Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Change of Routine - Teaching Full-Time - Child-care

I don't usually announce when I am taking a subbing position, but this year, and this position, things are different.
  • We have a good routine going, despite having a crazy-busy life. It's going to be put on hold. 
  • I have a goal of keeping this blog updated at least twice weekly with either historical happenings (as I go through older photos and scrapbook items) or current AMI Montessori elementary homeschooling - what it looks like for those of you either at this age already or getting there. I really want to keep that going. 
  • Projects are closing up - slowly - around our home; and I am slowly cycling around to what needed to be done years ago. Using resources wisely. I really want to keep that going to. 
  • I think it is fair to give you a heads-up, so if YOU are in the situation I will be in for the next month (working full time and Montessori homeschooling), you'll have some inspiration - and I'm sure a strong dose of "what not to do" as I hope to be humble enough to share our failures as well as our successes. 
  • Thus, this upcoming experience may be of some benefit to others. 

Many of you know that I routinely sub for Montessori schools; I also pick up babysitting here and there (I want to have a daycare in my home again - perhaps if/when we move again!); tutoring on short and long term basis; random projects for random people; run two website-based businesses from home; and homeschool my son.
And 5 days a week in the atrium. 

It sounds like more than it really feels like - and maybe I'm not really looking at the full reality. Admittedly, avoiding the picture of "full reality" is probably what keeps me with a smile in my heart when I snuggle with my son at the end of a long day. 

So - our blog will take a bit of a turn this coming month - focusing on what Montessori elementary homeschooling looks like when the child is with different people each day of the week and mom is working OUTside the home, full-time --- in a Montessori school no less. 

First decision - Enrollment, Childcare, AKA: "what-to-do-with-the-child-during-work-hours": 
I thought about enrolling him for the month; I did that when I was long-term sub as an aide in the upper elementary classroom at this school several years back (he was primary at the time) - he attended 3-4 days a week and went with a babysitter in our hometown 1-2 days a week; I paid a pro-rated daily tuition for him and we still did some homeschooling (not much because it is a Catholic Montessori and he was really getting everything he needed) ---- hmmmm - that could be a blog post too. Homeschooling when child attends part-time Montessori..... not many people in that situation, but could provide some creative ideas for others in somewhat related situations. 

  1. that was primary, now he's in elementary - more long-term projects, group dynamics (be there for a bit then pull him out again - I don't mind the starting in the middle of the year as much as I do the pulling him out mid-year after only a month (could be slightly longer). 
  2. that was the start of the year - this is right after winter break - sure the kids are likely be starting on some new things, but there is still a LOT of tie-over from pre-holidays
  3. money. I'll be honest. I want to keep as much of it as possible. The principal is being generous in paying me a bit more than the typical daily rate for subs to help with gas (it's a drive for me) and childcare. It's not that I'll be keeping the money really anyway - I have school debt to pay off yet - I've considered setting up an anonymous blog with some details there, count-down style - to help others in serious debt, because I'm not comfortable sharing that stuff associated with my name, etc. I know I've come up with some creative solutions though - I know because friends/family/acquaintances come to me for advice ;) But the debts aren't paid off yet. The local lady who does the sitting doesn't charge much; local homeschool families I could trade some tutoring or Garden of Francis materials for childcare... Gotta love bartering. ;) 
  4. he does have speech therapy (in a town the opposite direction from the school) - I do not want to pull him out. That year he was in primary at this school, we just didn't start up speech therapy until afterward (the school couldn't offer him services even though he was enrolled, because we were out-of-state residents - we still are). Now he's in speech, I don't want to pull him out. But it means re-scheduling for another time and finding someone who can take him. 
  5. And it was part-time - if I send him to upper elementary, it really needs to be the same hours the other children are there. 
  6. Primary is about individual development; elementary is about community development - a weekly atrium is fine because it is long-term; other part-time activities are fine as long as they are consistent; but in/out of a full-day classroom just isn't appropriate for any child or the group dynamics - it's just not consistent. They couldn't make proper plans - the upper elementary children really think long-term. 
So I am looking at childcare options for him. We have a fall-back sitter I know we can call. But my first choice is for him to be with someone with whom I can barter services - such a person is also likely to be in any of a variety of frames of mind that will correlate better with our desire to continue homeschooling through this month. Time with Godfather, time with close family friends, time with homeschool families (they don't have to teach him, just give him a corner with his books or he can teach their kids how to build fancy things with Legos - or their older children can show him a thing or two ;) ).

If a different person/family could take him each day of the week, that would actually be fantastic - he could get the benefits from each family without me thinking we're becoming a burden. And if someone ends up sick or otherwise can't take him, that still leaves 4 other people who might be willing to take him an extra day just that one week.

And this is where I have to be somewhat flexible unless I want to get up at 4 every morning to get him to the right place --- e.g. one family might take him overnight one night a week in order to watch him the next day. They won't take him until later at night, so I'll still be with him the usual hours - we just won't be together overnight. It's one night a week - yes, my mommy-heartstrings are pulled, but it's temporary. We've done the overnight thing before and we have a great relationship - a few overnights won't destroy us.

This next point is less about me being flexible and more about me being both realistic and focused on "life" - I have no problem with families watching my son and taking him places - running typical errands, going to the library, visiting their Grandma/Grandpa - whatever. That's life! He needs to see real life - one of the many reasons we homeschool. I used to care for children in my family daycare that expected that we would never go anywhere or do anything outside of my little property - yet I offered a 24/7 service, so I needed to get groceries at some point; we loved going to the park; the local libraries (we were blessed with 2!) had fantastic children's programs and nice children's sections - of course we would be getting out and about - but it would all be family-oriented. So I am good with my son experiencing that with others - even when it means being in the car all day - he's with people who care for him, keep him safe, and live a real life.


Please pray that it all works out. Things are looking good, but I have a couple of days yet to fill in.

Next dilemmas - a blog post each?  
  • Changing our schedule/routine - this really only affects our clock schedule because only speech is affected. This one will be hard. I am SO a night-owl - I don't sleep any more than a typical person, but we typically have a routine shifted a few hours later than others (or maybe we're many hours ahead of everyone else ;) teehee)
  • Food-planning - packed lunches; dinners.... breakfast.... snacks.... Yep. I have a solution. But I have to get it into place! 
  • where do the Montessori presentations fit in? and the follow-up work? upper elementary is a different cookie, but he does have some lower elementary review he needs (because we're at home and not in a school)
  • when do I get to be home???? I'm SO a domestic female ;) I want my home to be a sanctuary - and we all know that being home for limited time allows messes to build up without allowing time for clean-up ---- so how do I keep my home a sanctuary regardless of the time spent there? 
  • when do we snuggle???? And typical outside-home activities - how do we adjust these to accommodate caregivers, family time and child-needs? 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I have a child that I still care for, he feel like he is part of our family. I can only still hang out with him because his mother understands real life, no we don't sit still. He may get a nap, he may not. Having a support system is a necessary thing especially the many hats you are wearing. I live on the Barter System :) Keep it up and keep posting so I can continue to learn. Thank you. I love this post!!