Wednesday, December 11, 2013
What's on my work desk you ask? Well Christmas of course! Red, green, gold, glitter, stars, snowmen, candy canes and all the goodness that goes along with this time of year! My desk is quite covered in holiday cheer!
Along with making too many Christmas cards, I have been keeping up with Project Life, doing a little planning for 2014 and just waiting for this baby to get here! I'm only 35 weeks so we could still have a long way to go, but the doctor says it could be any day now. The doctor's goal was for me to make it to 34 weeks and we made it! I am no longer on bedrest which is fantastic! I'm hoping to make it to 36 weeks now and we're almost there! I can't wait to meet this little guy and cuddle him and kiss him and just love him up!
In September I began Homeschooling Madison ( Preschool for 3's). Although it's only been a few months, I've learned quite a bit already.
1. You can plan all you want...Before we began our school year I created a schedule for the whole year, what days and times we would have school, when we would have our breaks, which lesson we would do, etc. It didn't take long for us to get off track from that schedule. You simply cannot plan a homeschool year with that much detail so far in advance. Unlike public schools that operate no matter what is happening in your own personal life, life is going to get in the way- which brings us to number 2 on my list:
2. Life is going to get in the way...The original plan for the schooling was 3 days a week from 11a.m.- noon. We did great for the first week. Then my husband got really sick and was in the hospital for a week. Two weeks into the school year and we were already a week behind. He came home from the hospital on I.V. antibiotics which he needed every 6 hours for 5 weeks. Our sleep schedules were messed up, the twins nap schedules were messed up, everything was chaotic. We did school when we could, sometimes it was just for 20 minutes at a time. We got a few more weeks behind. Then we found out my husband was going to need surgery. Three days before his surgery I was put on complete bedrest for 3 weeks. No schooling for three weeks. We are just now getting back to some sense of normal. Mike is going back to work next week, I am off bedrest and just on limited activity until the baby gets here. We are jumping back into school next week- at least until the baby gets here, then we'll once again be thrown off schedule.
*If Madison were older, if she was "school age" and had academic requirements to meet we would have made a greater effort to keep up with her school work, being that she is only 3 and doing preschool work there was no harm in missing a few weeks. Plus with homeschooling, you have the choice to school year round, which we planned on doing anyway. When she turns 4 she will be ready to move onto to the Preschool for 4's curriculum
3. You have to be flexible...Being flexible kind of goes along with #2. As much as we tried to get the twins down for their nap by 11:00 and have school time started there were many days when that just didn't happen. Some days school would be moved to later in the day when the twins took their afternoon nap. If it was a really warm fall day, we went to the park on a "school day" Being flexible can be a challenge, but it can also be a blessing. There's no "missing" a day or a class, you just move school time to meet your needs. As the kids get older I hope to have a more permanent schedule for school time, but I also know there will many times where we will need to rearrange that schedule, as long as all the assignments get done and the kids meet their educational requirements changing the schedule to work for your family every now and then is perfectly acceptable.
4. Some days will be better than others...Most days Madison is asking me for school time. She sits and does her work and follows directions so well. But then there are days I can barely drag her away from her toys for even 20 minutes of school time. Some days she just simply refuses to follow directions and spends the whole hour drawing circles. At this age I don't fight with her. If she's having a bad day and just doesn't want to have school, I let her go. If she wants to draw 5,000 circles on her paper, I let her, if she's holding the pen correctly drawing all those circles isn't going to hurt. In some way it's helping in her development. And if she's having a good day and wants to keep working, we keep working until she says she's had enough.
5. Patience Patience Patience!!...Oh my word. I had to learn this very early on. There will be things that seem so simple to you that your kids just don't "get" right away. Right now for Madison it's counting, and it is frustrating to me. But it's so important to not let her see my frustration and to just keep working with her. She CAN count, sort of. She counts like this: "1, 2. 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14". For some reason she just can't remember 5 & 6! And it drives me nuts, but I just keep working with her and eventually I know she'll get it.
*She now remembers 5 -most of the time- but still no number 6.
6. Workbooks don't always "work"...Over the summer I did a lot of searching for just the right books for Madison. I found some at Alpha Omega Publishing that looked like what I had in mind. I ordered the Preschool for 3's curriculum set. It came with a student workbook, a Bible reader, extra worksheets, and a teacher guide. I was really excited for Madison to have her own workbook, I thought she would really enjoy having her own school book. I had planned to order additional workbooks for the twins to use next year. But once we started using the book I realized it just wasn't very good. Madison enjoys doing the pages so we still use it, but I don't really think it's adding anything to her learning experience. The lessons in the curriculum are great, I love the program and will be using it again for the twins and will be ordering Preschool for 4's next year. But the workbook just doesn't work. I'm not giving up on workbooks because I know there are going to be some out there that will work for us, but I've learned not to depend on them as much as I was depending on this one. I was thinking her main amount of work would come from that book and now I've had to find other things to supplement with.
Overall I've enjoyed teaching Madison at home and look forward to the years of school to come. I'm sure I will learn many more things during this adventure we call home schooling!
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