The last few weeks have been rough! Time change, sick littles, a major reorganization project in order to give the biggest boy his own room (which meant turning the schoolroom into the master bedroom, moving school to the main floor (where we mostly did school anyway since the toddler and schoolroom weren’t very compatible)). Change and perceived uncertainty nearly always produce a behavioral response and we’ve been battling bad attitudes and dawdling every day.
I’m tired. And I’m counting the days left for co-op meetings and our swim and gym class as I want to be done with school and know that having the day and half that those (good) activities take will do much towards moving us along to the finish line! Understand that I love those activities. I love the opportunity to teach youngsters who aren’t my own. I love watching the dynamics of a class come together and seeing kids turn into a team. But I am tired and I want to be finished. Some days I want to be finished with homeschooling altogether.
Thankfully convention season is coming and along with the anticipated event itself come the blog posts promoting different speakers and products.
Now, I’m not terribly fond of promoting things on blogs or reading blogs that do a bunch of sales and promotions. I think that doing a lot of salesmanship and promotion tends to makes recommendations unreliable. Personally I do one bit of promotion every year – for the Home Educators Association of Virginia’s Convention because I have been attending that convention for many years and find it extremely helpful and encouraging.
I’m glad to see at least some of the promotional stuff filling my newsfeed- because it helps to keep me going in this last bit of winter school. I keep a running list during the year of my ideas for next year or things that I think would be fun if we could fit them in. As new curricula pop up I read reviews and try to figure out if they would fill a hole or enable us to do more learning across the whole family. Seeing other people excited about what’s coming up helps me to also be encouraged and excited about finishing this year’s main work, doing some fun things over the summer, and jumping back in in the fall.
Here are some things I’m thinking about:
Typing for the three eldest using Typing Without Tears Online over the summer. Typing is a skill that they will use all their lives and getting it into their muscle memory will make them faster and more accurate over the long run. I am also seeing some places where typing instead of handwriting things would remove a level of frustration for at least one of my students, but we don’t really have time for typing lessons during the school year.
Math Everyone continues with about 30 minutes of math over the summer- either with MEP or with Khan Academy. The children get rusty otherwise and it is a good mental discipline.
Art I bought the full set of See the Light Art Lessons a few years ago and while we’ve done some of them on sick days, I haven’t been able to work them into our daily routine. I’m working out a schedule to complete the series this summer as some basic drawing skills will really help the children with their science and history studies in the fall.
Nature Study Winter in New England isn’t the best time for nature study and journaling so I’ll be adding that into our daily/weekly routines as well. We have some wonderful nature journals and coloring books that can be used as field guides if colored properly and I’m thinking to put together a “naturalist’s field bag” to carry in the car, along with our extra clothes (because you never know where you’ll find a creek to wade in) and other summer gear.
I’m also working on lining up crafting and other making opportunities (treehouse in the backyard finally!) and a couple of day camps for each of the children. My aim is to put together a fun and stimulating summer that will have us ready to jump back into academics in the fall!