Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Polished Cornerstones/Plants Grown Up - Co-ed Style: Teaching Skills

We have been out of the formal schooling loop for several months now. All have been craving a little more structure--none wanted to give in and admit it.  So, I had to take the reins and  get this horse back on track.  We started back to school last week.  Many areas went well. Others caused me a little bit of concern, as I mentioned here.   This week, it seemed appropriate to work on teaching skills, since we're in that frame of mind.  We are working a plan for doing things co-ed as much as possible and leaving any gender-specific activities for more appropriate times.  Here's the plan (btw, we school Tues-Sat, due to my husband's work schedule) for our upcoming week:

Day 1: Scripture reading, discussing and copying.I am so sure that I will have exactly three volunteers to help organize activities for my preschooler to do while I homeschool the others.  Who doesn't want to be the one to make the rules?????
Day 2: Scripture reading, discussing, copying (working through the list of passages). Perhaps someone different from day 1 can be the helper on that project.  Also, my 3rd and 5th grader will begin helping in this area this year by checking each others' math papers. Hopefully, I can explain that along with corrections, they should find something encouraging to share about their sibling.
Day 3: Scripture reading, discussing, copying.  This one could be soo fun.  I will have the two older ones write up Bible quiz questions to ask the family at mealtimes.  They really are trivia buffs. :)
Day 4: Scripture reading, discussing, copying.  We will have a few of the children tell Bible stories to the others, using visual aids --they're all pretty creative so I have no doubt this will make for a few Kodak moments.
Day 5: Scripture reading, discussing, copying.  We will make our own instructional videos on a skill or job that they do.  
And hopefully, somewhere along the way, we can squeeze in the making of an educational cassette tape for another sibling, containing things they are learning and that is appropriate for their age. 

Those are my activity choices and my plans for the week!!  Can't wait to read what others have done! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Life After Homeschooling

there life after homeschooling? What will I do with all that free time? Whom will I then nurture? What will my husband want to do with some extra time?

You know the saying, ' the days are long but the years are short.' It's soo true. Some days, it seems like I will never, ever, ever get through the ABC's with some of my children. In the same day, I am amazed at the complexity of other children's lessons. And I know that very soon, like tomorrow, I will look back and wonder where all the littles that ran around here went. Is there something I can do to prepare for that? Where is my heart? What am I called to do at that point in life?

I'm writing this blog to remind myself what it's like to be where I am now. So that when I am in the "older women" category (Titus 2), I can see through the eyes of the ones coming behind me. I want to be the lady who calls up a mom of little ones to give her a few hours to run her errands while her little ones are well loved on by someone who will care for and pray over them. Someday, I hope I get the chance to allow a younger wife to spill her heart regarding the difficult times in the early years of marriage and be there to let her know that we all had to start somewhere and His Grace will get her through and pray with her. When my years of homeschooling are done, I want to be the one encouraging others in their journey and maybe even lead them.

Yes, I want to have time for myself and for more sewing and more time to go out with my husband. And I'll have plenty of time for those things. But I really want to continue to give and to nurture the younger women coming up behind me, whose path I have also traveled. I don't want to get into "retirement mode" so much that I cannot follow Biblical mandates. Titus 2 does not give us an option on this. I think it's kinda like God's mentorship program, but without the fancy title. It is the command for Biblical womanhood. My heart is to continue giving to those whom I can bless, in whatever stage of life I am.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Changing Horses Mid-Stream

This week was our first "official" week of homeschool for the new year.  And already, I have had to consider changing horses midstream.  I know the line about 'the beauty of homeschooling is that we can tailor....'  But I like my nice, neat, tidy lesson plans and I like for them to work.  I don't like having to redo my whole scheme. But, alas, I will go lightly for one more week and take another look at the situation then and evaluate if I truly must do that. 

Two of my three 'school-age' children have begged and begged to have their "own" books...meaning textbooks for their respective grades for this school year.  I have never been a textbook homeschooler, but assumed that they needed the structure and the independance of it.  So, being that they weren't huge investments (and knowing that  I would take them on other studies along the way anyway), I went for it.  And it did not prove to be what they envisioned.  I will post the verdict after giving a little more time.  I don't like to jump the gun, but I don't want to waste precious time on materials that aren't serving our purpose and vision.