Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Homeschooling Journal: September

This is going to be pretty boring to most of you. Feel free to read on, or don't. I still love ya!

Biting Off More than We Could Chew

I would guess that everyone, even hsing moms, get excited about school starting. For us this meant getting into a real life structured routine. For the first time since Reia was born we were going to have places to be on regular days and times.

We were to start our week off by taking Mini-T to MDO (mother's day out) and then Mini-me and I would go to the library for our books and then off to ballet. After ballet we could go have lunch with a friend or have a mommy/daughter field trip or whatever. At 2:30 we would pick Mini-T up, and go home to get dinner ready and do some minimal school work.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays were to be days at home. School in the morning and errands after nap. On Wednesday night, Mini-me was going to AWANAs. Thursday morning we had to be at Fellowship for the homeschool co-op classes of which I am teaching two. Friday was a family day with daddy since this is his only day off.

This doesn't seem like much, but when you add this to our FIRST YEAR of doing something all together brand new (homeschooling) and the fact that we have always been at our complete leisure in the past, it was quite a shock. It didn't take long for me to re-evaluate and ditch AWANAs and I will probably pull Mini-t out of MDO in November if her napping doesn't get better. It's not worth the few hours Mini-me and I have to ourselves to deal with a cantankerous two year old for the hours after that until bedtime. I won't make a final decision until the end of October.

I figure we have many years of homeschooling so I can take my time and decide what works best for our family. And, what works best may change over time.

Days of Peace

For the first several weeks, it was terribly chaotic. Every day brought a new "issue" that had to be dealt with. Also, we were trying to have school with a toddler thrown into the mix and include her. I really wanted to re-think homeschooling altogether on multiple occasions. Are we ever going to get the hang of it? I started to question why I wanted to HS in the first place. My answers were still the same and still more than valid. I knew I would stick it out at least two years.

After letting the frustration subside and just letting go in general, we started to have some very peaceful days. We changed our routine to include school during Mini-T's nap time, and then Mini-me's room time after school. School only takes about an hour when we are not constantly interrupted by little fingers! Plus I was able to really focus on her and what she was doing. I noticed she really responds to my undivided attention and praise. (I know that shouldn't be a surprise, but ...)

We turned the tv off except in the afternoon while I am trying to get dinner ready and they have played outside for an extended period of time. It never ceases to amaze me how much difference I see in the girls without the influence of the boob tube. When the weather is nice they play outside so nicely. Yesterday, I sat on the couch for at least an hour reading while they were giggling and playing in the dirt. Ahhhh, peaceful.

For the Love of Learning

I was talking to a friend this morning who is also a HSing mom and former public teacher. We both teach a class at co-op together and were having to rethink some of our lessons. We started getting on our favorite websites for teachers of preschoolers and kindergartners. We sounded like two kids in a candy store. I love pouring over lesson plans and getting excited about various ways to teach a certain subject. I told her being a teacher was just "in our blood". But what I realized later as I was reading the Charlotte Mason Companion she gave me was what I really loved was the learning. Not just for me, even though I was the one in college who took classes that got me nowhere in my degree just because the subject matter was interesting (Fall of the Roman Empire comes to mind), but I love to see my students get genuinely involved and wrapped around a subject. I want them to love learning as much as I do.

That is part of the reason I homeschool my children. How could I not want to be a part of watching them grow in this area? See them get excited about a new character or hypothesis? Watch them develop into thinkers and doers? All for the love of learning.


Addie said...

I loved reading about how you all are adjusting and adapting. It's probably a lot like when we first became parents and for the first month looked at our child and thought. Oh. My. Word. Why did I EVER think I could do this. And then we figured out how to do it and it was all good.

(And now I only think that thought like 3 times a week, versus the 3 million times in the first 3 months of parenting.) :D

Sounds like you guys are doing GREAT!!! :-)

Susie said...

Thanks for bringing us into your world. I am so happy you are finding joy and some time for yourself. Homeschooling seems to be such a sacrifice for moms, but it looks like one that will bring a heaping harvest for you and the girls. Yay for you!

Jen said...

You just totally inspired me! Great post, and it is really encouraging to find other moms have to wiggle their way around to find what works. Keep going and the Lord will lead you in the right direction!

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Oh, sister, I needed this tonight! Thanks for the inspiration:) (And you totally know what I'm talking about, right?)

Anonymous said...

Hey. I'm all caught up on your blog now (that only leaves seventeen others I am totally behind on.)

I think we are going through a lot of the same things. I have had to readjust my schedule and my expectations. As for being "on schedule," that is the beauty of homeschooling. Lainee is "ahead" in her math and "behind" in her reading/phonics. But that's right where she needs to be, so I am good with it.

Now, could you please tell me what you are feeding your kids, because I never have any of those "mom, I love learning this stuff" moments!


Wendy said...

Sounds a lot like our days..trying to figure this homeschooling thing out w/a busy toddler in the mix (we do it during her nap too now).

Kim said...

I have read through some of your blog and have enjoyed it! Congratulations on homeschooling! Your girls will be greatly blessed by your time with them! It sound like you are doing a great job!