Well, hello bloggy friends! Sooo, this little thing called homeschool...we had our first week last week, right after labor day. I wouldn't be the Bridget Jones Homeschool mom if it all went swimmingly and as planned, right? Hold on, I won't disappoint you....
I did manage to get my new My Father's World Curriculum books set up in the homeschool bookcase. The idea is that the kids each have their own section and can put away/ find their books themselves. (they never actually ever put their books away, so we will see how this goes) There is also a section for books on tape, which my two youngest will be assigned daily (more on that later). The top part of the bookshelf is not so cleaned-up, nor is the homeschool closet. }it's how I roll.....
I bet you are all wondering how it went? How do I like My Father's World? I love it. I want to marry it. I wish I had tried it years ago. [le sigh]
...that was a sigh of deep regret for my years wasted in nomad curriculum-land....
I love the schedules. I love that they are bound in handy/manageable book form, not in honking big binders I can't lift. I love that everything is on one page, and that after the schedule grid-page, there are pages listed by day that have extra notes, instructions, etc.
I love that the High School schedule is written to the student. Josie checks off as she goes and I check in with her. <3
The first Day went swimmingly, it was more work than my two youngers are used to. Because I was homeschooling my bonus student, I had really pulled the punches in regards to out-put of work. Writing was really difficult for Teddy, Demi dragged his feet about it, too...so I really went light with them all. ( I never wanted Teddy to fill dumb or like he was lagging behind). A full day with MFW's Exploration to 1850 plus our normal 3 R's was really a stretch for Demi and Amie. I felt bad that I haven't made this level of work normal for them. I am glad that it will become normal for them. We read about Leif Erickson on Day 1 and the kids had to write a a few sentences about him. People, it was a stretch to get two good sentences out of them. Demi is starting 7th grade, his writing output needs to seriously jump up several notches. I thought about my 7th grade History class and all the notes we took. My teacher's teaching style was to fill up 3 large blackboards up with the lesson, which we copied into a notebook. Not the greatest teaching style, maybe- though I am a visual learner and do really well memorizing information I hand write...it worked well for me that year- but my point was that I quickly and very neatly copied pages of notes several days a week. My 7th grader? I can't even imagine him pulling that off. I've decided my solution will be to narrate together about each historical person, and then to cursive write several sentences onto a whiteboard that they will need to copy neatly. I will increase the length of these narrations as I go, so that eventually soon their output will be where it should be.
Day 1 went off perfectly, though we were very stretched (which was Tuesday because of Labor Day) Day 2 was Wednesday and it all began to unravel on this day, in typical Jenn-fashion. We had plans for a long-awaited beach day with our cousins. We got a tiny bit of MFW work done, our 3 R's and then hit the beach. Our hen Dapples injured her foot, I was able to get her in to see the vet after we got back from the beach...and there ended any further school work. Day 3-Thursday we got the 3r's done, but no MFW for the littles, I had to attend a long orientation day with Meg and Josie for their Biola Star classes. Friday...eh.... I'm not even sure I want to tell you what happened with Friday....you can leave that one to your imagination, but it might have involved, or not- my teens out in the wee hours tp-ing their cousins' house and my littles staying up with them to ungodly hours because I was sick and went to bed at 8, Sky goes to bed at 10 and then chaos apparently reined without mom at the helm. I had to drag everyone out of bed around 11 on Friday <Maybe>
Let's jump ahead and just say that on Monday (tomorrow) we will pick up with MFW and stretch out the rest of week 1. which actually, I like the thought of, because the work load is such a stretch for the kids, this will be a nice pace. So yeah, I like stretching it out, but I don't like that I am stretching out because I am such a loser at finishing an actual week.
Josie finished her week 1- and then some, actually. She had to start reading Julius Caesar, and then just finished it. Again, I love that the schedule is self-directed to the student!
So there you have it. I love MFW, but then again, I haven't actually finished a whole week with the littles...so I will have to do a later report on our progress. But, so far, I really like what I see. That I could follow and finish a complete day on the schedule- as written- is actually huge for me. With other programs, I began jumping ship mid day and started skipping books, jumping days....typical mayham.
Our lives degenerated last year and this Summer into so much unproductive directionless meandering that I had to sit down and make up daily to-do lists for my kids. Josie's and Meg's are a weekly check-list and list MFW work, basic classes, prep for their Biola classes and music practice, exercise. They are actually really good about doing what needs to be done, but it helps them to see it listed instead of having to ask me. Demi and Amie's are more detailed and they have two separate lists- one for daily stuff they need to take care of like 'brush teeth' and 'make bed' (sad to say, but yeah, I have to list that) and then daily lists of school work so they can see what we have to do before their school day is over.
I hate schedules, and I hate having to type these up...but I can also see that they are going to help us get so much more done.
So lovelies, it is now late o'clock on Sunday night. My homeschool closet is not clean, but my house is and we hosted the Bible College boys over for dinner. Summer is very quiet without them. I do have check lists for my kids all typed out and printed up. The daily-human-living lists for Amie and Demi go into plastic sheets and then onto a clipboard so they can check them off. My goal for my son is no longer Latin, but just to make him human.
How is back to school going for you? Any new curriculum loves?
**this post is linked to Homeschool Highlights in MFW at Discover Their Gifts or 2 ladybugs and a lizard " Homeschooling with MFW or want to see what a real day is like with MFW? Click over and read other Homeschool Highlights!