Time! I finally am having some time.
I promise, I will eventually get over how thrilled I am about our homeschooling this year. But, please bear with me as the last two years have been kind of a hit-and-miss proposition finding our groove. And, I can't describe how wonderful it has been these last few months upon finally hitting on something that does seem to work for everyone. Bonus for me is that I am finding that I actually end up having some time here and there to get things accomplished without totally calling off school.
The part I think is working the best has been the 15-minute rule. Everything, barring some of the projects (art, science labs and so forth), are done in 15-minute spurts. Then we change gears and work on something else. I try very hard to make our readings 10-minutes or less to allow for 5-minute discussions.
The results have been more trips to the parks - playgrounds or walks, which have made everyone happier. I have found Mary and Katie very willing to do whatever I ask them to, because they know that it will not take very long. Mary has even taken on doing more than I ask -- I have heard of this before but never actually witnessed it with my own eyes. Today she did an extra page of math, because it looked interesting, and an extra story during reading time because she figured I was going to make her read it tomorrow anyway. Also, I had only planned on Mary doing the first three lessons in her new typing program this week - as of this evening she had finished lesson 9.
And, TIME. Suddenly, school isn't some day long exercise for us, mainly because of arguing and negotiating on every single assignment. I am letting Mary and Katie sleep in, so we don't even get started with 'elementary' school until 10am. The earlier mornings for me are spent with some light chores, computer time and spending some time with Robbie and Emily, my two earlier risers. I can read with them, build with blocks and talk with Emily about what is going on in her Little People village that has been taking up floor space for the last week. Everyday it is a different story.
We start 'school' around 10 and finish no later than 3, most of the time closer to 2. And this is including small trips across the road to the park and lake, or play time in the yard, classes out of the house two days a week, lunch and just general other time eaters. When it is over I still have energy to do other things.
Today, I tackled the piles of stuff that seem to be everywhere. Piles of books that had not been re-shelved when we finished them, piles of completed work, piles of newspaper clippings and mini-pages my mom had brought up. The school area looks actually usable now. And the calendar has finally been hung. Now, I just hope I can find everything when I go to look for them.
This post is so exciting I am actually nodding off while I am writing it. I better go...