Whenever I sit to write a blog post nowadays, I inevitably notice the date of my last entry and frown at how much time has passed between posts.
I’ve lately accepted that I have shelved my online Bible studies, hair updates and every other project I have had for this and other blogs.
Yet, I want to keep writing just as the opportunity arise…or am too tired to fall asleep like tonight.
On my last entry, I shared that our school year was beginning. Now I sit at the close of our first quarter, able to look back and see what has been going on over here in the trenches of homeschooling.
So, How is Our Homeschool Going?
All in all, it has been good. We have had many days when school happened relatively as planned. The boys have been hard at work learning and doing it my way, their way, in new ways we are discovering together, in very untraditional ways (picture Ty reading upside down on the couch), etc.
Here’s what we have been doing regularly
We Read a Lot…Every Day
We read every day. From Bible stories to history, literature, and self-picked off the shelves fantasy reading to cereal boxes. We read for a minimum of an hour every day across subjects.
It helps that our textbooks offer engaging reading opportunities. We read a chapter in history every week rain or shine. The boys both enjoy the stories. We began using The Story of the World, Volume One for history last year and are moving along a chapter at a time. I love the breadth of the information covered week after week.
We also read several books every week. Ty is now reading Homer Price and much of the Geronimo Stilton series all at once. T has a fascination with things that move and the outer space right now so we go from construction site books to measuring the size of Venus and Mars.
Never Too Much Craft
T loves to paint. He would paint all-day every day if he could. Because of this we spend a lot of time wearing smocks and covered in paint, as much as we can at least. Since he and I are working on a semi-formal preschool curriculum, we fit a lot of craft projects in our routine. We try to cover one letter a week, but he seems to have his favorites and they’re not necessarily in the order of the alphabet.
We’ve committed to painting for Math. Every week he creates a new project that we keep. We’re on #5 this week.
Does he not simply look adorable showing his projects off?
Daily Math Practice
We commit to having school 4-5 days a week. Math is one of Ty’s favorite subjects. No matter how hectic the day is we commit to daily math practice. We use Singapore Math and for the most part, it has proven to be a good curriculum for us. We reinforce with online practice or additional hands-on work whenever we can.
One of the Greatest Aspects of Homeschooling the Boys…
for us has been watching them become best friends as they grow. I love that although they are many years apart, they’re very close. They argue with each other on a daily basis, but they also care deeply for each other. There’s a strong bond between these two and I know that spending their days together has facilitated their friendship.
I am Growing Right along with Them
I truly am. This past weekend I gave our cricket zoo a makeover. Really, I was outside at 11PM digging dirt to add to their zoo. Why? Because I caught them mating and soon thereafter the female deposited some eggs in their egg carton. Of course this prompted me to research on dear google…and what do you know? Crickets love to lay their fertilized eggs in damp soil. What do I do? Go outside and collect dirt with a measuring spoon of course.
See? Growth! A month ago I would have not even wanted to be in the same room as chirping crickets. Nothing against crickets. I simply am one of those gals who loves nature from afar and consumes it sparingly. However since we have been studying insects, I took my non-insect-loving-self to the pet store and bought 3 crickets to study. There is no particular reason I chose 3. I figured if one died, we’d still have a couple to study. Horrible I know. But these crickets have since grown on me.
I won’t get started on the bats. Suffice it to say that a 5-paragraph essay has been written by the third grader on bats. I am not complaining. As long as he is willing to put the work in, I will encourage his exploration of nature (I draw the line at lizards and snakes…not happening).
What’s the Not So Good Part
Truth is my days are long. I have yet to figure out how to teach during the day, keep the house semi-organized, get dinner on the table, dishes washed in the evening, manage on-time baths and regular bedtimes…even with daddy helping on nights he’s home early.
Usually at the end of the day one of those things has barely gotten done. Usually it’s the house that gives. I would do well to accept that all the decorating pillows might not be stacked neatly every evening. In fact I’ve thought about hiding the pillows altogether. No pillows, no mess! Right?
No, really. I am working on keeping the rest of our lives as organized as possible this next quarter. Hopefully I will find a system that works well without being too much work or requiring for us to dump everything we own and buy new “organization-efficient” decor.
Alas, I have extended this post beyond anything I had in mind. Until next time…