Tag: auditory learning

Flexible Family Schedule: Fall 2017

Flexible Family Schedule: Fall 2017


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Just last week, I posted on Instagram that we had hit our summer “sweet spot.” My two girls have been getting along, playing creatively…for long periods of time…with very little direction from me.

Now it’s time to switch gears and get back to school (home school, that is). Cooler weather is coming, and so are our family routines.

For the last month or so, I’ve been reading The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families for our online Mom’s Book Club. Thanks to Lindsay’s wisdom, I’ve been getting up an hour earlier to set the tone for the day.

Mornings are the key to it all.

Now that I’m awake earlier, we’re gradually moving toward our full fall school schedule, which will kick off officially the week of Labor Day. Addie is going into 4th grade this year, and Katie will be a 1st grader. For the first time in our six-year homeschooling career, we have TWO school-age students, and we’re so excited!


Related: My Biggest Mistake as a Mom


All summer long, we have done read-aloud time first in our day. For our fall semester, we decided to move read-aloud time (and other fun topics!) to after lunch. Since both girls will have a heavier workload this year, we’ve decided to do our core subjects immediately after breakfast, when we’re all feeling our best.

Here’s a peek at our fall homeschooling schedule:

  • Morning chores & breakfast
  • Classes will start at 9:00 a.m. (I’ll start with K’s first grade lessons while A completes her independent work. Once Katie has finished, Addie and I will do fourth grade math and grammar together.)
  • The girls will have lunch and outside time from noon until 1:30. I’ll use most of that time for lesson-planning and blog-writing.
  • At 1:30, we’ll come together for read-aloud time, music, art projects, and AWANA memory work.
  • From 2:30-3:30, the girls will have independent reading time, finish up any school work, and play quietly.
  • At 3:30, they’ll be officially “dismissed” until dinner time.

We have gym class on Wednesday mornings, so our schedule will be a little different one day a week.

Check out our homeschooling schedule for this fall! (4th grade and 1st grade) | flexible family schedule, homeschooling, design your day


A quick note:

We believe STRONGLY in learning through play for young children. (See here and here for more details.) As a not-quite-6-year old, our Katie will have LOTS of opportunities for free play throughout her day. I’ll also be using invitations to play to practice her skills while Addie and I are doing lessons together. Since K is an auditory learner, I know she will enjoy playing nearby.

Addie (9) is a visual learner and benefits from direct instruction and lots of repetition. We are working on building confidence and independence this year, as well as breathing through frustration and practicing positive self-talk. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that each of our girls can get a personalized education!

MotherStyles is one of our favorite parenting books!


Create a Flexible Family Schedule | family time, indoor activities, outdoor activities, back to school routines

We like to use our weekly calendar template to create our flexible family schedule!

The benefit of a flexible family schedule is that you can adjust your routines any time, regardless of the season. Some families prefer to have a full calendar, with lots of extracurricular activities…while some families prefer a more relaxed, spontaneous approach.

And then some families–or MOST families, I would imagine–are a mixture of both when it comes to their weekly schedule: some crazy busy and some that are totally light!

For that reason, I found that using a blank calendar template is best for our family. It allows me to see, at a glance, those open pockets of time where I can be a more intentional mother.

Fill in your information below, and I’ll send you a FREE copy of our calendar template, along with a menu of twenty, fun family activity ideas! This template is great for ALL families, not just homeschoolers.

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine

We all agree that reading to our children is valuable, right? (Check out the benefits of reading aloud here, if you’re not sure.)

When it comes to actually sitting down and reading to kids … well, that’s when things can get a little tricky. Usually, parents mention one of these three obstacles to reading with children:

  1. We don’t have TIME to read aloud as often as we’d like.
  2. I get tired of reading the same books over and over again.
  3. My child won’t sit still for story time.

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine | reading to kids, family activities, read aloud, stories for kids, importance of reading aloud


If any of those obstacles sound familiar to you, I hope our read-aloud series has been helpful for you. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

In our family, finding time to read aloud with our kids is a tricky business. We have to be intentional parents, making sure that reading to our children is a priority to our schedule.

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine | reading to kids, family activities, read aloud, stories for kids, importance of reading aloud

Here are some of the ways we can all incorporate more stories into our day!

Choose just one or two a week to make reading to kids more fun.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)

  1. Start the day with a story. Invite your little one to snuggle with you, and read a great book like Sandra Boynton’s Hey! Wake Up!
  2. Read aloud while your little one gets dressed. Blue Hat, Green Hat is a family favorite!
  3. Make teeth-brushing time fly by with a fun book!
  4. Keep a children’s book of poems or nursery rhymes at the dining room table. Read one or two if you finish eating before your child. We love Tomie DePaola’s Mother Goose.
  5. Stack books up next to the couch in the living room. Act surprised when you find your little one browsing a book!
  6. Make a personalized playlist for your children. Record yourself reading a few favorite books.
  7.  Buy a CD player and some books with CDs for your child’s room. My daughter enjoys Farmyard Tales from Usborne Books & More.
  8. Leave a few books in the car for the carpool lane, waiting at the drive-through, or for taking on errand runs.
  9. Visit the library or book store at least once a week. Find a new book by a favorite author.
  10. Read a book outside while your child takes a water break.
  11. Share a book while your little one is in the tub.
  12. Snuggle up together for a book or two before bed.

 Can you think of anything I missed? I’d love to hear your favorite time of day to read with your child!


Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Raising children who love reading doesn’t just happen. So let’s be more intentional together, okay?

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

Welcome to our Read-Aloud series!


Our oldest daughter is a snuggle bug. Her two love languages are physical touch and quality time, so needless to say, she’s always loved curling up on the couch for a good read-aloud session.

On the other hand, our younger daughter is a tactile/kinesthetic learner. Her body is constantly in motion, and she resists sitting still for a story. She slides down off the couch and plays with anything she can find within reach.

I used to let it bother me. I used to correct her: force her to sit next to me and look at the pictures as I read aloud.

But that’s not who she is–she’s an auditory learner, and she hears every word I say–whether I think she’s paying attention or not. I often find her later, sitting on the couch alone, rereading the book and looking at the pictures at the pace that suits her.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities, read aloud, tactile learners, auditory learners, activities for kids

I’ve learned to be okay with our differences. Now we dance for 10-15 minutes every morning before read-aloud time, and I don’t mind at all if she chooses to play quietly during the story.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)

Most of the time she brings out her favorite bristle blocks, school bus, and wooden people. When I’m done reading, I hear her acting out the story I just read with her little characters.

As parents, it’s important for us to determine if our children are deliberately disobeying us or if they simply cannot do what we are asking of them.

We also should ask, “Does this really matter to me?” After thinking about it, I realized that I would rather have a quiet, happy child listening to the story than have her grow up despising our read-aloud times because I made her sit on the couch with me.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities, read aloud, tactile learners, auditory learners, activities for kids

If you decide to provide your child with quiet activities during read-aloud times, keep in mind that there is no “magic” product or activity. I’ll share some of our favorite ideas, but honestly — the BEST activity is the one that works for you and your child.

10 Quiet Activities to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud:

  1. Bristle blocks (we have these)
  2. Puzzle
  3. Wooden people (we have these, in addition to the set with the school bus found here)
  4. Foam blocks (look at the dollar store)
  5. Pipe cleaners
  6. Water beads (we have these)
  7. Modeling clay
  8. Geoboard (we have these)
  9. Paper and crayons
  10. Quiet sensory items, like pom poms, cut straw pieces, etc. Children love to sort, count, fill, and dump little items —celebrate their contentment and read a chapter or two!  

If you have any additional suggestions for quiet activities, I would love for you to leave them in the comments!


Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Raising children who love reading doesn’t just happen. So let’s be more intentional together, okay?