I know I’m new at this business of being a homeschool mom, but I think this week pretty well sums up life for a homeschooling family. I thought I’d share a bit about it for those of you who have told me you are curious about how it all works.
We don’t use a particular curriculum, as some families do. Instead, we use various workbooks, textbooks, activities and websites to teach the subjects recommended for third graders by the state of Michigan…. plus some extra stuff that is important to our family that isn’t included in the state guidelines. I believe this is referred to as “eclectic teaching.” That’s very nice. It sounds much more formal than, “doing whatever we need to do to get the point across.”
A week or so ago I stumbled across a book that was given to me some time ago by a friend who knows my passion for random trivia. Each day of the week is assigned a different subject. Monday – History, Tuesday – Literature, Wednesday – Visual Arts, etc.
I had the idea that adding that book (well, some of it… some of it is quite beyond the 3rd grade level) to our studies would help round out our curriculum nicely.
So Monday’s subject in the book was “the history of the alphabet.” There was a lot of information about Egyptian Hieroglyphics and the development of the English language. Lovely!
We started the day with multiplication practice. This has been an ongoing drama. My kid struggles with math. It’s genetic. She gets it from me. We really have to do something math-related almost every day or else everything she’s learned will just slide out of her brain and land in a puddle of mush on the floor.
Then we read the alphabet section of the book and talked about it.
We found Egypt on the globe and then Sweet Hippie Daughter made a lapbook all about Egypt.
Math, reading, geography, history, language arts, fine motor skill practice…. That was just the morning!
We were on a roll!
After lunch she practiced her trombone and did her chores and then we headed out to the library for her first ever spelling bee. She was nervous, but she did great. She made it about halfway through before being eliminated on the word “grammar.” I would have spelled it with an e-r too. Huh. Learn something new every day!
At 4:15 every Monday we drop Sweet Hippie Daughter off at the local college for Theater class, which is one of her most favorite things in the world.
Theater was followed by dinner at Pizza Hut – a reward for completing October’s Book-It requirements. She may have inherited my bad math skills, but she also got my passion for reading. Hooray for that!
Tuesday we got a little bit of a late and lazy start, but then we were off and running.
More math. Those darn multiples of 4 are really tying her up.
She did a page in her Spelling and Language Arts workbook, and then she read the next page of our little book – “The Cave Paintings at Lascaux.”
During lunch, we watched the documentary, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” and saw some amazing videos of the ancient artwork that’s been discovered in France.
She made her own “cave painting” and told the story of a newborn lion cub, which she loved so much she carried it around for the rest of the day, showing it to everyone who would look.
We worked together on making a timeline that showed just how long ago those artists lived.
We headed off to the polls in the late afternoon and she came in the booth with me. We’d been talking freely, over the past several weeks, about the election and the people running for various offices as well as the issues that would be on the ballot, so she was excited to see how the voting process worked.
It was a special treat that a close friend was running for office. When she found his name on the ballot she was ecstatic! Even better, we got to head over to his election day party after voting and give him our best wishes in person.
At the party she watched with the rest of us as the numbers started rolling in and the winners were projected.
Two wonderful, successful days!
Wednesday Little Hippie Baby spent the day at the doctor. Don’t worry. That passed. Hahaha. (Click here, to get the joke). However, the day did not lend itself to a great deal of learning. She did have her books with her, though, and managed to eek out her cursive practice, spelling work, one page of math and some reading.
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to band practice or Wednesday night church that day as we usually do on Wednesdays so I guess, this week, we are more weird and unsocialized than usual. Oh, well. You can’t win them all.
Thursday we practiced the 4’s some more. Ugh. We are both sick of the 4’s!
Pretty much the rest of the day was given up to getting things ready for a big fundraiser at church this weekend. That included a LOT of arts and crafts. We did get in some reading and trombone practice as well.
And that brings us to today.
Today is book-work day, to catch up on some of the things we fell behind on over the past two days. There are worksheets for math and cursive, pages to do in the Spelling and LA book, a writing project, a reading assignment, and a Veteran’s Day project. She’ll also have trombone practice and chores.
We have a baby shower to go to later and we need to finish getting ready for the fundraiser so she needs to rock and roll and get it done.
This translates to: my kid has resisted EVERY SINGLE STEP of the day today. I’ve heard the full slew of whining. “You don’t understand any of my feelings. You treat me like a baby. You expect too much. You give me pointless worksheets.”
At this point the, “no talking unless it’s life or death” rule has been put in place. Which is why I have a few minutes to type this!
Days like this are stressful for all of us.
So, that’s it.
Lots of subjects covered. Some fun stuff. Some hard stuff. Some life interruptions. A few great days. A few difficult ones.
And that’s a week in the life of a homeschool family.