Thursday, September 5, 2013
These First Few Days
These first few days of homeschooling have been good. And I mean "good," not perfect, lest you get the idea that everything has been smiles and rainbows and joyful learning. There has been some of that, of course, and there has also been some pouting and arguing. Typical stuff, I'd say, but I'm still calling it good. This year I've got 5th, 3rd and 1st/2nd graders, and all are doing just great.
We slip in slowly this time of year - still taking plenty of time for "recess" outside. It seems such a waste to ignore these beautiful 80 degree days (and without a drop of humidity!) on being inside. This means that our school day ends up being longer - we're not finishing up until nearly 3 - but it really helps with the kids being able to focus. Taking a 20 minute swing break while Mama gets the baby down for a nap makes a big difference in the wiggle factor afterward, when I'm trying to get them to pay attention to History.
I'm starting the day with bible and following up with circle time for the little kids while the older kids finish up chores. Just a few books, a few songs, math manipulatives and some very basic science (we talked about eggs yesterday). All in all, about 30 minutes. Just that little bit of attention and fun first thing is really helping with them being patient while I work with the other kids. Of course there still are interruptions, and tears, and sometimes it is so loud in here I wonder how anyone can think at all. But it works.
One of my biggest goals for this fall was to get a chore chart up (and actually followed). I know it isn't really school-related, but it made sense to start on that when we started our lessons. We've only been at it a few days, but jobs are getting done with minimal grumbling from them or nagging from me. The kids are learning new skills, and I can relax just a little bit knowing that, even if the job isn't adult-quality, important things are getting done. I'm delegating a few things here and there, figuring out our balance of kid and adult responsibility.
These first few days of school haven't been perfect, but they have been good - grace filled. Once again, I'm so grateful that this seems to be working - for us, for now. Another year around this table. Oh yes, it's good.
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