Thursday, October 2, 2014

tweaking our homeschool (week seven)

Bubby and I were both getting a bit stressed out.  I had a list of things I felt we had to accomplish. He thought school was hard/boring/long/fill-in-the-blank-depending-on-the-mood-at-the-moment. There were tears every other day during phonics (even though he is a good reader). I was trying to make sure we covered everything.  I realized I was becoming a public school teacher, not a homeschooler. (Not a jab at public school teachers - I was one. Hence my slide back to to do lists and covering it all in a week's time and moving on.)

So last week I let up a little bit on some things. And this week we let up on some other things.  And guess what? I have a pretty happy kid and a less-stressed me.  We actually accomplished MORE in the last few days in terms of depth and enjoyment and mastery by doing a little less.

I will still post what we did (at some point) with weeks five and six, but I think for now we are moving away from a theme of the week, at least the way I was doing it. (Though next week I am sticking with my original plan to do a pumpkin/autumn themed week because apple week was so much fun!) We will keep reading the great literature I have mapped out for the year.We will keep doing math and handwriting and phonics and memory work at calendar time. But what else then? Books we decide we want to read - on topic or off - we will read.  Art projects I find, we will try. Or we will  just take more time to paint/draw/create.  And  of course, there should be lots of time to play and hopefully get outside more.

So what did this week look like with these changes?

On Monday we sat on the bed and read One Morning in Maine, a pretty long picture book by the beloved Robert McCloskey.  We have loved each book of his that we have read. We found Maine on the map (again), and as some postcards have started coming in, we have found them on the map, too. We did phonics and math and worked on the letter R. Then we all went to homeschool co-op for the afternoon because it was my day to volunteer. Bubby did art and music and games and P.E. and stories there. I remembered to read some fun poems at bedtime, something I always want to do, but don't often remember.

On Tuesday I took Bubby out for coffee/pastry while Bug was at preschool. I think the one-on-one time was exactly what he needed because his attitude has improved so much this week. This may become a regular date with him. Then we hit swim lessons, and met a friend and her baby for lunch. At home we then did phonics, handwriting (K) and math and read another McCloskey book, Time of Wonder. Bubby had a soccer game to finish up our evening.

Yesterday was BSF, so I know the boys are engaged in games and singing and learning the Bible while I'm in my own class. Then we met a friend at the park for lunch, and there was a lot of time playing on the playground and running around. Bubby had piano lessons and Bug had therapy, and then it was almost time for dinner and Awana. No school at home yesterday, but a lot of learning everywhere we went.

Today while Bug was at preschool it was rainy out, so we were able to do phonics and math and a painting project. We also had new memory work to begin for October, since we were gone yesterday. A new poem, hymn, and patriotic song in addition to Awana verses and New City Catechism questions make up much of that time.  Then Bubby picked out a few books to read and still had time to practice piano and build with Legos. The boys are  watching a LeapFrog DVD this afternoon, and we'll spend the rest of the afternoon playing and reading and relaxing before soccer practice this evening.

Tomorrow we have a time to play at the park scheduled with friends - the kids coming are younger than my boys, but it will still be a fun time for them. We'll end the week with some more math and phonics and books and projects of choice. I hope to do some fun things with the postcards tomorrow or this weekend, too.

There is a time and season for everything, and I realized what we were doing wasn't working for this phase of our life. Bubby is five. He has time to learn everything he wants to learn, but the time to learn to enjoy and be wonder-filled about life and learning is now. I don't want my to-do lists to get in the way of that.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you were able to make it enjoyable again! It sounds like a wonderful plan!


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