Tuesday, August 30, 2011


As most homeschoolers know their are many benefits of homeschooling. Today I am focusing on one of them. Schedule, it's flexible! I had the intention this year of starting in Early August and adding a curriculum each week or every other week until we had them all incorporated into our days. We did start our math on August 5th and were consistent for three weekdays. Then we got a call that one of Rob's Aunt's passed away suddenly. She was the one I called during my first miscarriage. She was the one that we talked to about Rob's Mom's cancer. She was the one we talked to about the family drama was it important or silly? She was gone in an instant. We didn't even have to talk about it, we knew we were going to the funeral. I started to pack the math and then decided not to, most likely we would not have time and we had started early. It worked perfectly for us to stop and pick it up again on Monday the 22nd when we had been home over a week. We were able to take a week plus off part for travel and part for travel recuperation. Yeah for no stress!
The second level of flexibility is in the day to day. The day we called our first day of school was August 22nd. Since the public schools were starting we decided to go ahead and start that day also. Joy and I put the schedule up Math, Recess and Cleaning floors/dusting were our morning activities. Then I got the call, the one I always dread, someone would like to view your home in about 2 hours time. Okay, one little tweak to the schedule dusting and floors moved up math moved back and recess is definitely going to be at the park! Done a little mad woman and grumpy child cleaning and we never missed a beat!
The third aspect of the scheduling is the actual daily schedule. We have this schedule for our school days:

My daughter and I meet each morning to go over the schedule and decide in what order our day shall happen. The green are the every day items. The yellow are the someday items (the ones on rings indicate something from that ring happens daily but the actual activity varies). The pink are the fun extras. No two days are alike, and she gets to choose which she wants to do when. The problem we ran into the last 2 days was afternoon I don't wannas. So today I put the important you have to items in the morning. That and we have a meeting this afternoon that I am unsure of the length of so I am avoiding accidentally not having time for an important subject.
That is flexibility at it's best... we decide which days we homeschool, we decide which hours we homeschool and we decide which order we homeschool. It's a great plan for those without a plan!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Future Tense to Present Tense...

This week marked a milestone. I am not sure when it changed (although technically it was Monday at 8am), but I changed from future tense I will be homeschooling Joy to the present tense I am homeschooling Joy. It struck me Friday as Joy and I were apartment shopping (I will tell you more of our home situation later) I was about to say we are going to homeschool and had to change that to we are homeschooling. It's really happening. Really? It's happening? Wow when did that happen? It's always an interesting moment when you go from the planning and preparing to the doing stage. Then a week later you realize hey I am on the next step! Now to enjoy it and not look towards the next step until it's time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kindergarten has started!

Hi! I am a homeschool mom of one child. My daughter is currently 4.9 years old and we started kindergarten this week! I have no other children and although I would welcome more it looks like our life will be complete with our one.
So why homeschool if I only have one kid? Why not? Should only families of 2, 3, 5, 19 kids homeschool? No I have the right also and this is what we think is best for our child.
How did we come to this decision? A few things added up to wanting to homeschool. First her birthday is 19 days after the cut off for getting into the state schools and most private schools follow that same cut off. Second I found a group/program I fell in love with and can't imagine my child learning any other way or with any other curriculum. Some might say I am a control freak (which I will admit I am a little). I can't see anyone else being able to teach my child better than me. So here we are homeschooling one.
Our choices for curriculum this year are simple! The group/program I fell in love with is Classical Conversations (CC). So we will take from what we do with them for our History and Science and Latin. I decided to go with the CC recommended Math which is Saxon Math, and so far so good. I did get the recommendation that if my daughter already knows her numbers and can count to skip the K curriculum and go ahead with 1st grade. I am so glad for this because 5 days into the curriculum and my daughter knows more than they expected her to so it's real fun and easy for her. Next I wanted a phonics program, and I stumbled upon All About Spelling. No it's not really a total phonics reading curriculum, but they do go through phonics to teach the spelling. They also have books for the kids to read and I believe are coming out with an All About Reading curriculum. I am also doing Handwriting Without Tears with her. I was fortunate enough for someone else to pay for me to attend a HWT workshop and so I have allot of the materials and we use that for our handwriting. That rounds out our official curriculum choices. In addition to those we are reading each day from her Bob book sets, and I will continue to find readers at her level.
We had a daily schedule from 8am-7pm with each hour having an activity. Few if any of the activities take a full hour so it's not as crazy as it sounds. We start the day looking at the schedule and deciding what we will do and when we will do it. Some things like Math, Spelling, Reading, and when we start CC our Memory Work are the no choice do every day things. We then have chores and an elective which we pick from each day. Last she has some fun choices to add to the blank spots.
I actually had the intention of starting about 3 weeks ago (and we did with our Math) and adding something to our schedule each week. Two kinks happened, first I didn't order my All About Spelling in time to get it for our 2nd week. Then one of my husband's Aunt's died suddenly and we drove 12 hours to be with family. When we returned I took a week off doing other stuff that wasn't done while we were out of town. Then the public schools were starting and so I got in gear and decided to start also this past Monday. We used our regular schedule on Monday and Tuesday then Wednesday we took the day off so I could teach the teachers at her former school about Handwriting Without Tears. Thursday (today) we were back on our schedule. Tomorrow we have our CC Orientation. So first week of school was only 3 days. I love it!!