Prepping for Breakfast
The children are developing quite a knack at properly setting the table and the younger ones are learning to problem solve by assessing the dishes/silverware needed for different types of foods being served. I have found that by moving our dishes to one of the bottom cabinets has helped greatly in this...as they are more easily accessible and within their reach. Oh, and did I mention that by choosing to rid our home of that nasty (yes, I do have a grudge against it) plastic wear the children have gained a greater respect and appreciation for the dishes we have since they are all now made out of glass (minus the modge-podge drawer of silverware - it's a work in progress). It goes without saying, that the respect has been acquired by having the children wash everything by hand and not without mention, that our dishwasher is loving it's time off.
Morning Devotion (the Hinge)
We have been studying the Book of Mormon by using this fantastic study guide I found online. This mom has taken great time in preparing what we call a menu to feasting upon the Word of God and is done in a manner simple enough for a beginner yet very comprehensive. She doesn't skimp on anything! If you have been looking for a Book of Mormon Study Guide, you will definitely want to check this one out.
I don't take all the credit though. We may have executed this chore system well but The Jeppson Plan is mainly responsible. The Jeppson Plan is a "system designed to bring a child to the door of Scholar Phase and gracefully usher him in". You can read more about how the Jeppson Family applies this (and many more great ideas) in the book, A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion. But I dare say that we are reaping the benefits on this one.
I thought that they would all just play during Free Time, but that's not the case at all. They have mostly been asking to be taught (such things as: reading, arithmetic, sewing, cooking, drawing - just to name a few). Then there are times of course that they do choose to just play. But not just the sort of playing that most kids do. We are talking...creative, imaginative play! Play that requires them to think and develop their minds! They don't ask to play video games or tinker with those electronic toys that entertain a child any longer. They choose to play with toys that require them to think!
(However, there has recently been the occasional request to watch a movie - since we recently signed up for Netflix (via the Wii). And, I must say that streamlining movies when you have a household full of sick kids with the flu - and can't leave during the day to rent another one - sure does come in handy.)
In reading The Headgate, authors, Brian & Keri Tibbets go on to explain how to tell what Phase of Learning a child is in by what they choose to do during their "free time". If a child chooses to play, they are in the Core Phase. If a child chooses to learn, they are in the Love of Learning Phase. And if they study...Scholar Phase. (click here for a brief overview of The Phases of Learning)
Currently, we have a house mostly mixed with Core & Love of Learners. So you will see a variety of learning and playing going on throughout the afternoons (i.e. Free Time) in our home. However, this time will soon open up to a bunch of young Scholars. And for this, I...Cannot...Wait! It is something that I have dreamed about.