So, we had a good first week of homeschooling. The kids were very excited about it and wanted to get started right away first thing Tuesday morning (Monday was a holiday). Bella, especially, wanted to get started right at 8am like she did in public school. The only difference is that her teacher in public school didn't have a 19 month old following her around all day, laundry that needs to be washed, breakfast dishes to be cleaned, or any of the other 20 things that I do on any given day. Needless to say, she wasn't thrilled at first with the lack of "schedule" on our first day. If I am allowed to be honest, I was pretty stressed at times, feeling that I was failing. One time Bella said, "Mom, this doesn't feel like school at all." Another time she said, "I don't think this is going to work." And yet another time she said, "I am so afraid I am not going to learn anything." All of these statements did not help my feelings that I was somehow failing my children.
On Wednesday, it was another somewhat stressful day because Micah had a relapse of his stomach bug, so we did school very unconventionally, as we spent most of the day in the bed or on the bedroom floor while we did most of our work.
After Wednesday, Michael and I decided that we were definitely going to use Time4learning for Math and Language Arts supplements and so on Thursday the kids were signed up for that and it helped A LOT! They are able to log themselves on and do their work for a designated amount of time and for the most part they are pretty self-sufficient. It is during that time that I will work one-on-one with one of the other children.
By Friday the kids were getting used to the new schedule that we are forming. We get up and begin to get reading around 7am. (Aria and Victoria sleep until 7:30 since they are younger and require a little more sleep.) Once the children are dressed, fed, and ready for the day then we sit in the living room to read our Bible lesson, discuss it, and pray. Can I just say that this is my favorite thing so far about homeschooling the children? We have ended their day for a long time now with reading the Bible but to begin the day with that and actually have an open-ended time to sit and talk about what we are learning is absolutely wonderful.
After Bible, we straighten the house. The kids help me clean the kitchen from breakfast and then they straighten their room and the living room. Micah even washed his first load of laundry the other day, I was so proud. This has been a big adjustment for the children because since we now have more time to get things like this done my expectations are higher for them. It may take some time but eventually they will get it.
Around mid-morning the kids do things that they can do pretty independently, like handwriting, reading, P.E. (they play Just Dance or they play outside) and math on the computer. Then after lunch when the baby goes down for her nap we do Science, Geography, and Language Arts.
A few things that I have noticed after this week is that I am SO much more tired at the end of the day and getting the laundry folded is impossible. The children seem to be getting along MUCH better than they did when they were in school, probably because they are no longer so tired all the time.
For the most part, I am very pleased with how things are getting started and look forward to seeing how things fall into place over the next days and weeks.