Hello there Friends!
Well, we have been in FULL homeschooling mode for over a month now and things are going well. I mean, I haven't cried yet or anything so I must be doing something right.....or ....maybe I'm not. What I mean is that I haven't hid from my kids yet and oh, I hear sometimes you even talk to yourself and rock in the corner... I haven't done that either....yet. I know that hard days will come but right now we are enjoying that our lives are sloooowing down. We are learning A LOT (by "we" I mean both the kids and me!) by doing Classical Conversations. The curriculum is SO rich and rigorous! Plus, we meet every Wednesday for school and so I could not pass up instant community...because this mama needs to speak to grown-ups, too.
When my friends found out that I would be homeschooling and how scared/nervous I was taking on this huge responsibility, they always reassured me that I would be fine since I was a teacher. BUT for me, I had always heard that teachers have the hardest time adjusting because they want to run their homeschool day like a classroom. Wait. WHAT??!! No bells to let me know when I could use the restroom or get a snack?? What was I to do???
I was ready to throw out (almost) everything I've learned from my 14 yrs. in the classroom because I heard that my mind needed to be "unschooled"...which I tried a little. BUT I just couldn't get around not being on a schedule. That's the way I feel most productive. So what I've found through trial and error (and again, I've only been doing this for a little over a month folks, so I still have MUCH to learn!) is that being in the classroom has helped me tremendously in homeschooling my children. This works for me and my personality. I have very close friends who homeschool and are more free spirited. That works for THEM and not me. I had to realize that.
So these are just a few things that I've learned so far:
- I have more patience with my kids now that I am not working.
- I NEED a schedule. I use the idea from Managers of Their Homes where I schedule our school day in 30 min blocks. This has SAVED me because I can get SO much done! I felt that I couldn't do this since it was too "classroom" like but really, I just had to find my rhythm. Of course, we will be adjusting our schedule as needed, but this is our day for now.
- I'm using my classroom experience to organize my "classroom" at home, for time and behavior management, for different teaching strategies, writing anchor charts, enriching the learning environment, using Thinking Maps and Depth and Complexity, and how to just manage my students. :) I was SO relieved to see that there were so many crossovers! I don't know why I thought that I couldn't use my past experience to help me in this journey.
- Like I said, we can get SO much done! We start school at 9am and are pretty much done with the core subjects by lunch. It's weird.
- I'm actually enjoying my kids. Did I mention that I have more patience now?
Life is beautiful for us right now since we are able to enjoy things like this....
The principal (aka Daddy) teaches Bible on Friday mornings while teacher (aka me) takes a coffee break. :)
My students can come to school naked, just as long as they show up. :)
We have time to do special things like these PE days. My friend is the cross country coach at APU and teaches a running class. She is allowing our boys to run with her college class.
And my coach friend...yea, her hubby is the soccer coach for the college so he is privately training our boys and allowing them to come to the beginning of the team practice to help out. Who else gets to train with a college soccer team??!!! I sure do have AMAZING friends!!!
A lot of places offer field trips that are FREE or at a discounted price for homeschoolers! I get to plan the field trips.... and on my field trips, we get to go on any rides we choose! :)
I know that my days will not always be great and times will get tough, but today I am celebrating ONE month of NO tears from students and teacher!! :)
Have a great day!