Thursday, August 21, 2008

Some good, some not so much

Homeschooling involves lots of ups and downs. I started this week with grandiose plans of having this great week of getting our feet wet in our new schedule and working through week one of our Ambleside material. (insert loud guffaws here). Then the week started.

Disruptions to the schedule: I knew I had a meeting on Monday, but aside from that I felt fairly confident that we could 'do school' most days. Monday night I realized that I had books on hold at the library that if I did not get them on Tuesday they would no longer be there. So, a quick trip to the library turned into our day of running errands for the week (a last minute shower invitation required a gift, a couple grocery items I forgot, exchanging baseball tickets from a game rained out earlier, swing by our friendly farmer for some eggs and chicken visits-- does this count for science today? Yeah it does! -- etc, etc.) So, when we arrived home at 2:30 . . . we salvaged what was left of the day and hoped for something better tomorrow.

Then Wednesday we had a little guest in our home for the morning so we again tweaked our schedule, but it actually turned out amazingly well, and despite the trip to the orthodontist I had to squeeze in this morning, we might actually get everything done this week. Can you say, "flexible?" I betcha can. That is so often the name of the game. We still easily fit in the hours and days needed, but they definitely don't fit the traditional 9-3 school day of other kids.

Wednesday we did our Bible time, a bowling competition, and some oral reading time while our neighbor boy was over. We then decided to enjoy our art/cooking project for the week and make soft pretzels. We had a lot of fun doing this and they turned out really well! My first successful boiled dough attempt.

After lunch we packed up our school books and headed outside to continue our tree studies. I have not really found this study all that fascinating, but I think just spending time learning outside keeps it lively. We rode bikes to a nearby large oak and spent over an hour talking about it, examining it, sketching it (everyone has their own notebook for our nature study time), and then relaxing reading Around the World in 80 Days in its shade. I think the lemonade helped complete the picture. It couldn't get much better than that.

On the way home we stopped by our garden and picked beans and tomatoes and watered the lettuce, spinach, and basil seeds we just planted for our fall harvest. The kids love helping with the picking of vegetables better than the planting, weeding, or eating them. That's all right. I think spending time outside picking vegetable is good for you, too. :-)

My husband ended up working kind of late again, so we decided to dig into our first Plutarch lesson around 5:30 (I know, I should probably not school so late, but it keeps the "I'm bored" complaint at bay). Now I know why so many people comment on how complex the language is, WOW! Only my two older ones actually have to cover this, but I rarely school with less than two kids around, so they all jumped in. This term we are reading about Poplicola, and my kids insist on calling him "Pepsi-cola." Hmmmm, close but not quite. The lesson went surprisingly well and even my 7 year old had some valuable contributions to the conversation that followed.

Just as we wrapped that up my husband came in and we enjoyed a simple meal of soup and crackers together. All in all, we had an amazingly successful school day, about as unconventional as homeschool gets, but productive nonetheless. We'll see what today holds . . .


amada said...

Oh, this SO describes our homeschool! The beauty of doing it our own way! I love the flexibility, and your kids are learning so many valuable life skills!

Be encouraged!

Trujillo, Peru

Lisa said...

Isn't it wonderful that you can be flexible and teach your kids through "real life " experiences. Thanks for the note of encouragement on my blog. Yes our days are going better (we did have to be flexible yesterday and skip all school work as my time was takem up with a vomiting child.) We all have our good and bad days but are so bleesed to be able to be at home teaching these wonderful creatures that god has entrusted into our care. Have a wonderful day!