I’m a little late with this weeks wrap-up because I spent the weekend rearranging, organizing and cleaning while the little guys went with daddy to visit Granny Franny.
Steph and I did have some bonding time, going to see The Avengers (great movie!), eating chinese food, watching Thor on Netflix, and the original television series 21 Jumpstreet on DVD. Yes, it was an evening for young, hot guys.
I’m always struggling with finding ways to get school done as efficiently as possible, have access to what we need to have access to while limiting access to those things I don’t want the kids to reach, while still remembering to use all the things we have. Throw in a small space and active kids and it’s an ongoing challenge. But, I think our current set-up may turn out to be a good one.
The first thing I did was move school back into the living room. The kids have a long, folding table that their computers sit-on. It already sits below their bulletin boards so I attached their mini-office boards to the bottom. When we are doing school, the monitors sit on the floor next to the table leaving a nice open space. It also keeps them from asking to play on the computer while we are doing school (mostly…..theoretically).
I may need to extend the divider part of the office boards to keep Georgie from showing too much interest in what Vicki is doing, especially if she’s on the computer when he’s not.
This part of our set-up has been in place for a couple of weeks and is working well.
Georgie’s binder, Vicki’s folder and all the books that are used on a daily basis are back in the pocket folder holder on the inside of my bedroom door (which opens into the living room).
Since one of my new bookcases is metal, I set up Georgie’s magnetic words and Vicki’s Word Whammer on the side.
I rehung our smaller white board to hold our new magnetic pattern blocks. As soon as the kids walked in the house, they gravitated right over to check these out. Georgie seems to prefer making his own designs over trying out the ones on the pattern cards I also bought. The board is hung pretty low since it sits underneath a US map and a small built-in shelf. I figured this was fine since the kids will just sit on the floor to play with it.
One of my goals for the summer is a more relaxed school with more field trips, more outside time and more crafts. To help achieve the last, I pulled out a bunch of our craft supplies and put them into a hanging shoe holder.
Everything is in reused peanut butter, parmesan cheese and prescription bottles. This is hanging on the wall of my bedroom, right next to the door with their school books, which holds white paper, construction paper, sticky boards and foam stars in the bottom few pockets. This way I can limit access if I need to (by locking the door) or allow access just by opening the door.
I also finally set up a flip calendar to show the date. It hangs from the fireplace mantel which is where I hang everything that changes frequently (maps, posters, exhibit boards).
As for actual school this week…..we didn’t do much. Georgie was very whiney this week and had some definite behavior issues. A lot of it may have been due to his being sick last week. These guys are so rarely sick (knock on wood) that I could see it throwing them off for a while.
We did have a 4-H Cloverbud meeting this week where we did some activities for Healthy Foods, including matching up pictures to the food groups according to the current My Plate recommendations…
doing a relay where they carried plastic foods with a spoon and dropped them into the proper bag.
Neither activity was a big hit. Georgie’s behavior was pretty bad but the whole group was giggly and wiggly. Our creative activity was the biggest hit, using play-doh and molds to make foods.
Our neighborhood pool opened last weekend so hopefully we’ll be spending lots of time down there.
A new feature for my weekly wrap-ups will be a brief mention of any of the ideas from my Pinterest boards that I finally give a try.
The first thing I tried this week, this suggestion on folding plastic grocery bags for storage, worked out really well. I ended up with two wipes sized containers of bags – one for the house and one for in the car. Previously they were stored in a pillow case so this is much more compact. Mine don’t look nearly as neat as the ones at this post but close enough for me.
I also tried out two recipes for healthier baked goods. I like to bake but it’s not something I’ve done much in the past few years. I’m not much of a cook in general so I like simple.
One recipe was for strawberry muffins made with oats and greek yogurt . In addition to the strawberries I threw in a banana and they came out really tasty. I made these to have for nice easy breakfasts since I’m definitely not a morning person and it’s getting too hot to have my usual instant oatmeal.
And for my sweet tooth, I made these chocolate chunk muffins with greek yogurt, oats and applesauce. I thought I had messed up since the recipe was very runny but they solidified up nicely and even Steph thought they were yummy.
One thing I learned from both those baking experiments was that it’s much better to blend the oats by themselves first and then add the rest of the ingredients.
I'm hoping for a nice productive fun week coming up but with Steph's high school graduation and very last dance recital, things are going to be crazy once again.