Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Adventures in Homeschooling ... and stuff

I am a great waffler on homeschooling. I think it's a marvellous idea. I just don't know whether it's a good fit for either me or for Teddy.

Recently, I read an article suggested by an esteemed friend regarding homeschooling and socialization.

I remember looking over my Montessori "report cards" from when I was small and seeing non-standard subjects. So I thought about what subjects I'd like Teddy to cover right now and came up with a few: reading, writing, arithmetic, life skills (cooking, cleaning, laundry), beauty (art, nature, music, dance), and religion. I jotted down an age-appropriate goal or activity to go with each section.

Since my husband will be out of town for the next couple of days, I figured that making a schedule for my day would be useful. Today has gone quite well. I'm glad that I put in meal preparation times, and am being flexible with myself. (We didn't take a walk this morning, sending Dadda off on his trip instead, and I was late going on errands and couldn't find the blasted lightbulb (bought others which don't fit the little icon light), so we'll go shopping for foods tomorrow.)

My current goals for Teddy:
*reading: putting letters together, like a hornbook sort of thing; maybe I'll try the second lesson tomorrow
*writing: tracing letters; I need to be more prepared for this, as Teddy only wanted to copy the dots. Maybe I can print something out from here
*arithmetic: counting physical items; Teddy tends to keep on going with the numbers, so there may be three items, but he'll count to eleven or twelve
*life skills:
**cooking: we made banana bread today; Teddy loves watching anything about baking
**cleaning: pick up toys and dust baseboards; he's getting better about the first, and I thought he might enjoy something with a dustrag which would save me some bending over; I haven't introduced the latter yet
**laundry: put away clothes; he's pretty good about moving laundry between baskets and machines, but after it's out of the dryer, it usually ends up on the couch for a few days
**art: look at children's art books; haven't pulled any of the multitudes we have yet
**nature: take a walk; oh, well; we'll try again tomorrow
**music: match pitch; I felt like I should have a goal, but he started singing along with the Romanian Christmas carol cd, so I felt progress was made
**dance: clap on beat; again with the need to have a goal, but maybe we'll try this when I watch more Jeeves and Wooster tonight - there's fun music!
**icon identification: he picked up on St. Savas last night from a church school display, and did pretty well with St. Barbara and St. Nicholas
**prayers by heart: he was shouting "Agios athanatos, eleison imas!" earlier, so I'll just slow down the usual bedtime prayers
**listen to Mama read the Gospel: oh, yeah, I forgot to do that this morning because I slept in almost a full hour

I think the hardest thing about the Montessori ideas is "a prepared environment" ... and close after that "a prepared teacher." I am trying to make sure that he knows what clean and tidy is ... and thinks it's normal. I wish this were the case for me. Thank goodness for "Auntie Leila"!

Husband just called to report the delivery of both NSP newsletters to the Metropolis and grandmother's chairs to aunt's house!

How long does it take roofers to put a new roof on and why do they seem to work the loudest during Teddy's naptime?

Looking for things, I cleared off an entire section of kitchen counter which just looks and feels wonderful. This is not the kitchen reorganization I was thinking of doing over the next three days, but it's nice to have the dishes done and a whole flat surface to just ... be flat with nothing on it. (I have a tray of miscellany, but moved that somewhere that was already cluttered so I could have a little bit more of success right now.)

I think it is time for a snack, as I am unable to focus. Either that, or I've run out of things to say.

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Blogger Matushka said...

I felt the same way and still do. I have three girls, 8, 6 and 4. A good friend told me that I will always feel in a state of flux with homeschooling and she is right. Just when we get settled in, our interests change. I say "ours" because I am just as involved with homeschooling as the girls, so I have to love it too.

I'm not a "natural homeschooling mom". It's not easy for me. However, I do love it. And I really love having the girls home with me.

Here's my rule (for what it's worth ;) ). I prioritize my day. We pray, read the Bible, do math, writing, reading (in this order) and then everything else falls in after that. I feel that if we have an "off" day and we just got our basics done, then we're ok.

Have you ever looked at Charlotte Mason? It took me a long time to switch over, but I am so glad I did. It's a beautiful way of teaching children-so rich and interesting too. Check out My girls love this curriculum and so do I. The readings are amazing.

May your efforts be blessed!

P.S. I think you should lovingly pass on the choir directing duties to someone else. It's really important that you work with your children in church so that they know what is going on and that they eventually appreciate and love being there. You can teach your little ones to sing beautifully within the congregation. :)

Fri Dec 31, 07:52:00 AM CST  
Blogger magda said...

That prioritization sounds lovely. I think I have some time (I always *think* so ...), as Teddy is only two. Who knows what the second baby will do to our "normal."

This Nativity Fast I've just started what I hope will be a habit of reading through the Bible, starting from the Gospels, two chapters at a time, as part of my (newly shortened) morning routine.

I haven't looked into Charlotte Mason seriously, but there is a Montessori school which looks promising, and we aim to get a tour sometime in January.

I wish I had someone else to pass on the choir directing duties to. Of our two candidates, one doesn't read music and the other travels often. I stepped in as choir director mostly because there wasn't anyone else to do it. (And I'm bossy, I guess.)

Fri Dec 31, 08:10:00 AM CST  

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