I have not yet gotten the kids to the level of work I would like them at, not doing as many presentations as I had planned, but here's the thing: they are doing more, things are flowing more, even calmer. I don't think I wrote about this, but I had been having the feeling that the idea of trying to gradually increase was not going to work, at least not the way I was going about it. Focusing on one thing to start doing meant that if it didn't get done, there was no change. Focusing on a whole day's worth and not meeting the goal means that stuff gets done! :D
Progress made so far this week:
*Silent reading time both days. The 16yo likes to publicly balk, but he's been cooperative, sat down, got into his book (Peak), as did everybody else today. Yesterday, my nephew was here (yes, that definitely threw things off yesterday) and even he partook in it.
*Work time with the 16yo after lunch today.
*Ds has done math and handwriting BOTH days.
*We've gone over the Apostles' Creed both days.
*My two and I had our school time together before the 16yo showed up.
*Used a timer both days to limit lunch (although, forgot to get it going at the start of lunch today). Why do this? Because lunch time has had a tendency to get longer and longer. lol.
*Over the past two days, my 3yo niece has done water pouring (it's now her favourite mode of drinking water ;D), bead lacing, a cylinder block, clothespins (put clothespins on the edge of a container--requires the pincer grasp--and then remove them) and today, I invited her to cut with a pair of little kid scissors. I think I will have to model this one again--she holds her elbow out to the side and cuts from the side. That doesn't work as well. Oh, she also did this geometric stacker. She normally just does one of them, not the hard one on the end. She tried to do the hard one today. Didn't work so well. lol. I should maybe take them off and hide them for a while.
*I discovered that not only does my son hold his pencil in an awkward way, but it's such a way that the pencil is kind of straight up and down and his hand is blocking a bit from seeing. Well, no wonder his handwriting isn't improving--he's not seeing what he's doing! I took out one of those triangular pencils grips, which kind of helped, but then I saw he wasn't curving the fingers underneath enough, which caused the hand to be propped up, essentially, blocking what he was seeing. So, for the next while, the focus will be on his grip rather than specifically improving his handwriting. I want to get him to the point of copywork and eventually to his own writing, but I need to be patient.
So, things are progressing and it's feeling good. Why is it different this time from the times I have planned in the past and things fell apart? I decided ahead of time to push ahead regardless of any resistance I felt from myself or others. I almost didn't follow through on the silent reading yesterday after lunch, started waffling, wondering if I should break up the boys' Lego time together, but somehow decided to go ahead with it, be consistent. I'm glad I did.