Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Day 1

Well, we made it!
We got off to a little bit later start than I had envisioned; of course, I had envisioned absolute perfection a la Donna Reed and though we managed our normal level of less-than-Reed-like controlled chaos, it was perfect in its own way.

I made breakfast and sent the boys off for teeth-brushing and clothing that was not pajamas and had them meet me for “school”. We started with handwriting and a fable, Aesop’s “The Wolf and The Kid”. Then, we did history/geography (Ambleside Online’s recommended “Paddle to the Sea“) complete with atlas lookups and discussions mid-chapter about animals, what the boy might be feeling and what Paddle might be feeling, and to discuss the pictures.

Next came some outside time, then back inside for science and math, then we took a break for lunch. We made taco soup and we must have done something right because both boys ate a lot! After lunch, we put shoes on and went for a walk with binoculars and journals for Nature Study, then back to the house for some time in the yard finishing up our drawings and notes from our walk.

After that, we did Spanish (Ella es mujer.) and copywork, which was a poem by Christina Rossetti and finally, we wrapped up the day’s lessons with making apple-cinnamon scones and Tuesday Tea. That’s a concept I have seen on several other sites to cover etiquette and formal manners and I really like it. I pulled out my “good china” and my boys were so careful with all of it. I really appreciate how much care they took when handling such delicate pieces.

All in all, I think the day went fantastically. What I learned:

We took too long. I tried to do too much, and though we accomplished everything on the list, I can see where I need to cut some things out. I also learned what my kids’ strengths are, and weaknesses in regard to learning ability. We had a lot of out-of-your-seat lessons, which was good for both of the boys. We also did work on the chalkboard and on clipboards in the yard as opposed to sitting at the desk and using plain paper. They were very focused for 90% of the time we were actively doing lessons – but still, I am cramming too much in.

I think that’s just “me” – I want perfection, and though I know we’ll never get there, I know that having no plan definitely won’t get you there. That said, I have tried to convince myself that unschooling simply will not work for me. After today, I am kinda re-thinking that. As much as I LOVE the philosophy, I can see how we can work towards that as an ideal, if not implement fully as a strategy. I am not quite ready to give up on our lesson plan, but I am more open to moving in that direction than I was before.

I did a slideshow with pictures taken from our day.

Tomorrow, we have the library and lunch with some friends. We’re part of SETXPlaygroup, and there is a “Meet-N-Greet” event that we’ll be going to – for socialization {wink}. Trying to fit that in with lessons will be a challenge, but taking into consideration what I learned from today, I think I am up to the task.

Warmly,
~h

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