Going to an inspirational mother’s conference over the weekend pretty much guarantees that you are going to have a tough week, right? What scientific principle is that anyway? I think it should have a name. So you think you can handle this motherhood thing, eh? Some sort of gravity. What goes up, must come down.
Anyhow, we had one of those weeks. One where you get your gym clothes out at 8:00am, and at 8:00pm get back to your bedroom and remember that you had some plans for the day. To say things didn’t go according to plan would be an understatement. Ping-Pong homeschooling is a good description. Amazingly, we had a good week and though there were struggles, we pushed through with prayer and a smile.
Homeschooling with Dad at Home
My husband has been home a lot lately. Business is slow. I like this and I don’t like this. I like how we have hot lunches and all sit down together. I like how he takes my little, rambunctious ones to the park most afternoons to wear them out. But I am his helper and he is the epitome of an entrepreneur so this means more interruptions and this wafer thin mama gets spread just a bit thinner than usual.
Homeschooling the Littles
Wow! Having two boys as the youngest in our family of ten makes life …interesting. Whose idea was it to buy the swords to play with? The plastic swords that looked so cute at the store have now been put up until they are older, much older. Last week, we dealt well with the whining and complaining. Now we have arrived at bickering and quarreling. Still working on this. Food helps – fun snacks that distract and delight. Play Doh seems to be neutral territory so we did a lot of that this week. My slightly ADD and dyslexic 5-year old can’t get enough of school. I hope this lasts. He is as eager a learner as I have ever had, delighting in his lessons and his triumphs over page after page of (Math U See) math. We are absolutely in love with All About Reading and all of the phonemic awareness games. He is doing so well. I get really excited and then I see the typical early signs of dyslexia in him and remember that we have reviewed his letter sounds daily for months and still some don’t stick. I remain hopeful now though because I have done this before and I know it can be done – a little bit every day, day after day.
Homeschooling the Middles
Is it the grey weather or age or…? My normally agreeable little girls have been quarreling as well. Reminds me that we have been lax in our daily devotions. Time to get back to some focused character training. They want to do the right thing but they need to know what that is, so next week we will re-prioritize, again. The two girls, though close in age (17 months apart), are very different in disposition. One is an outdoors, get-dirty-and-don’t-care kind of girl and at the other end of the girly spectrum is my other daughter who likes scented lotions, lip gloss and jewelry and dresses in tights and a dress every day. Hmmmm….The outdoorsy one discovered some birdseed in our hall closet and set about to feed the entire neighborhood full of birds. She has an elaborate set up with seed scattered in strategic places. She found some binoculars and has been watching out for her favorites every day. I rustled up a nature journaling kit that I had bought for ‘some other day’ and she has been drawing up a storm. I’m thinking it is time to break out Tricia at Hodgepodge’s chalk pastel tutorials and get really creative with her.
Homeschooling the High Schoolers
This is our second set of high schoolers, our oldest two kids having graduated one and two years ago. I am amazed at how much more I know, how much more creative I am, and how much less I stress about their education. Still, with dyslexia, we are constantly tweaking and thinking about how best to get that info in. I recently switched from mastery-only learning to a new philosophy. I used to demand mastery before moving on to the next chapter. “A’s all the way” was my motto. That is good for spelling and math but I look at the highschool years as the years that we are preparing them for real life. This week, I actually taught my kids how to highlight key words in their science vocabulary words so that they could master the test without actually understanding every term. Curious your thoughts on this. My priorities for them are understanding the flow of history including the implication of worldview and philosophy on history, solid math skills and solid writing with a broad base of good literature. We just don’t have the time or, frankly, the skill to master science as well. So I am teaching my high schoolers how to learn but also how to get by in school and pass the test. I hope I don’t regret this but I am more and more convicted that peace in the home and strong relationships among family members (aka mom’s sanity) are more important than academics. So, if you have been homeschooling a while, I am curious your thoughts on this.
How was your week?
Linking up with the Friday Faves:
- Collage Friday Mary at Home Grown Learners
- Homeschool Mother’s Journal at iHomeschool Network
- Weekly Wrap-Up with Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
- No Fear Homeschool High School at The Daisy Head