One week down, 51 to go. Or something like that. Oy.
We are officially done with our first week of homeschooling. I have to say that it has really gone much better than I expected. I've been pleased with the attitudes of all involved and the kids' willingness to work hard all morning.
Here's what our days have been like:
- Get up, get breakfast, get dressed, make beds.
- Do chores. Each day is different although they are the same from week to week.
- Sit down for Bible on the comfy couches. This part has been going really well and is a nice, gentle start to the school day.
- Move to the dining room and work like crazy until everyone is done. Usually we are done around lunchtime and the kids are able to play for the afternoon. Which they love!
I've set up a whiteboard in the dining room and daily write on it what David and Zack need to accomplish that day. For things they need my help with, I write "with Mom". This has been working really well. They love crossing things off on the board as things get done. Plus, it allows me to juggle several kids. If I'm working with Abby, I can ask David and Zack to work on something that doesn't require my help.
The hardest part has been keeping Gabe occupied. I did put together a bin of special toys for school time and get out one or two things each day. Plus, I have little worksheets that he can do to feel a part of the school experience. However, his attention span is 5-10 minutes and I'm finding it difficult to keep him busy. Plus, I've come to realize that he's never had to play alone. Our other three have all learned that alone time is good and can be fun. Gabe has never really had that, so it's hard to get him to play anything by himself. He'll learn, but it'll be a tough transition until then.
The one thing that I didn't expect was to have exhaustion accompany teaching. I thought that since we finish school by lunch time, I'd feel fresh and ready to go each day. But, throughout this week, I've grown more and more tired. I guess I'm just really pouring a lot into this. Plus, I never get any down time since even after school is done, I'm still with the kids. And, I still am doing all the normal life stuff like cleaning and cooking and ministry. So, that has surprised me. I think I'll just need to commit to getting to bed a little earlier once or twice a week.
Overall, the homeschooling experience so far has been positive. I can see that the kids are enjoying it and I really like having them home. I love seeing more of their quirks and talents and thought processes. And, I have already caught a few gaps in their education that I think otherwise would have gone by unnoticed. So, several good things are happening. But, I certainly am glad it's the weekend and that I have nothing planned for tonight and can hit the hay a bit early. :) If there is one thing I've learned it's this: Kids are wonderful and fun and forgiving and cheerful and great little sponges for learning. But, THEY WEAR YOU OUT!