Week Three

So we're now about three weeks into this homeschooling thing, and for the most part, I think it's going pretty well. It's taken me about this long to secure workbooks, study guides, and other various forms of curriculum. And we have alot of library books strewn about the house. A.Lot. We go to the library so much I find myself mindlessly driving there some days without even realizing it. Where was I headed, again?

But we're finally organizing some sort of routine.


Most days.

I find myself overwhelmed some days. Some days they work so slowly thru the material (and spend quite a bit of time giggling and playing with the dog and cats) I wonder if we'll ever finish even one subject. And the little one wastes spends an inordinate amount of time sharpening her pencils. But, then some days they surprise me; after hours of studying and working thru different subjects, I'm exhausted and telling them the bell rang and it's time to stop, play and be merry (read: drink wine play on facebook cook dinner)...and they want to keep working: "Can we do Spanish now?"

...ummmm, Mama just poured herself a glass of wine, we'll do Spanish tomorrow...

Some days I wonder how we'll ever fit in Spanish, or piano...or learn algebra. But I've found lessons just seem to work themselves in or out as needed. And sometimes it's because they initiate them on their own. For example, I found them working on piano lessons today long after I told them they were off the clock. As we adapt to new routines, our time management seems to increase. As does their interest in learning independently.

Yes, they miss their school friends, but we have Girl Scout activities that keep them connected and we joined a local homeschool group who have weekly bowling, park days, and monthly skating parties, as well as lots of field trips to join in on. In fact, this week we're joining a small group of them at our local children's theater to see a Christmas play. So, socially we're still transitioning, but heading in the right direction. I think.

One thing I do notice the girls constantly asking is, what are the public school kids doing now? They are still very aware of when PE is and when Math is and when recess is...not in a sentimental kind of way, just in a 'wow, it's so weird we aren't there doing those things anymore' kind of way. They tell me often they are happy being homeschooled, and I've noticed a significant difference in the pace and mood around the house, especially in the mornings. We sleep in (sorta - it's more like we stay in PJs longer but still get up around the same time). We take our time. And yet the days still go by fast. But in a different way. They go by fast with us together now. They used to go by fast with the kids away for a good part of the day. Always rushing to something or through something. And that's one of the (many) reasons I wanted to homeschool: time was going by so fast, I felt like I was missing out on so much of their day...and rushing them thru the rest of it. As the years tick by, it's amazing to me how you can one day wake up and barely recognize the little babes.

It's really not so bad. It does take some adjusting and some organizing, but with a little planning the night before, the lessons are broken down into time chunks so I'm still able to get my workouts in, make dinners, run errands, finish projects (what a concept that is!) and chase the bunnies around the yard as needed. Which, as it stands now, seems to be some sort of PE class we've created. Seriously folks, if you've not chased a bunny recently, you're not living. Forget hot yoga. Try catching a bunny in your backyard. It takes about 20 minutes of running in circles, sprinting back and forth, round and round, up and down the fence line, darting in and out, shouting "holy hell, stop hopping you dern bunny!" Even the pup and at least one cat participates in this bunny chasing ritual. The other fatter older cat just watches in utter amusement.

Like I said, we are, if nothing else, at least focused.

I have a friend who's homeschooling two girls about the same age as mine; he's been at it about 8 months. He's (following the same curriculum) and is at the point where they may do math at 8am, cursive at bedtime, just whenever the mood hits them. His third grader can make chocolate chip cookies from scratch all by herself, has learned to sew pillows, and does her own laundry. She's also no longer afraid of math and has confidence where once stress and pressure used to be. He says some days you pour yourself a cup of coffee, look at them and think, "that's how it's supposed to be, no stress about grades or tests, just the joy of learning" - and not just learning the 3 R's, but learning how to be independent little people.

Ahhhh, sounds lovely....

Some days it's hard to know which yardstick to measure progress by. But I agree, it all matters. It's all filed away and will someday perhaps be measured by nothing more than how much wine it required for survival.

Or how many minutes it takes to make a hopping bunny stop hopping!

We're getting there!

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