Surprised by Homeschooling
I know by now there’s really no surprise in being surprised by motherhood, by life, by the evolution of character over time, and by homeschooling. But I still get surprised when it comes to assessing where we are and what needs to be tweaked every few months. My children are both very bright, inquisitive, problem solvers. I now expect to tweak things mid-year, but it’s never the way I think it will happen when I select curriculum and materials over the summer. How about you?
What’s Not Working
- Mr. T not being in a co-op class wasn’t flying. I can’t handle being in a co-op right now but through a friend we found a homeschool class that is on a farm once a week. It is such a blessing! Mr. T get’s 2.5 hours with friends, time outside, learning from Mrs. Holly about all kinds of animals, and I get 2.5 hours of time at the local Starbucks to write, to color, to read, to listen to quiet, etc.
- Mr. F not having several structured activities the 3 days a week he’s home. He wants to be like his big brother so we have acquired a Star Wars preschool numbers workbook, some kinetic sand, and I’ll be pulling out a lot of our Montessori materials for him this year as well. He wants to participate rather than free play so that’s what we will do.
- My thyroid. I’ve talked about dealing with hypothyroidism before. Mine was being successfully managed with diet, exercise, and natural supplements until our car accident in June. I ended up with severe whiplash from being rear-ended and it triggered a thyroid relapse. I just started seeing a new doctor this month because the exhaustion and all the other symptoms were not responding to anything I could do. It’s been a very hard 4 months and it got so bad that it was effecting the entire family. Please take time for yourself and take care of yourself. When mama is down the whole family suffers! I pray that God will heal my thyroid divinely or through this new doctor because I just want to feel like me again.
- The amount of stuff in our home. I highly recommend The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m still working through our house but I’ve already donated 8 boxes and 3 kitchen bags of things that were just mine. For the first time in my life, I like folding clothes to put away. It really is magic!
What is Working
- Reading aloud. It’s been a favorite activity forever. It’s a special time we look forward to and cuddle and enjoy many different stories and lots of fact-filled books.
- Preschool 2 half days for Mr. F. That precocious little red head has boundless energy and he loves the classroom environment. His teacher has also been a great help in the potty training battle.
- Sensory tools throughout our home.
- The general curriculum we picked when we ditched Classical Conversations. Just a few tweaks.
- Interest led learning.
- Nature walks and a nature shelf. We have so many neat treasures now!
- We adore our Redbird Math curriculum. Mr. T is thriving with it.
- We have added many Usborne books to our library because I can’t seem to stop finding books I know the boys will love. (I might have been reading some of the young adult fiction, too.)
- And incredible Microscope we received for Christmas. Our Complete Book of the Microscope book is a delight, too!
- A membership to the High Museum in Atlanta. Oh my stars! We already visited the Habsburg exhibit and the boys were so impressed with the armor and the set up. I’m not one to shy away from classical art and the boys have both been exposed to a wide variety. Though there are moments when we are seeing let’s say a 1500’s era painting of Dianna in the woods, when Mr. T might say very loudly that “the painter forgot her clothes, mommy.” Yes, he did.
- Magformers. These magnetic shapes create 3D creations that can be created flat and pulled up, or just built. They are so cool! Hours have been spent with the set that arrived at Christmas and I foresee us buying more. They are perfect for STEM activities at home.
- We are having 2 field trip days a month scheduled rather than taking them whenever we randomly decide. We all do better with a little structure.
- Lots more hands on science. Mr. T loved the owl pellet kit we dissected and wants to do more like that. He also got a Big Bag of Science Experiments kit we will be using weekly.
- A loose but firm schedule/routine. I’m a free spirit and a terrible planner. So I’ve got many alarms and reminders set and I’m utilizing my Homeschool Planet Online Planner. We all do so much better when we have a solid knowledge of what’s supposed to happen on what days.
@magformers are Mr. F's new favorite building blocks. He spends hours creating and playing. This is a garage for the pull-and-go car he loves and he did it all by himself. Seeing the interests and gifts of my children develop and grow is one of my favorite things about #homeschool. What's one of yours, friend? These crazy weeks after long breaks can make up forget the everyday moments we love. Try and focus on those this morning. At least till you get your coffee ?. #momlife #everydaygraces #homeschoollookslikethis #☕️
Now tell me about your homeschool mid-year assessment! What are you keeping, losing, and adding?
Check out all the great posts at iHomeschool Network’s What’s Working & What’s Not link up!