Homeschooling, Preparing to Homeschool, Recovering from Homeschooling…

14 07 2008

Perhaps there should be a 12-step-group for people recovering from homeschooling…

Last week, this week, and next week are my preparation weeks.  The great big boxes of books arrived from Sonlight and Rainbow Resource last week.  It’s better than Christmas.  It’s better than my birthday.  There is nothing quite like the arrival of the new year’s books.  Of course, I will be sick of the sight of them by January, but for now, I am infatuated.  All I want to do is play with my new homeschooling materials.

I’m trying a new organization method this year.  Sonlight provides intense documentation for all their curriculum.  But the day-by-day schedules are frustrating for me to use.  The language arts and science schedules are on separate pages from the history and literature schedules.  There is practically no room to schedule math, grammar, spelling, handwriting, or extracurricular stuff on any of the pages.  And I HATE HATE HATE having to switch schedule pages multiple times during schooling.  While I’m looking up what to do next, my kids are kicking each other, throwing erasers, making gross noises, pawing through the pantry…  Not good.

So this year I found a wonderful tool from Office Max.  They have a daily schedule book for team leaders. Each day has four columns so you can keep an hour-by-hour schedule for four people.   Hmmm… I have four kids, there are four columns… a match made in heaven!  The only hard part was explaining to my husband why I needed a nearly $40 planner in addition to my Franklin Covey day-timer.  (I am finding that as I have more and more children, my need to document becomes greater.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but when my sis asked me what I was fixing for dinner I had to look in my daytimer.  I no longer keep any significant information in my actual brain.)

So now I am spreading all my materials out on the kitchen table, all my schedules and curriculums, and copying the necessary information into the pages of my new planner.  This means that everything I need to know will be in one place for each day.  This is good.

The bad part is that it is taking me nearly 2 hours to log 6 weeks worth of work for just two kids!  I’m logging my preschool stuff right now, and it is unbelievable how long it is taking me.  My little ones are using Kumon preschool workbooks for Patrick, Singapore Math and Handwriting without Tears for Mike, Sonlight PreK Core for 3 to 4-year-olds for both, plus Sonlight Readers K and Language arts K for Mike.  I’m also making some really terrific math games from a book called “Much More Than Counting” I picked up at the library.  The two hours doesn’t even count the time I’ve been spending on that.  But the games are great and will be wonderful for Patrick.   One of the great challenges of homeschooling is “What do you do with the toddler while you are trying to teach?”  This book is my answer to that.  (Well, that and a lot of Nick, Jr.!)

So at this rate, it will take me 6 days to log all the preschool stuff.  Then I’ll need another six days to log all the stuff for the older kids.  They’re getting Sonlight Core 4, the second half of American History & Literature.  They’re both doing computer math with Teaching Textbooks, grammar with Easy Grammar and Daily Grams, science with Apologia (General Science for Donal and Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day for Brenna), Typing for Kids, Spelling Power, cursive handwriting from Veritas Press, Spanish with a local teacher, and Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad.  All of this has to be broken down into 36 weeks of daily lessons and scheduled in my book.

I love my job!  I love my job!  I love my job!  (Ouch!  I’m getting a crick in my neck.)

I am blessed to be able to afford all this wonderful stuff.  I know a lot of women who are homeschooling on a shoe string from the local library and free downloads.  I love my books.  And I am very grateful to my mother-in-law who is taking my children to VBS at her church next week while I try to finish my scheduling.  She deserves several big hugs, and I will see to it that she gets them!




One response

16 07 2008

Hi, dear one!
Tomorrow, while Richard is at Golden Club for breakfast, I’ll take time to plan meals for a week. (Not that we’ll actually eat what I plan, but I’ll have a sort of a plan.) I hope I can find things all of us can/will eat!
Richard has a bunch of no-no’s. He won’t eat squash or broccoli, unless coerced, and he won’t touch cukes, peppers, eggplant or asperagus. He doesn’t like tomatoes, which I love, so he gets them anyway, and he’ll eat them — sort of. He’ll eat greens, but not enough to “count”. So I just put them on his plate, and mostly he eats them. Well, there’s green beans! I hide some of these things in his salads and he never knows he’s been ambushed!
All to say — I understand your planning pain, but I do it on a much less grand and inconsequential scale!
Hug you soon!

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