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Saturday, October 20, 2012

The End of 1st Quarter Crisis?

9 weeks into the “school” year and I’m rearranging, switching, and questioning how we are doing things.

What I’m running up against:  my very individual kids.

This is not a complaint, or a rant, or even a whine. 

After all, it was recognizing their individuality that led us to educating them at home.  I embrace that.

But what it means is that often (oh, so very often) what worked for one kid in the past, very definitely doesn’t work for the current kid who’s reached that level---not always in terms of a program itself, but pacing, presentation, and so on.

And that teaching the 2nd grader with the 3rd grader doesn’t really work sometimes.  They may be only a grade apart, but they are also 20 months apart, and emotionally they are very different people (we have always done things like math, spelling, and reading separately). 

It also means that my visions of cozy, snuggled up learning on the couch simply don’t happen. 

I like that vision.  I really want that vision to be a reality.  We do get some of those moments with our Sonlight read alouds, but sometimes they are fleeting.

It seems like I’ve always got my oldest kid off in a corner somewhere doing his own thing while I work with the middles, intermittently pausing to chase around the youngest to get the non-washable dry-erase marker out of her hand.


Emma’s self-portrait---pretty good for 3, don’t ya think?

We’ve gotten into a grind. 

And I don’t mean the “Emma colors her body with non-washable dry-erase markers every day grind.”  Although she did do it 2x this week.

I swear that she has a dry-erase marker stash.

We need some refreshment.  Some change.

The timing is perfect, because on Monday we start a switch week! 

And this is really why we have switch week.  Sometimes we need a break from the regular routine without a full-blow vacation.

I need to rethink some of the things we are doing.  Not necessarily dumping and changing curricula, but more like changing how we are using things and switching out or alternating with some other things we already have. 

And relying less on curricula at all, and more on just sharing good books and exploring the world.

The truth is, I have more books in my house than I dare to admit.  In fact, I don’t know how many books I have or what I have (I gleefully discovered The Sign of the Beaver on one of our shelves, which just happened to be up next for Mary’s book club).

And I want the kids to experience more things.  More on that in another post.

For switch week, we will be putting aside most of our regularly scheduled program and changing things up, which gives me the opportunity to try some things and take the whole week to think about where I want to go from here.

No stress.  No worries.  Right?

Except we get to meet with our homeschool monitor in a couple of days and talk about what materials we’re using this year and share portfolios.

Ha ha.  I’m tempted to just say “real books and real experience” for every subject.  What do you think?

Now that you’ve lived with your chosen curricula for a few weeks, what changes are you making?

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