I always second-guess myself when it comes to posting about our homeschooling days. Here are my reasons:
*I don't ever want anyone to think I have it "all together" because I don't. It is very easy (as you can see by the plethora of homeschool websites and blogs) to write about how you intend to homeschool. It is quite a different story, with a houseful of sinful individuals, to implement said plans. As long as everyone acknowledges that my days never go exactly as I plan, and sometimes don't resemble the plan whatsoever, we can proceed :-)
*Also, God has given me five unique individuals to parent the best I can. The way I teach them can, and probably should, be at least a little different from the way you teach your unique individuals. I won't compare my kids to yours and vice-versa. This can be excruciatingly difficult in the homeschooling world, but necessary.
*Lastly, my oldest is only in the 6th grade, so I am certainly not a veteran at this. I so enjoy the encouragement and wisdom I receive from those who have run the full race and finished on their feet!
OK, caveats aside, I will now regale you with our newest, and perhaps most beloved, change. For years I have planned "Fun Fridays." You know, saving art, music, projects & nature study and having a delightful and relaxing Friday to really soak up all of the wonderful beauty and culture that makes an individual "well-rounded." I use that term loosely, because if you ask 10 people what a well-rounded person looks like you'd probably get 10 different iterations. But nonetheless, I wanted a day in the week reserved for the fun stuff. And what better way to end a hard week than with the fun stuff? Here's the problem I was having. Mama can be just an itty-bitty tired come Friday, and she may no longer think those things so important as they seemed on Sunday afternoon when she was planning, thereby letting them slide. In other words, Fun Fridays were not happening.
Enter new idea. Why not do all the fun stuff on Mondays when we're fresh? Let's call it Funday!
So this is what we now do, and boy, what a dunce I am for not doing this sooner! We still begin our days the same as any other: family breakfast at 6:30, devotions with Daddy, personal Bible reading and chores done by 7:45. Then we do our daily Memory Page (which I will expound on in a later post) and practice our instruments. By 9:00 or so we are ready for the fun stuff. Here is what I have scheduled for tomorrow:
- Mozart unit study - reading and listening
- election unit study - I'm not sure if this is more for my kiddos or me! The electoral college is not easy to grasp!
- letter writing - pick a friend, any friend
- Diagramming - OK, so we are all geeks and actually look forward to this!
- picture study - up this week: Snap the Whip by Winslow Homer; oil on canvas, 1872. We use A Short History of Art to get some background on the artist and the time he/she lived.
- music lessons - At least for the time being we have a teacher coming who teaches Nicholas piano, Gretchen viola, and Lillian violin.
- Scripture memory - We work on this every day but spend more time on Mondays. We are currently memorizing Genesis 1 as a family.
- Hymn study - we are currently memorizing My Jesus, I Love Thee
- Recitation - My children have memorized over 40 poems using IEW's Developing Linguistic Patterns Through Poetry Memorization Weekly recitation is a fun way to hone in our recitation skills and practice what we have learned.
- Nature study - take a walk and record something in your nature notebook
- History - OK, I know that's not really an extra, but we like it a lot, so we do it on Fundays.
- Lots and Lots and Lots of Reading - We are currently reading some Andersen Fairy Tales. My kids are learning that Disney has kind of distorted the whole fairy tale concept :-)
- History projects and Science experiments - tomorrow we'll be doing a Byzantine Mosaic from Story of the World Volume 2.
- Proverbs Copy Book - Each of the older children has a fancy bound sketch book that they are copying the Book of Proverbs into, about 4-5 verses a week.
- Personal endeavors - My kids like making movies together. Lillian loves to bake. Gretchen likes to lock herself in a room to read. Nicholas LOVES to draw. Gabriel likes to talk to anyone who will listen. Kurt likes to escape and destroy. Fundays allow plenty of time to follow our interests :-)
My hope is to constantly be shifting what we do so that our Fundays never become dry and boring. I hope to spend some time doing some fun geography units, maybe add in journal writing, I don't know - whatever strikes our fancy.
That's one of the definite perks of homeschooling that I love so much!