This is our 8th year of home education. 8 years………as I type that, I can hardly believe it. I actually went back and recounted……..twice. It seems that after 8 years of doing the same thing, one should be considered an expert, doesn’t it? Well, I’m not. Not in any way. Each day, each year, each child is so very different. It was much easier when I had only one child at home to teach. Two was a challenge. And three was just about more than I could handle. It wasn’t the children themselves. It was the amount of planning, learning styles, grade levels and individual personalities that almost drove me to visit the board of education to discuss enrolling my children. Just kidding. Sort of. I discussed my frustrations with my husband. I prayed about it. And decided to try implementing some changes and then we had an amazing week!!
It started when I dug out some magazines that were given to us by a dear friend of mine. I had planned to pull them one by one according to the subject I was teaching, but when my children saw them, they just went crazy with excitement. They spent hours this week pouring through the magazines, Zoobooks and Discovery Kids while shouting out, “Hey mom, did you know………?” They also used the colorful pictures as art inspiration and drew/painted them.
We dug out all the fun, messy art supplies this week. We used water colors, acrylic paint, stencils and canvases. My oldest son used his afternoon “creative time” (that is what we call the time after school and before they are allowed to use electronics) to paint his Warhammer soldiers.
On Wednesday, my little princess was feeling pretty crummy. She ended up in tears when I asked her to complete a page in her spelling book and that NEVER happens. She ended up spending most of the day in MY bed, listening to books on her Nook, playing with her stuffed animals that she hauled in, and resting. A WONDERFUL resource to keep the younger kids busy and learning when you can’t sit right by them is Tumble Books. Our local library has a subscription, so I get to use their log in and my daughter listens to numerous storybooks being read to her! She loves it. (so do I)
On Thursday, we decided to get out of the house for a few hours and had school at the library. The kids breezed through their work and then went off to find books for the week. We may start doing this once a week! Another idea, would be to have school at our local Starbucks. Kinsley went into the children’s department about 10 minutes before the boys were finished with their work. When I walked around the corner to check on her, she was sitting at a table reading a book aloud! She is a very reluctant reading. It just has not come easy for her like it did for my boys. So I was thrilled to not only see her, but hear her reading!
Today we tried something a little different. We had a great result, so we will do it again next week! We had only half a day of school work (math, spelling, reading and Hunter had a history test) and we spent the rest of the day cleaning. We straightened, vacuumed and dusted bedrooms, scrubbed the bathrooms, deep cleaned the kitchen, dining room and living room. Everything sparkles and shines! And the best part is we have it done before the weekend, so we can spend more time relaxing!