April 15, 2011

A Homeschool Day 2008

Amidst the packing, I've come across a lot of homeschool stuff my kids did years ago. Here is what a "typical" homeschool day looked like 2 1/2 years ago [I could never go outside by myself for over an hour now, leaving the kids inside, since now we have a toddler! *sniff*]. The kids were 5 and 8, and I was 7 months pregnant. Ah, the good ol' days...

A Homeschool Day - October 3, 2008

We started our 4th year of homeschooling this year at the end of July, and with great enthusiasm. As usual, the enthusiasm fades within a month or two, along with my plans to use the curriculum I designed myself for the entire year. This is what it looks like now:

7:30am  Tony and I wake up and are able to talk over coffee and pray before A gets up at 8.

8:00  Tony and A help themselves to leftover pancakes while I collect the dirty laundry - wash days are Mondays & Fridays [Ha. They are every day now.]. Tony takes the clothes down to the basement laundry because, at 7 months pregnant, the basket's a bit heavy for me now.

9:00  Tony leaves for work. I wake up M. Both kids come downstairs to help with the laundry. I am training them in as much as possible so they can be a help and a blessing when the baby is born.

9:30  A makes hot chocolate for himself and his sister, while I prepare breakfast for her and for me. We finish breakfast and clean up.

10:00  I ask A if he would like to put another load of wash in with me, since he seems to enjoy it. But he decides to do his Math instead.

(I rarely look anymore at the week by week lesson plan I designed this summer. The longer I homeschool, the more I relax. Oddly, though, my expectations increase.)

M sits quietly (at least today) on her bed doing some Math game that came in a BK Kids Meal. That'll probably be her Math for today. Since she is already 2/3rds of the way through her Kindergarten Math workbook, she's well ahead of the game and I don't worry. Since she is quick in Math and loves it, she will most likely start 1st grade Math after the baby is born in December and we start up again in February.

(Which is why I love homeschooling: you teach the child, not the grade - slowing down or speeding up as needed or desired, always making an attempt to foster a love for learning. Not cramming information down their throats so they can spit it back out for some test and a grade, only to forget it later.)

11:00 A is still working on his two pages of Abeka 2 Math. He's a great reader, but Math is torture for him; therefore, for both of us. Although he can do it, he just doesn't like it. Fortunately, I was recently encouraged to find out that Abeka is typically a good year/year and a half above grade level. So, doing their 2nd grade math puts him at least on grade level for 3rd grade Math.
I take advantage of the fact that today A is doing Math at his desk in his room, instead of at the dining room table, to hang up a peg/hook on his closet door I've been wanting to get to for over a year now.
Clothes dryer buzzes, so I head downstairs to check. Jeans are still damp, so give it 15 more minutes.
We finally finish Math. A is as happy as I am.

11:15  Finally get a shower (!) while kids go into living room and read library books on their own with no prompting from me. M sings and talks to herself and "reads" on the sofa. A is on the floor surrounded by books.
We did a lot of work this week on our History Timeline, so taking it easy today.

11:45  Begin folding laundry as kids read and play in living room. Later they will fold their own clothes.

12:00  Check email. A asks for a turn on the computer, so they both watch "Hawk Wasp vs. Tarantula" videos on YouTube (gross!) as I make lunch. Wonder to myself when the "Venemous Arachnid" stage *shudder* will pass so we can move on to other animals. I leave the unappetizing scene.

12:45  M's turn on the computer - she does a Sesame Street Reading Games CD as A looks on.
Since they are occupied, I decide to go outside and harvest our carrots, some tomatoes, and butternut squash from our garden. As I rinse the mud off of the vegetables, I think how I should have involved the kids - but they have loved and worked and learned in the garden for six months now, and Mom needs some time alone with just the wind. Ahhh....

2:00  To my surprise it is almost 2 when I come in. The kids finally eat the lunch I had left for them on the table. I grab some tea, some vitamins, and the rest of my lunch. M looks over a book I had read to her and reads aloud some of the words she knows. A peruses a book or two as well.

3:00  Finally leave for errands. Buy eggs, drop off books at library, and run into someone at the supermarket. Chat for a while, as kids work on their patience. :)

5:00  Arrive home - kids help unload car. A requests to mow lawn with the manual push mower Grandpa gave him. His new favorite passtime, and exercise I definately encourage my more sedate boy to do. He leaves strange, windy strips of cut grass all over the lawn.

6:00  I get dinner started and M convinces A to come in and watch a video. This is great down time for all.

7:00  I sit to rest my pregnant feet, write about our day, and work on the blanket I'm crocheting for the baby.
It was a good day. Always shooting for a balanced week in schooling.

*I don't know what happened after 7:00pm, since I didn't write that down. Tony must have come home and I probably passed out by 9.

When I read this I was struck by two things: 1) 12 hours without a break seems too much for a pregnant lady. 2) My life seemed so relaxed back then. It was... niiiiice. Ms. Baby has for-e-ver changed that. Our homeschooling days are not quite this warm and fuzzy (or quiet!) anymore. AT ALL.

But they are still good. And I'm still glad we do it.


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