School Year Thanksgiving

I'm so thankful that our school year is going well. It's been a while since we have not had a school year that involved moving, major surgery, childbirth, pregnancy,  or busy toddlers. Some of those years involved at least three of the above!

In recording this, I hope it's not a bragging post. I am just thankful for a season of success and want be able to one day look back at this ebenezer of sorts.

Homeschooling is interesting because every single person home schools differently. The flip side is that temptation to compare and wonder if you are really doing it right. One friend reads aloud and her children are so well-versed in history that I'm blown away. Another friend does great projects. This other friend has a knock-out fantastic school room and lesson plans. I have no idea what my distinctive is. I just do it. One friend asked if I lesson plan and I laughed because I just open the books and we do the next thing.

Martha Stewart approves of this. I'm sure. It's so styled.
Notice the cord, the pipe, the curtain rod and grabber. They are not used for school.

This is what our "school" looks like this year. Over the years we've had an armoire and a school/play room and a fantastic cabinet. This year it's this bookshelf. I quaked a bit when I saw the beautiful school rooms my Facebook friends have, but that was my sinful comparison at work. Be encouraged that "school" physically looks different for everyone.

My casual hand-writing is so poor,
that I feel like a hypocrite when I correct my children.

I sat down tonight and mapped out the rest of the 2015 calendar to see where we would land progress-wise. It was really encouraging to see that in all of our subjects we would start 2016 right on track or ahead of the game.

Our days are varied, but school falls into these time segments/categories:

Read Aloud/Devotional: I just started making this a priority and am trying to faithfully do this during breakfast. I read an attribute of God and we work on a verse. We read a simple Bible story and pray, then I read aloud--right now it is Winnie the Pooh

Independent Work/Owen's School Time: Johnny and Aubrey do most of their math, language arts and Latin independently. We review Latin together. I watch their math videos with them and answer questions and check their work, but this year, for the first time, they can do this part with little direct supervision. This has been fantastic for travel and for days when we can only get a little bit of work done, or I'm buried in laundry. The best benefit is that Owen gets a solid one-on-one time with me to do phonics and math.

Direct Teaching: I teach science, grammar and history. Johnny and Aubrey are doing the same curriculum, which is a huge help and time saver. Some of Johnny's assignments are harder, but mostly they do the same things. We spend a lot of time on these three subjects.

30 minutes of reading. We just really started this. I naturally loved reading as a kid and never needed to be told to read. Tuan didn't enjoy reading until college and then he became a voracious reader. (Since he was valedictorian and star student, I took that as an encouragement that our kids would be okay if they weren't big readers, yet). Still, I felt like there needed to be some more direction and instituted 30 minutes of reading most days and I get to choose the book. Wonder of wonders, Johnny and Aubrey have taken off. I'm thankful, thankful.

Some days we do school in this order and other days we switch it up. I am thankful that when the weather is nice we can play outside all morning and start school after lunch. Sometimes, the direct teaching happens after dinner if Tuan is working late. I can also take some time to tackle laundry or housework while the big kids do their independent work.

This is the best photo on the whole internet.  That spray bottle!
Tomorrow, being a Monday, I take a little while to get the house caught up from Sunday, so Johnny and Aubrey have a to-do and school list for when they wake up.

Rosie often joins us at the table. She has a basket of math manipulatives to play with and these three Hello Kitty activity books that she refers to as "my school". Rosie takes her school very seriously.

That's the state of our school right now. I'd like to add in a spelling and writing program after Christmas and would love some suggestions. Johnny is wrapping up his language arts book (finally!).

Our year of grammar has put me in a panic about my writing. Now I am feeling stilted and a bit fearful of making a big mistake that will prompt someone to label me an unfit homeschooling mom. Not to mention the pressure to end this whole post well, with excellent writing and a snappy closing statement.

Pressure-rebellion. Over and out.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Butler Blaine said...

Enjoyed reading your post, Paula! I hope to see more soon!