|James studying Life of Fred|
In her article she says:
Homeschooling won’t work unless you do it consistently. As in most days. As in not taking off more unplanned days in a year than your husband would be expected to take from his job.
Go ahead — count up his paid time off — that’s your grace period for the school year (not counting your holidays and planned time off). Anything more than that you can consider “excessive.” Hey, I promised you tough love.
I have to say I don't agree with this. First off, I am an unschooler; well, kinda. I look at my children and ask them what they want to study. Knowing them, their interests, and learning issues I select a few different curriculum for them to try and test-drive. They have the final selection. I want to give them control over what they are learning since I OFTEN feel like I am not doing enough! I mean, there are three of them with learning difficulties and just one of me. In the end, I had to remind myself of a few simple facts.
- If the kids were on homebound from a public school the school would only offer 4 hours a week of instruction (one hour a day, Monday through Thursday). If you question the school on this, their justification is, that direct instruction is MORE EFFECTIVE than classroom instruction.
- Even a public school only completes 180 days of instruction per year. Why do I feel compelled to do more?
Now, for the record, I will address item two first; I tend to homeschool some over the weekends and all throughout the year. Do I keep track of the days or hours? No, in my state we are not required. I homeschool this way for the children so they do not forget the information (got two with memory issues). I do keep a record book on what we have covered, but it for my records.
For item one, dang, it took me awhile to come to grips I was enough to educate my children! I remind myself the public school thinks one hour a day, four days a week is enough, AND I KNOW I provide more direct instruction to my children each week per child! Does it feel like enough, no; but, in reality I know it is. How? When I had to enroll my children into public school last year to qualify for money from my state to homeschool my children were tested. ALL the teachers and administrators were IMPRESSED by the amount of knowledge my children had for their learning difficulties. That, that right there, let me know I was on the right tract. Do you know how often I directly teach my children? About an hour a day, 5 to 6 days a week, and they are learning! They spend about another hour or so a day, on their own, reading or playing educational games. That is all I homeschool in a day! Will that always be enough learning for them? I doubt it, but it does work for us to at least fourth grade.
Then Pam goes on to discuss a few main points:
You lack good morning habits
You lack good morning habits
- Okay, I think there is a point here. It is good to have a habit or routine. I do have a schedule for my children but in that schedule there is free time, outside play time, and time to hang out with their parents besides meal times.
- This I am GLAD about! I mean my job was STRESSFUL! I do not want to approach homeschooling with the same feelings of stress I felt for my job. I also want homeschooling to bring me joy. I don't know about you, but I did not have a lot of joy going on in my job. I want homeschooling to be as fun as possible, for both me and my children, while still engaging them in learning. Do watch that you are homeschooling more days than not but I can't begin to tell you how much learning we can manage in the car or in a doctor's office! I have the kids chant times tables in the long car rides or practice their American Sign Language in the doctor's office. Learning CAN be done on the go!
- Bawhahaha! I WAS ruled by perfection, but the quads have beaten it out of me! LOL No, really, I was a VERY perfectionistic person and wanted to have everything in a certain way/spot. I still have some issues with that. Heck, I was just telling my husband I wanted my own tool bag so I can have my own tools in it. I want to know where the tools are, and that I can ONLY get mad at myself if I have something missing. Silly? A bit; however, it would make me happy. I feel this way about homeschooling sometimes too. I NEED something to get a lesson done (usually these are ingredients for a chemistry experiment) and if I can't get what I need then I WON'T get the lesson completed. After awhile I figured out, if I do not have what I need, I can look for the experiment on YouTube. Did you know there are a TON of videos on there showing a vast array of chemical reactions??? There is no need for me NOT to do the lesson. We can watch the video. Is it as fun, no; however, we still get the lesson covered and this tired mom can hit the store over the weekend and pick up what I'm missing. I guess what I am saying is: Where there is a will, there is a way!
- I should mention here, I rarely have a firm plan. I mean I schedule out our time, but it is something like this:
- 8am - Get up and Get Ready
- 8:30am - Eat breakfast
- 9:00am - Life of Fred
- 10:00am - Occupational Therapy
- 11:00am - CodaKid
- 12:00pm - Fix and Eat Lunch (follow by free time)
- 2:00pm - Grammaropolis
- 3:00pm Science
- 4:00pm Outside Play
- 5:00pm - Tutor (along with free time)
- 6:15pm - Dinner
- 8:00pm - Get Ready for Bed
- 8:30pm Daddy Time (He reads, play a game, or covers History for me)
- 9:00pm - Bedtime!
- The schedule above is James's schedule for today. You see we cover some subjects, have some free time, have some play time, and some time with Daddy. Notice Science is general because I have not completely decided what we are going to cover. I ask James what he wants to cover or investigate in science and we study his topic of interest. In my state there is a homeschool requirement that we teach Reading, English, Science, Social Studies, and Math. There is nothing in the law stating how much time I have to spend on each topic, what topics we are studying each day, nor do I have to meet the educational requirements for my son's grade (he is basically in fourth grade). So I tend to study the things the kids want and in the order they want to cover them. I just make sure we cover each of the five subjects required by the law each week. Simple! I write the things we study (even Life Skills, YouTube videos, and educational apps) in my planner for each child. According to my state law there is no need to keep a record, but I do anyways, so we can look back and see what we have accomplished in a year. Homeschooling, is often, only as complicated as you make it. Keep it simple on yourself and your children!
- This is the closing point of Pam's article. I completely agree with her! It is SO hard to homeschool your children without someone to bounce ideas off of when you get stuck! Teachers have each other in the public school system and they get professional development. What do we get? Maybe a homeschool conference and Pinterest (which is sometimes hard to live up to!) for our professional development! Not in the same league at all! The best things I can tell you to do is to network with other homeschooling parents. Hopefully this means you can find yourself a local buddy. Having another harried mom you can visit ,and have some caffeine with, is super nice! I'm still working on finding a local buddy. I do network with large homeschool groups. This includes a few local groups I created along with a few larger groups on Facebook. The best one I like is Special Needs Homeschool. It is a large group and many of the parents in there are happy to help point you in the direction. If you need to help with curriculum choices or just to help you figure out your homeschooling style (I'm eclectic or modified unschooling) Special Needs Homeschool will help you out. There are a few Facebook pages I really like including: Eclectic Homeschooling, Homeschooling/Unschooling, Practical Homeschooling, Homeschool Snark, and SEA Homeschoolers. These are a suggestion just to get you started! Keep looking for more resources that fit your needs!
I would love to hear you opinion and I hope you found this post helpful.