Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So, how's the homeschooling going?

I'm frequently asked that question and I'm sure that my long pause, tilted head and meandering answer don't inspire a lot of confidence.  "Quick! Get those children into a public school!  Their mother can't form a coherent sentence!"

I think it's difficult to answer the question because I'm having a hard time believing the truth.  And the truth is I think it's going pretty well.  Not my kid is smarter than your kid and what do you mean your child doesn't speak three languages well.  No, but a peaceful kind of well.

It's nice to have confirmation that this wasn't a hare-brained idea and that this really was the best choice for my family.  We're in the middle of week 7 and so far we've had weeks where we checked everything off our list and others that have left us way behind.  I'm starting to grasp the concept that this is normal and I'm making peace with it. (Which is a miracle since I usually have a huge problem coping with the guilt of an unfinished list.)

PB has taken over the science experiments which is awesome.  That subject was stressing me out because I just hate doing the hands on stuff.  Add to that my lack of passion for science and Doc doesn't stand a chance if that remains my responsibility.  I am still doing the science read alouds which helps me stay on top of what he's learning.

Doc Brown's reading continues to improve.  We do our daily "Word Town" work and my mom works with him once a week for a much more in depth reading lesson.  I'm so thankful for my mom.  She's a retired english teacher and my greatest homeschool sounding board.  How many kindergartners get 1 1/2 (uninterrupted) hours of private reading instruction every week?  Thanks to my mom, my son does.

Math has been a learning experience for me.  Not so much for Doc Brown yet.  We've been in a foundation laying mode this whole time, but next week he finally gets to add.  He is SO excited.  I started the year using Singpore Math which is supposed to be great at teaching mathematical thinking, but it isn't very strong in arithmetic.  We've added Horizons Math to the mix and seem to have a better balance using both curriculums.

The best part of our day is our read aloud time.  That's when we get cozy on the couch and I do our daily poetry and literature reading.  Sonlight has us reading poetry from "The Real Mother Goose" and "The Llama Who Had No Pajamas".  Can I just say that old "Mother Goose" wrote some real messed up stuff?  Those old nursery rhymes take on a whole new meaning when you're an adult.  Thankfully the kids are just listening for the language at this point.

So far we've read "The Boxcar Children", "A Single Grain of Rice", "The Story About Ping" and now we're in the middle of "The Apple and the Arrow".  Sometimes when I'm reading these stories I think that there is no way Doc Brown is following the story, but then he jumps in with a question that tells me he's keeping up.  Thankfully, Sonlight has a better grasp of what my son can handle than I do.  

The two biggest challenges I'm facing are more management in nature.  The big one is making sure Obi Wan-da feels included, but not pressured to participate.  That's been a difficult balance to find.  The second is that my house is out of control.  School has been the priority so I constantly feel like I'm 12 projects behind around the house.  This is supposedly normal, but it's the biggest pressure weighing on me right now.  I'm hoping to either make peace with it or figure out a better way to manage my time.  Or even better, a little bit of both.

Anyway, that's the long answer to "How's the homeschooling going?"  Is there a short one?  Fine.  It's going fine.


chewhi said...

love. this.

I think this should be in a homeschooling magazine somewhere for LOTS of homeschool moms to read!!

Luke said...

It sounds like things are going better than fine to me [smile]. It sounds like things are going well. And that's great! But your balanced perspective is fantastic, and very encouraging for all of us non-super human folks.

And, yes, it always amazes me when people tell me how "wholesome" the "good old days" of children's entertainment use to be. What entertainment would that be? Most of that stuff is really, really twisted. [shakes head]


Melissa said...

Great post!! You're doing great!! We use Sonlight too - love it, love it, love it! The house? Well, you just do what you can do - and the bigger the children get, you get them to do more and more of it.

aj godwin said...

i think that it is absolutley great that he gets that much time on an in depth study of reading. if you can read, you can do anything. that's probably the best thing we could do for the education system in this country is to promote great readers! It sounds like getting your math curriculum as a combo of different approaches will work really nicely. and if you ever wnat ideas for science experiments, i could throw some your way. :o) Praying for your family!!

Smith Schoolhouse said...

SO true! Always projects behind. That probably doesn't give you alot of hope since I am a few homeschooling years ahead but it really is always a juggling act! The good thing is that you accept it early on and then you won't feel like a failure, just a clown at the circus. Happy Homeschooling!

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