Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Homeschool Update

After a very rough week, I resolved that I had to make some changes to my routine. I have been diligent in doing school work with the kids each day, but man is it a struggle.  There were only small windows when we have complete quiet and can really study.  In trying to manage three very small children and educate two 9 year-olds, it can feel like I am drowning.
Let me paint a picture for you. At one point last week, I was trying to a grammar lesson with them. We were learning more about the complete predicate. Eli was demanding paper and a pencil so that he could draw. Harry was whining at me because he wanted me to hold him on my right side. Julia was squealing frantically for me to hold her on my left side.  Is it any wonder that Raef and Zach have a hard time concentrating? Even when the babies were taking a nap, Eli was sitting at the table softly talking and humming to himself. This was driving Zach crazy. Apparently, Zach doesn't care for it the way that I do.

I talked with Rinar and decided I had to take a new course of action. I cannot let my children's education suffer because of the demands of 3 toddlers. Therefore, I put out an email looking for someone to come to my house and take care of the babies while I take the boys to the library. I figured that I would have to leave the house and find a quiet place to study. Unfortunately, my house is not big enough for study quarantine.

After successfully finding someone to help me, I have now almost completed a full week of study with my boys and it has been so much better. Can I get an amen? We covered a lot of different subjects efficiently and without any interruptions. It was great. I came home to happy babies and a quiet house. I can breathe again.

We are also on the cusp of starting new areas of study. It is the best feeling to get through an entire book.  We only have one more lesson in Math-u-see Gamma, which is multiplication. The books just arrived today for Delta, division. I look forward to cracking those open.

We have also almost finished level 2 in our poetry memorization curriculum. They have memorized 38 poems. Level three has some cool poems I look forward to conquering. The first big one is "Psalm of Life" by Longfellow. It is a beautiful, thought-provoking poem.

I plan on quickly covering the history curriculum, early modern history. I think it will be better to just get through it all so that we can start over again in ancient history fresh, when they are more mature. That way, they will really be able to delve into all aspects of history at a deeper level of understanding.

In science, we are focusing on geology.  I have been reading a series of Scholastic books that cover basic facts about geology and Rinar is going to do all of the field work with them a few Saturdays a month. He took them on their first field trip on Monday to Ash Springs and Alamo, since it was MLK day.

I am really going to emphasize reading time from now on. We are going to do it everyday. I was a bit scattered on what they should be reading, but I am realizing that it is a perfect time for them to read history books that coincide with what we are studying. Good thing we are going to the library twice a week, right?

Time marches on and my kids are getting more intellectually mature. It is a great pleasure to go on this educational journey with them. It is such a blessing to watch them have "Ah-ha!" moments and to make connections between different disciplines. I want to have smart kids and I know that I will. But more importantly, I want to have kind and loving children who recognize God's hand in all things. I think that this is happening a little bit everyday.

Homeschooling is such a blessing.


Jess said...

THis is one of my fav things about home schooling... I have many... lol... but the fact that we can adapt and change things around to make it work.... for what our kids/family needs.... LOVE it!! =)

Hoku said...

Amen! Can I just reiterate how much I ADMIRE you?!?! You're doing such a good job! I can't imagine HOW you manage to balance everything but you've got such intelligent, talented, and charismatic little kids!

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