As a homeschooling mom in our third official year of school, I have learned a few things, but I'll be the first to admit that I have a long way to go. For one thing, it is a continuous learning process, as well as trial and error. What works for us, what doesn't. What works for one family may or may not work for us.
Each year has brought along new and different challenges, and we have made adjustments to meet those challenges. The one thing that I have learned (although still finding it hard to accept) is that the school year will not progress the exact way that I have it mapped out in my little brain. Last year, we decided to have a baby in April. Well, we didn't specifically decide to have a baby in April, God decided for us. (I would have chosen to have a baby about a year before, but that's another story, and just goes to show that I'm not in charge around here!). We did, however, decide to start major construction on our home when the aforementioned baby was 1 week old. Yes, you read that correctly. I come home from the hospital after having my 4th c-section, taking care of 4 children, finishing up school with my first grader, nursing a baby around the clock, and 4 days later, contractors start digging a basement and foundation and then framing up a new addition on the house, beginning at 6am every morning.
I thought, in my feeble little brain, that things would go smoother this year. I came up with a general plan with goals lined up for the year and then some specific plans for the beginning weeks of school. We started the school year at my in-laws, so because of limited space, I pretty much stuck to the basic supplies we would need. One of my primary goals was to be very intentional in having activities and one-on-one time with my 3 year old, in addition to my kindergartner and 2nd grader. Things went according to "the plan" for approximately 0.2 seconds....Starting the school year at my in-laws' house and spending part of every school day coordinating with different sub-contractors or going into town to pick out tile, appliances, flooring, plumbing fixtures, lights, etc (with all 4 littles in tow most days), we are doing good to get by with the absolute minimum. And because my 3 year old and Kindergartner don't have an attendance requirement, unfortunately, my time with them often gets pushed to the side. Now, while driving into town to pick up lights and select paint colors, instead of singing ABCs or counting to 20 with my little ones, I am on the phone with the contractor or tile guy or my husband, discussing the newest development with the house. When we are at home during the day, I am making several trips down to our house to check progress, pass along info to contractors, answer questions, write checks..... The kids are doing schoolwork, but they have also discovered....TV. They had rarely been exposed to shows such as Dora (which I greatly dislike) or even Andy Griffith. Now, my 6 year old prides himself in knowing how to operate the remote control to find the "kid shows." He's obviously learning something, right? Right? Hello.....
I keep telling myself that once we get settled back in our own home I will be super organized and things will go "according to plan." Ok, you can stop laughing now. Really, stop laughing. I have a plan. Really, I do. It is all worked out in my head and my children will love it, and school will be the easiest part of the day and we'll finish by noon everyday and there will be no complaints. Really. Are you convinced yet? Am I convinced yet?
And, once we do get more established in a routine, hopefully in just a few weeks, I'll post more, with more details regarding curriculum, field trips, and typical days around the house. Until then, cleaning out horse stalls, watching Sesame Street, playing in leftover construction sand piles, observing tile and rock-laying procedures, and a little bit of reading, writing and 'rithmetic will have to do.