Homeschooling

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Ever since I read about the three-day main lesson block over at Parenting Passageway, I’ve been hooked. It works especially well for us since we have co-op on Friday and Daddy’s day off is on Thursday. As Carrie writes, Waldorf is the only methodology that uses sleep as a teaching tool! So technically, our three-day main lesson block starts the night before, on Sunday, when I tell the story of the week at bedtime.

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We’ve been enjoying our little trip down fairy tale lane. The hardest part has been keeping the mural from falling down!

Our mural with the letter D “Magic Door”

This year, I’ve decided not to teach the letters in alphabetical order. I had several reasons.

First, I wanted to start with his name letter, since that’s pretty important to him.

Daniel has some speech issues so I wanted to start with some easy sounds first and space out the letters/sounds he has difficulty with.

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Happy First Day of School!

What’s that you say? You’re not celebrating the first day of school yet? Well, technically, I guess we aren’t either. I’ve been counting educational field trips and stealth learning since the beginning of July. But today was our official first day of school. You can tell because we had hot fudge sundaes.

Yum.

This year I am homeschooling an eighth grader, a sixth grader, a third grader (who was under the delusion that he was in second grade) and a kindergartener. I will be doing this with two toddler twinkies running around and without the assistance of any mood-enhancing drugs. At least that is the plan.

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Despite my anxiety about making a curriculum change, I cannot begin to tell how much better last week was after I set my resolve on trying something new. We have not had a week this wonderful, this peaceful, this full of learning in a long long time.

To be fair, I think curriculum is probably a bit like a diet. Once you weed out the completely wacky stuff, I don’t know that on necessarily works “better” than another. I think success is mostly a matter of good fit, accountability, and following the plan. At this stage in our lives, this seems to be a good fit for us. It helps that it comes with a model schedule designed to work with multiple children at multiple levels. I didn’t have to figure out how to fit everything in because it was already done for me!

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Today I am making a very public confession/announcement in the hopes that it helps me let go and move on.

I am not a Waldorf homeschooler.

I’m not happy about it and I feel like a great big failure,  but after three months of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, I am admitting that I just can’t do it anymore.

I can’t do it with my seventh grader, who just doesn’t respond to it anymore.

I can’t do it with my fifth grader, who was rather creatively using all that time I spent on other children’s main lessons as “mess around and do pretty much anything but work” time.

I’ve always loved Timberdoodle. I don’t know if it’s the quirky name or what, but I’ve always appreciated the thought and care they put into choosing what products they support and I often find myself going to their website to see what they have to say about a certain book or toy.

This past Friday they had a “Facebook Party” with tons of giveaways, all of which are open through Monday, so be sure to pop over and see if there are any giveaways you want to enter.  They’re having some great sales as well, and I really enjoyed chatting with other homeschool mamas on their Facebook page.

Yep, you heard me correctly. Around here, we can start counting school days on July 1. We’re not doing much, mind you, but it’s the idea that we could if we really wanted to. Also, I saw that Target is putting out school stuff already. The  mind, it boggles.

Of course, if you are alleged unschoolers like we are (we aren’t, but our evaluator jokes that we are) it doesn’t much matter anyway. Everything is learning and you can find learning anywhere. Still, the law must be fed, so to that end, here are a few new things we are trying this year.

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And of all the things I lost post-peripartum cardiomyopathy, I miss my rhythm and routine and well ordered homeschool days the most. It doesn’t help that even before the babies were born, I was too big and tired to keep up with things. I’m no longer big, but still very, very tired. And of course the biggest difference between then and now is that now I care! I am soooo ready to get my groove back.