Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Real First Day of Homeschooling Was Yesterday

So yesterday ended up being our first official day of homeschooling. I just bit the bullet and decided to start after Labor Day, even though I could have remained very busy unpacking and cleaning the house and other catch-up things since we got back home from our trip.

I did try to start homeschooling about two weeks ago but that one day was terrible and so I gave up and decided to put it off until after Labor Day, when we’d then be finished with two trips.

The day went wonderfully which made me so happy! My boys cooperated and did not protest about doing their lessons. Well my husband and I did give them a little lecture to remind them that it is our legal requirement to homeschool them if they are not going to school, we can’t just let them play at home and do no ‘school work’. There was a reminder as well about obeying parents, speaking respectfully, etc. We usually don’t lecture our kids but I felt that perhaps it was a good idea to start off the ‘school year’ that way. The kids were actually were happy about doing their work. As usual they absolutely love doing math (with Math-U-See curriculum). My younger son begged for more and more so he did more work than I had intended. They did ask for long breaks like 20 minute breaks after every 10 minutes of work but I shot that down after each request, and that was the end of that (they did get shorter breaks at more reasonable intervals).

It felt great to me, that things went so smoothly.

To boot I felt great health-wise and also was in a really happy mood (hooray).

What we did yesterday was this:

Independent Reading Practice

A Schedule Change
This year I am going to change things for the first time. I am not going to continue doing all subjects five days a week in short lesson times. The short lesson times are a la Charlotte Mason. I agree with the theory but it is not working for my children for history and science as they beg to do it for 60, 90 or 120 minutes (or more) in one sitting.

So I’ve decided to do the three R’s three days per week. One other day will be a science-only day and the other day will be a history-only day with very long lesson times such as a two hour minimum if not three hours long.

Additionally we did end up having quite a number of paid classes and activities with other homeschoolers, so it looks like we’ll have an appointment every single day of the week. Since some of our teaching content is basically being outsourced I don’t have to work as hard in those subject areas to teach them at home. Some of these activities also are for socialization and play time. I want to make sure that enough time is given each week for my boys to spend time with their most favorite friends as well as allowing for large group play (10-25 kids together at once) to get that other/different kind of socialization in a free play setting (that will be accomplished at the weekly playground day for homeschoolers).

One thing I need to learn to do is to not turn the computer on in the morning so I don’t get sidetracked by checking email, Paperbackswap, or blogging. I am going to try and leave the PC off until after our lessons are done. Perhaps I can use the PC at night while the kids play with my husband or something.

I am very excited about starting homeschooling this year and am very happy to have my boys home and not going to school, especially in light of all the negativity in the media lately and what my teacher-relatives tell me about the dumbed down content. I feel honored to be able to be home with my boys.

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1 comment:

Andrew said...

Leaving the computer off seems like a good tip. I can see how it would be easy to get sidetracked.

To Love, Honor and Dismay