situation. Even then, 3 hours is a stretch.

I have read many different articles and blogs on organizing. I simply do not have the space. Most rooms are made for one, maybe two children to share. I have three in this room. Moving one of them to the other bedroom is not an option. First of all, they like being together. (Safety in numbers I guess.) Secondly, they don't want to sleep in the pink girl's room. I am not against different genders sharing a room, I would rather not though. I don't know why, so don't ask.

The fact of the matter is, I have three boys, their toys, their clothes(in the closet and a dresser), a set of bunk beds and one twin sized bed in their room. I am limited on how I can re-arrange due to window and door issues. The beds are pretty much stuck where they are.

Anyone have any advice for me? Links? Been there, done that advice?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

FIAR:Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

This is our third week of "rowing" with Five in a Row. We are absolutely loving it! It is so much fun!

This week, we are "rowing" Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Yesterday, we watched a short video on steam shovels, after reading the book. Today, I made the kids each a sensory bin with various dried beans and some construction trucks we had in our car bin.
I had them play with that while I read the book. I find that if I keep their hands busy, they listen a little better to the story.

After we finished the book and played for a bit in the sensory bins, we did an art activity with squares. I had some sticky backed foam that I cut into various sizes of squares (Since Mike Mulligan had to dig a cellar for the Town Hall "nice and square.") They had so much fun doing this. They each made their own version of the "Town Hall."
When they were finished, we read through the book, All Sorts of Shapes. We spent some time talking about all the different shapes and finding them in the room around us.

As I said before, we are really enjoying this curriculum. I encourage you to look into it. I don't get anything from the company for telling you about it. I research things to death before I make a decision, especially when it comes to my children's education, so I like to share my opinion on products for others to read.

Friday, January 18, 2013

That's life & some good news!

I've not been blogging lately because, it seems, life has taken a hold of me and not let go. We started our homeschool year and it went great. Almost as planned up until Christmas. Then we took a break and are now back into the swing of things.

Amidst all of this,I have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Yes, it's odd for an adult to be diagnosed with type 1, it is usually a childhood thing. I am learning how to navigate life with this diagnosis. It's really hard at times, but I know God is my strength.

Anyway, I also wanted to share some exciting news with all of you. A woman, in my community, recently opened up a "free store" in the walk out basement of her home. Yes, a FREE store. She takes donations of anything you don't want anymore and puts them right back out for others to take. Clothes, books, toys, home decor, etc. It's really a wonderful ministry. I realize I've veered off to the left here. (I do that frequently, walking a straight line is boring. ;) ) Back on track, my first visit out there, I found the first three volumes of Five in a Row, plus the Bible Supplement! All for free! Amazing!

So, I have started "rowing" with my two younger kids. They are 4(almost 5) and 2(almost 3). We have done Night of the Moon jellies and had a blast! At the end of the week, we took a bath with moon jellies. It was so much fun! The moon jellies are made out of clear plastic bags, a glow stick and some water. Tie them shut and you've got a moon jelly.

This week, we are "rowing" Katy and the Big Snow. We have done lots of fun things this week. On Tuesday, we painted with "snow paint," made out of shaving creme and glue.

I am so excited about this curriculum! I look forward to sharing more as we continue "rowing" throughout the year.