Monday, September 27, 2010

I love Mondays!

This school year has become crazy for me! We have so many scheduled activities happening that I feel like I am always running somewhere. I know, it's probably not nearly as bad as most people, but coming from this summer, when my friends made fun of me when I said "I have to check my schedule"and it was always blank, to this. It's quite a change. This brings me to loving Mondays.

Most people do not love Mondays...dread them, even. But to me, Monday is the day where I have nothing scheduled. It's the day where I get a good start on my weekly laundry pile. It's the day where the weekend dishes get cleaned up. It's the day when the house gets straightened from it's weekend "tornado" state. It's the day when no one calls. It's the day we have a good, productive school day. Yippee! Today was a good Monday.

After Monday, I shift into survival mode. Any laundry not done may take the rest of the week to finish. Dishes get done late at night or early in the morning, if I am lucky. We run to swim lessons, ballet classes, gym and swim class, Lego club, Cub Scouts, science classes, field trips on Fridays, and piano lessons. I teach a music class and switch off babysitting once a month as well. I am sure that this doesn't seem like too much to the average American family, but it is crazy busy to me:)

The hardest thing about the schedule is motivating the kids to do school late in the afternoon. My group is still young and they are tired by early afternoon. I really like to be done by 3 and sometimes, that's when we are starting! Ah, it all works out! Today was a good day and will hopefully lead to a good week. Thanks for reading:)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Unschoolers and Socialization

I am trying to decide if I am an "unschooler". Maybe some of you are wondering what that may be? Well, it's a term from a man named John Holt that describes a child driven education, where the child learns what he needs to know from life experiences not curriculum. I make my own curriculum, using the interests of the children as my guide. Do I fit in? I can't decide. Not that it really matters, I suppose. I have met many new homeschooling families lately, many of them declaring that they are "unschoolers." So, I was just wondering:)

This week I had to stop and laugh at a worry that many people have about homeschoolers. How do they get socialized with other kids? Here's our week:
  • Monday-library day. The kids spent time in the Discovery Room and easily found kids to play with and had a great time.
  • Tuesday-play date at the park where we met many new friends and spent a good hour playing with 20 kids of all ages and also, swim lessons/Childwatch where there was much interaction with many different kids.
  • Wednesday-attend a homeschool Gym and Swim class at the YMCA with many other homeschool kids
  • Thursday-kids go to Lutherhaven which is an outdoor science day for homeschooled kids that is as long as a public school day
  • Friday-zoo day with Grandma and Grandpa-the best kind of socialization you can get!!
  • Plus, everyday many hours are spent outside with the neighbors!
I just love it! Because we are trying out a year round schedule (4 weeks on, 1 week off), this isn't even one of our school weeks though it seemed busy enough to be!

We have finally settled in, stopped whining:) and are gearing up for our Robot/Simple Machine unit study coming up (any ideas for a good field trip for this topic?). We just finished our Vet study which was a lot of fun. The kids' spelling has improved dramatically since we started back up and we are finally getting into a math groove. We have read 3 read-alouds that have challenged their vocabulary skills. We made notebooks that showed some of our work. All in all, a successful first month. Yay!!