The 1st Day Of Home School - The Hard Way

Some of you might know that we decided to homeschool the children for a year. It was a decision we made long before we decided to take Minerva on an extended trip. Although it has allowed us to plan a much longer trip, the decision had little if anything to do with traveling.

After months of internet research, we purchased our curriculum in May. I separated out about 4 weeks more school work than I'd planned the trip to last, packed it into bins, stored it in Minerva, and the rest is waiting for us in our storage room.

I know some of you parents or grandparents are thinking, "Why start so early? They just got out of school." For now will just say that it seemed a more prudent to occupy the kids minds at this particular time (I am sure there will be post at a later date - after saturday- to explain). We started the handwriting courses a few weeks ago just to get a feel for how it would effect the kids care free days and my sanity. The 15-20 minutes didn't take much from their day and they actually enjoyed the work.

Before I start on the run down of the school day, I should also put out there that less than 5 years ago I was one of those parents who thought public school was my reward for making it through the previous 4 years with 2 toddlers. IT was my right as a parent to have 6 hours a day of free time.

So yesterday we started the full homeschooling deal. I'd suffered from the occasional bout of bad insomnia the night before so I was exhausted before the day started. I'd read through most of the Teacher's Guides, more than once, but felt that I'd just have to jump in. Sometimes, well most of the time, I do things the more difficult way. I jumped and for a few hours it felt like I'd jumped off Pikes Peak or Everest with a broken hang glider, twisting and tumbling through the day.

Granted I'd done absolutely no preplanning. It would take as long as it took. In hindsight, I probably should have at least read the assignments for the day. Lesson Learned - The hard way. I did all the individual parts first which meant ALOT of waiting around at the end of an activity for one of the children to finish this or that. Lesson Learned - Again - The hard way. For some reason I'd also done every subject in one day. Art and Music should be alternated but I'd thrown them in the first day just not thinking. In the end, we were "In School" almost as long as regular school when it we should have been finished by lunch. I still had laundry to do, errands to run (things we needed for school - like notebooks), groceries to buy, and about 15 pages of reading aloud to do with the kids before bedtime. I was plain discouraged but not with the kids or with the schooling. I was discouraged with how long it had taken, how much there was still to do, and how my brain refused to kick into gear.

Fast forward to this morning. I slept pretty well. I was up and about before Shawn (really rare). I decided to start the read aloud pages while the kids ate their breakfasts which ensured a captive and unresponsive audience. I proceeded to do all the group activities first and then we worked through the individual items. I learned something new today. Trying to teach two kids math on two levels at the same time isn't good for my sanity.... lesson learned - The Hard Way. We made it through in a much shorter time frame with a lot fewer emotional issues. We only had handwriting to go after our exercise and lunch break, 5 pages of reading aloud (during Lunch-I like a captive audience) and some journal writing tonight.

Currently I am writing this blog, Shawn is working, my son is pretending to blow things up in his imagination, and my daughter is hanging Repunzel from the awning by her hair(I'm not asking). I still have laundry to do as Drake the Dane decided my bed (quilt) was a good place to lay down. We still need groceries (can't seem to get the list right) but school is done for the day and the rest just means a reason to get out on the town.


Home schooling, a great way to educate, in my opinion, especially the way you are doing it with each place you visit being an education in it's self.
Nothing sinks in better then looking at places and things that most only see on tv or in books. I had a conversation with a friend in Maine a few years ago, she said, " you're a long way from home" to which I replied, no just a few days and I love seeing all the places along the way, there is nothing like traveling and seeing all of this great land of ours plus the people we meet are all friendly and different then our neighbors.
Her reply, We see all that on TV. She was educated in private and public schools. I admire your choice.

We wanted to enjoy them for as long as we could and we didn't want 12 yr olds with the mentality of 20 year olds. We have learned more as family than I learned in 3 years of my own schooling just by going on "field trips".

The TV gets hooked up only on stops longer than 3 days or weather requiring. It's used on rainy days and for the few TV shows we choose to purchase from the internet. So far not every day is perfect but most are more than happy.

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