back to homeschool

4 Aug

Today is Back to (Home)School Day over here. How well did we do?

The morning started with prayers and singing unto the Lord. Including Dad, we wrote our individual homeschool expectations down on small index cards, then prayed for them. The five-year old even participated and wrote hers down with mama’s help. I’ll share hers just to bless you:

  1. Learn about God.
  2. Memorize verses.
  3. Learn to read and write.
  4. Go on field trips and meet friends.
  5. Always tell the truth, not lie.
  6. Treat people with respect.
  7. Pray for all the people in the world.

Isn’t she a keeper? I am preserving the expectation cards in my binder. It should be interesting to go back to them in a few months.

The schedule I originally drafted last year didn’t work out for very long so I decided to be more practical this time around. We managed to do morning chores, including laundry, breakfast cleanup and putting clean dishes away, among other things, before school started. On time.

Zurielle (5) is most eager to do school, so although my intention was to wait a little while for academics, we are starting some, discerning as we go along. Aliyah (11) didn’t have a drop of anticipation at all, until I started moving things around, changing the look of our homeschool corner and sprinkling some fun in the mix. When I got done, she commented that she’s actually looking forward to doing school again. Mission accomplished.

The girls liked the idea of having their books for the week in their own sturdy wire baskets that they could carry around. Aliyah is now doing a lot of her school work independent of me, so my time is mostly divided between Zurielle- who certainly demands it; Lyrica- who wants to do everything big sisters are doing; and the one we couldn’t give a schedule yet to– the baby.

It was a fun and most fulfilling morning, turning out better than I anticipated. But then Ron was home to help me. Tomorrow we will see.

We are still keeping the afternoons open for more reading, nature studies, outside activities, and lots of play and free-time. This afternoon, to celebrate back to school week, Ron took the girls to this waterpark. They very much looked forward to it, and that’s probably why they were so diligent with their tasks this morning.

Do you homeschool all day? Do you think half a day is too short? We insist on keeping the afternoons open, at least while the children are younger. They could work more vigorously and attentively in the morning, get more done in shorter time, and still have room to be inspired… to dream and to imagine. If they dawdle or allow too many distractions, then they spend the afternoon finishing up, instead of playing outside, reading a good book, or doing whatever it is they love to do.

4 Responses to “back to homeschool”

  1. amanda August 5, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    We are gearing up to begin school next Monday. It is amazing how a little cleaning and sprucing up the school cabinet can get everyone excited to begin.

    Sounds like you are off to a delightful year with a good plan in order.

    My kids are older, and even with that, we work to be finished by 2pm. Sometimes their reading will carry them further into the day, but I think your schedule sounds great for your family. You have room to live, relax, breathe, have fun, and allow the ebb and flow of life to become stressful.

  2. Henry Cate August 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    “Do you homeschool all day? Do you think half a day is too short?”

    When our children are young we give them a couple hours a day of school work.

    For our older children my wife builds a list of the things we want them to do during the week. Once they finish the list, they are done. If they are focused they can often finish the list by working four or five hours a day.

  3. Dana August 8, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    Oh, I need to get started back up. But I’ve been so nauseous recently, I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll accomplish much of anything but independent work for the next nine months. Well, seven, now.

    And yes, she is a keeper. šŸ™‚

  4. yielded August 15, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Dana, I know the feeling! Just take it easy… it’s a memorable but fleeting season. Academics will still be there…

    Thank you:)

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