The first rule of homeschool is you don’t talk about homeschool. Just kidding, but the first week of homeschool could definitely be compared to fight club. I fought to get the kids to cooperate, I fought to figure out how the hell to start, I fought to handle my two year olds needs while teaching the kids, and of course I fought with my overwhelmed brain. We didn’t get done everything I wanted and that’s ok. Also, very similar to my previous teaching position….teachers know there is never enough time and it’s all a learning process.
The first rule of homeschool is actually to ditch the schedule. We just can’t keep a schedule that is similar to traditional school. Instead, I am now planning activities to cover all of the subjects and doing them in random order based on how the kids are feeling and when the baby naps, etc. We have covered all subjects planned every day, but the schedule had to go. We went to the park one morning, and did our learning in the afternoon. The other three days we finished by 1 or 2pm. It’s amazing how much quicker you can cover things with just two students.
The biggest struggle so far is getting my kids to do things for ME. I know that they didn’t give their regular teachers this much trouble! I’ve heard, “I don’t want to do this”, “I can’t do this”, “This is too hard”, all of which are not true. I thought I was starting them off pretty darn easy. My response has been, “would you act like this for Ms. (insert name of previous teacher)?” Their response is always no and I remind them that I will take a ball out of the bucket (see previous post on bucket fillers and dippers) and this has worked so far to keep them back on track. The chore charts and getting started in the morning are also going really well. They like to get up, pick their clothes, and even make their beds.
The way they make their beds looks horrible, it really does. However, I’m not fixing it. My mom told me she used to fix our beds after we made them and she wished she never did this. Why? Because it discouraged us from doing it at all. I want them to feel proud and accomplished and work on making them a little better each day.
We could have gotten so much more done. Part of this was getting my kids to cooperate with me, part of this was the fact that I despise mornings, even after coffee, and I need to be more adamant that we begin on time. I have ADD being late is kind of our thing. Not an excuse, the time management struggle is real. I think things will either take way longer than they actually do or way shorter and I hate that uncomfortable feeling of getting started and having to focus. Things I’m working on.
So even though we are all exhausted and it can be frustrating when a two year old comes screaming into the room like he’s straight out of the movie Braveheart (we laugh but it doesn’t help the focus), I am calling the first week a success with failures. A success with failures that will be improved upon in coming weeks. I’m raising a community of learners and if we don’t make mistakes, then how will we learn?