Thursday, September 9, 2010


Nearly done with two weeks' worth of homeschooling.  Here is a sample of What's Working and What's Not.

What's working:
  • Morning Prayers:  I detest having to do things like dress or attend to the house when I am still waking up.  I know that admitting this is probably being a very bad "FlyBaby."  I know that the most efficient way to do things is to jump out of bed, throw on my clothes, take a load of laundry down to the machines, and milk the cows all before my coffee.   
That is not me.
In setting up my schedule for this Fall, something persuaded me to schedule our Morning Prayer time followed by some read-aloud time to fall right after breakfast, while still in my pajamas.  
The ideal morning runs thus: I stagger out of bed and fix breakfast and drink as much coffee as possible (if I am awake early enough, I unload the dishwasher first—that really makes the day go smoothly).  When I am awake enough to clear the dishes off the table, that is done quickly and the table is wiped off.  Then we do a quick set of prayers (many are sung, and to my delight, my eldest has been singing along and knows the words!) complete with lighting candles and changing the day's commemoration picture sheet.  Then we settle on the couch (me with more coffee) and read the life of the saint we are studying that week and then the girls get to pick some titles.  Please do not be misled: This does not happen every day, nor does it always happen closer to breakfast than it does to lunch, but I did say "the ideal morning."
I love it!  And by the time we finish all of that, I am awake enough to carry on with my day.
What's not:
  • Letters and Numbers:  While I like the idea of our curriculum's suggestion to let Maggie "experience" various letters and numbers, I really think she is past being interested in that approach.  She knows I never sit there and paint a giant A on a page.  She wants to use letters the way I do.  She wants to make lists and write notes.  She reads a lot of words—I think by sight and context, rather than sounding-out, but then, she does some of that too.  I've found a website with an amazing number of printables, most especially letter formation tracing pages, that I think I will try with her.  According to my curriculum's Alphabet Writing Chart, some of the arrows are going the wrong direction, but that is easily corrected.
Miscellaneous Notes:
One thing I think I have decided over the last two weeks (and I know that is not much experience) is that I don't want to do a bunch of unnecessary crafts, art projects, and invented "school projects."  If we are going to have a Kitchen Day, it is going to be something that we need to make anyway.  If we put a lot of time, money, and skill into a craft or art project, I want it to be something that is in some way worth having or using.  We collected leaves and made window decorations out of them, and I love them because they are very seasonal and remind us of our experience in "the forest" as my girls call the nature preserve we walked through.

I won't hold painting quite to that standard, though.  There are some great suggestions in our curriculum for learning some painting techniques that I can't wait to try once we get some real paints, paper, and brushes.  This would fall under learning a skill.  I'd like to have them able to create some art (if they are so inclined) to put in future learning notebooks of various subjects.

More reflections to come, I'm sure.


  1. *snort* "milk the cows"

    That sounds wonderfully down to earth. Did you read Mary's post yesterday about "No hot glue gun needed?" Made me feel a lot better (even though I own two glue guns...).

  2. :)

    I figure if one of the perks of homeschooling has GOT to be doing at least SOME things in one's PJs, right?

  3. And yes, I did see Mary's post. I like it very much. (And I too own a hot glue gun, but see the Nester's blog on putting up bead board in her renter kitchen... she uses hot glue—obviously a versatile product.)

  4. I didn't realize how incredibly hard it is to get up and get things moving until this past week when our oldest started two days a week at the Latin School. Having to dress everyone, feed them breakfast and do prayers before 7:45 is INSANE! I do not like it! But I do love the Latin School, so I guess I have to make that sacrifice. At least the rest of the week we will always be able to start the day at a slower pace. I can now see one of the great perks of homeschooling exclusively: you dont' need to leave the house before 8am. :)

    I'm glad homeschooling is going well. Punky was the same way about writing. He wanted me to spell out words for him and then he would copy them.

  5. I liked the Nester's post about the beadboard too (and was seriously inspired! - but don't let my husband see that...). And YES, sometimes it's nice to forego the "getting dressed" part of the day until a more comfortable season.


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