Potty Training 101 :)

I have a friend expecting her first child next year (yay!) and she asked about how we potty train our children. We potty trained  Kate/Sims at 23 months, Claire at 22 months, Henry at 21 months, and Jack at 20 months. I did not find that there was any difference between boys and girls "getting" it.

Here's what we do:

1. I plan a time where I can be home for 3 days and I do not leave the house until they "get it". I always start on a Monday.

2. On Monday morning, the child goes straight to underwear. No pull-ups. The kids do wear diapers at nap and at night for awhile.

3. I give the child plenty to drink. They need practice learning what the sensation feels like.

4. I take the child to the bathroom every 10-15 mins. It's exhausting, really. The hardest part is when I take them to the bathroom and they sit there for 10 mins, get up, and tee-tee all over the floor. AHHHHHH!!!!! I just have to remember that they are learning! :) I DO tell them firmly that tee-tee goes in the potty, not of the floor. Hey-it's weird saying that to y'all but that's what I say.

5. I've used a baby potty for most of the kids but I did not use it with Sims. I just sat him on the toilet and he was fine.

6. I've told Rick EVERY TIME after the first day that the child is not getting it and I wonder if I should just try again when they are 7. Thankfully, he knows I do this and encourages me to keep going. Each child has had between 10-20 accidents the first day. Well, everyone except for Sims. He only had about 5-this makes him my favorite child. :) Kidding!

7. Everyone has gotten it either the 2nd or 3rd day. At this point, I do leave the house for extra practice. I  take them to the bathroom before we leave and when we arrive where we are going.

I don't really do "rewards." Kate did request chapstick a couple of times and Jack wanted MMs but I wasn't consistent with them. That's probably a fun thing to do, I'm just not crafty enough to make a chart and get everything organized.

That's about it. The rest of the week I continue to stretch out the time between bathroom trips. I continue to suggest to the child that they go to the bathroom for a couple of weeks and by then, they can tell me when they need to go. It is a very hard few days but then the work is done! I know many people who wait until their child is 3 or so and then may have an easier time of it; I've just always liked to get it done.

Any other questions about this I forgot to answer? If you have other/different tips for my friend, just leave a comment!


The Talent Show

Kate and Claire put on a talent show for us this morning. :)

All of the acts took place on the coffee table in our living room. 
Yes, I am aware that none of our furniture is going to survive. 

Miles enjoyed it.

Jack and Henry wanted in on the action.

If you are a 2 year old boy in our house, you're going to end up in girl clothes. It's just a given.

They made a gift shop for us to visit. Everything was a penny but unfortunately, Rick's ipad wasn't for sale. 


My Favorite Picture

I just realized that I have not posted my absolute favorite picture of my kids to-date. So without further ado:

And coming in a close second:

Quite frankly, I might like that one a little bit more. :)


School Update

We are a little over 3 months into our school year so I thought it was time for an update. This month was hard at times. I wasn't second guessing homeschool in general, but I was questioning some of our curriculum choices. It's hard to know what subjects are best for independent learning and what subjects should be combined across children. There is always an adjustment period each year and with each new family member but things have settled down in my mind some this week. It's important to keep our goal in mind and then make decisions based off of that goal and not off of what everyone says you should be using for curriculum, etc. However, I'm still happy with our overall decision and the lifestyle it affords us.

Here's the breakdown:

Henry - Kindergarten
Phonics - Veritas Press Phonics Museum - dropped this. We are using Reading Made Easy and Abeka handwriting and things are going much smoother. I really love the Phonics Museum but it was set up to use with a classroom and many things were not practical for us to do. In the same regard, it moved a little too slowly for us as well. 
Math - finish Singapore Essential Math and start Math-U-See Alpha - Henry finished Singapore and it a few weeks into MUS Alpha. This has been a great time for us. 

Claire - 2nd Grade
Math - Math-U-See finish Beta and start Gamma - still a good fit. Claire is in Beta and will probably move to Gamma in Feb/March
Grammar/Writing - Essentials in Writing and BraveWriter Projects - Never did BraveWriter because there is a lot of writing and writing projects in the History and Bible programs we use. Essentials in Writing has just been OK. I'm thinking of dropping it for Rod and Staff grammar. 
Spelling - Rod and Staff 2 - Going well
Literature - Books from Heart of Dakota and Veritas - Going well
Greek - Hey Andrew! Teach me some Greek 2 - Going well
Cursive - Abeka - Going well

Kate - 3rd Grade
Math - Math-U-See finish Gamma and start Delta - Going well. Kate will probably switch over to Delta in Feb/March.
Grammar/Writing - Essentials in Writing and BraveWriter Projects, - same as above
Spelling - Rod and Staff 3 - Going well
Literature - Veritas and Memoria Press - Going well
Greek - Hey Andrew! Teach me some Greek 3 - Going well. This has been a harder year in Greek but we both still like this program and are up for the challenge. 
Cursive - Abeka and across subjects - We dropped Abeka because it seemed like busy work. Kate writes nicely in cursive now so she just uses it in History, Bible, or Spelling

Bible - Veritas Press Judges - Kings - Still love this!
History - Veritas Press New Testament, Greece, and Rome - This has been the hardest thing for me to implement. I really do love it but it is a LOT to wade through and decide what to use/teach/write/read. Veritas offers the same course online and the girls did a free 2 week trial. I was very impressed with it and they begged to keep doing it but I have invested in the parent lead course so I'm going to finish it out this year. 
Science - Apologia Swimming Creatures - I still really like Apologia but it's just hard to get Science done on a day-to-day basis so we do this is spurts and the kids read additional science books in-between spurts. 
Latin - Song School Latin - Dropped this!!! What was I thinking! Greek and Latin is too much for me to teach right now. Henry absolutely LOVE this program though and he still listens to the CD. :) It is very well done and I enjoyed it too but it was just too much with everything else I need to teach!

So there is the boring homeschool update! I'll be interested to see what I say at the end of the year! :)