And how are things going after our 3rd day of the new year?
Yeah, I know, I thought I was going to start last Monday, too. But mentally I just wasn’t ready. So, we goofed off some, I got some work done (lots of reviews written) and I continued to prepare materials for our real start for the new year. On Monday, I was as ready as I’d ever be, and we dug in.
I’ve found from experience that it’s best not to go from 0 to 60 all at once, so this first week we’ve been doing what I would call “1/2 days”, although, honestly, there’s been plenty of meat. We’ve started religion, Bible, copywork, spelling, math, science, and Spanish. Next week we’ll add in history, literature, and possibly more. I hope by the end of week 3 to have our full load in place, although it’s possible I’ll decide by then that it’s “overload.”
On Monday, I had each of the kids fill out a little questionnaire to see what their current likes and dislikes are and what they hope to learn this year. What their personal goals are is a topic we revisit every year. It’s one way we help them to take ownership of their learning.
What the kids had to say:
David (age 13, 8th grade)
What are you looking forward to learning this year? Nuclear Physics, aerodynamics, and astrophysics
What is your favorite subject? physics, reading, and drawing
What is the one thing you would change about your education if you could? MORE Science!
Mary (age 9-1/2, 4th grade)
What are you looking forward to learning this year? Little Flowers Girls Club
What is your favorite subject? reading
What is the one thing you would change about your education if you could? No copywork
Peter (1 month shy of 8-years-old, 3rd grade)
What are you looking forward to learning this year? about dragons and volcanoes
What is your favorite subject? drawing and movies and Phineas and Ferb
What is the one thing you would change about your education if you could? NO math
Hmmm, well obviously I can’t dump Peter’s math and I don’t really want to dump copywork for Mary. Maybe we can come up with a creative solution?
On Tuesday we started our morning with a special treat that I made up on the fly…
Our Together Time is Probably the Best Time of Our Day…
It helps to center us when we start out praying and working together. We are doing all of our “together” activities first thing and that’s been successful so far. I have a feeling this is going to evolve some, but I plan to talk about it more when we are further in.
I’m still working on the logistics!
Every year is different! This year I’ve got a 13-year-old, a 9-year-old, a 7-year-old, and a 4-year-old.
I don’t care what the homeschool books say---it may be true that anyone can educate their kids, but it is also true that educating all your kids at the same and meeting them where they need to be met is hard work.
It requires a good bit of organization and drive. It’s never as simple as handing a kid a book or a list of assignments (although there definitely are some things my kids can do on their own). Sometimes it even means becoming a morning person when you are decidedly not a morning person.
On Monday, we started at 8 am, because I knew we had to be done by noon so we could eat lunch and be somewhere at 12:45. And it worked. We actually finished a little before noon, in spite of it being the first day and all.
Yesterday, we got off to a late start for various reasons and didn’t begin until 10-ish. We finished close to 3 and that was only a half-day’s work!
This morning we started a little after 8 and were finished at 11. I think it’s pretty obvious that an earlier schedule is going to work better for us.
Sigh. I really, really am not a morning person. Really am not. I’ve tried to be one for more than 20 years and it’s just not happening. Oh, well, I maybe I can sleep in after they all graduate?
Managing this that and everything seems a bit intense this year.
No doubt part of that is due to the fact that I’m very aware that my oldest child only has one more year before high school---it seems like such a pivotal time!
I haven’t quite figured out how to manage all the one-on-one stuff vs. independent stuff and where mama is and with whom…since I’m not far enough in to have a firm idea of how long each of the various lessons will take, I’m kinda rolling with the punches and that’s making me tired.
At the moment I’m getting by with just having what needs to happen everyday written out into a grid with checkboxes (in no particular order). Each of the kids has a corresponding assignment sheet. Not ideal, because I need to hand write out everything (my hand ached after writing out the first sheet).
But, that process was actually helpful, because it gave me insights into how I can streamline it to make both reading it and recording it easier. I’m making mental notes of what activity arrangement complement each other.
I’m going to be creating brand new planning sheets based on all those insights and that will hopefully help me to better visualize how to line things up so I can organize my time better.
As we add more of our plans into the mix, the overall picture of how each day is going to look will become clearer.
Right now, things are looking good! It’s going to be a great year! We just need to make some adjustments in managing it all.
At the end of this week, I’ll be taking a look at how some of our particular choices this year are working out.
Have you started a “new year”? Is it taking you some time to get into a the groove?