Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What's in a day

We've homeschooled for two years now and finally I can say we have found our groove. I didn't believe it when others told me it would take this long and to just give it time. They said the girls would need time to decompress from their public school education and experience . While I can still see hints of it in them as they do their daily school work, they way they work in a phrase or two of "in public school I would have to raise my hand" or "in public school I would have to wait for the teacher to explain this to everyone". There are also bad habits we corrected, like how to write properly and to make the letters correctly. Handwriting is something they don't spend much time on in public school...and why? Because they aren't tested on it!

Handwriting is my focus each and every morning because if someone can't read what my girls have written then what is the point? Communication skills, girls, communication skills...I sounds like a teacher...

The school days fly by and just this week Allie (4) started her own handwriting practice and she loves her school work. I waited until she showed interest in what we were doing before offering her own books to her. I am so glad I did, because it is a joy to watch her learn instead of a chore to make her do it.

Isn't Miss Abbey cute as she joins us with her water colors?

I have an idea each day of what we will accomplish, but not a fixed schedule. I am not a schedule person and I like flexibility. This doesn't work for all homeschoolers, but it works for us. I see learning happening in everything my girls do each day. From making their own breakfast (measuring, adding, learning to be domestic), to tackling math problems on paper. It took awhile before I saw growth in their knowledge, but I know now that it was always there.

A typical homeschooling day for us includes handwriting practice, math, language arts/literature and history. Once we finish a year of history we will then switch to science. Extra activities we do as we are able to - like ballet, gymnastics, soccer and soon art classes. Amid it all there is still laundry and dishes and laundry and more dishes.... It's a good thing the girls are learning to be domestic, right?.


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