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Homeschooling after vacation

Apparently, my kids took our Spring Break as the beginning of summer. We have had a really, REALLY hard time getting back on a routine. The first week home we did some review because I knew we had testing coming up the following week. Plus an unexpected (but welcomed) house guest stayed with us for a few days. So after life got settled down, I thought it will be easy to knock out the next 2 months. We are refreshed and ready to go….or not. Everytime we sat at our table for school time, I dreaded it. I wanted to be doing other things, crafts, science projects and more, not sitting at the table giving another spelling test or reviewing the same concept of a sentence for my special needs child for the millionth time. I love homeschooling, it’s one of my passions, but I was hating it at the same time. Turns out I have Homeschool Burn Out. I don’t know how many times I threatened to send the kids back to school because I was over it. All I wanted to do was throw out our books!

Guess what? I did just that!

We are doing fun learning! Something I call school for Dakota because he “hates” school and it’s boring. I now do for all 3. We put all books away except for our Math. I sat down with my computer and tablet and made lessons plans based on what we are learning and using hands on activities, including lapbooking and notebooking.

Before this happened, I read a few articles online about Homeschool Burn Out, but never really took it seriously. Believe me, it is a serious condition! If I hadn’t taken action, I may have put my kids back in public school. For my kids (not all) that would have been very damaging. Plus I am not sure what I would have done with my day. I am glad something in my mind clicked and said research this. And when I read all the symptoms: depression, not wanting to do school, threatening to put kids in school, tired and irritability. I knew this is what I was fighting. Thankfully, I saw what me and the kids didn’t want to do and changed to the items we were craving, using our creativity!

It’s only been 3 days since I threw out the books, but it has felt so refreshing to be free. I am beginning to see that play really is the best education you can give a child. And I am focused more on doing than filling out a worksheet.

2014 homeschooling schedule

I am excited for this new chapter of schooling. I made some changes that I hope and pray will work because I just don’t know if I can handle throwing out and starting over part 3. Originally we were doing 6 weeks of school and then a 2 week break. This was idea when my kids were younger, but now we are in middle school. And honestly 6 weeks isn’t enough time to fit in all the learning that we wanted to do. Basically any hands on activity and field trips got pushed to the back burner. They have burned to a crisp by now.

Plus I realized when the holidays were upon us, there just wasn’t enough time to do our regular homeschool routine and celebrate with fun activities. So, of course, all the fun was sucked out again. Also I felt like I was always rushed to shop and entertain and homeschool and EVERYTHING!!! I didn’t get to enjoy it!

Well I have found a schedule that will fix all that. January through May, we are doing school consistently with a week off in March for Spring Break. Our spring break will be different every year because we will coordinate with my oldest daughters school schedule. They will also have the occasional day off here or there.  We will wrap our school year up in May and have June and July off for summer break. Then in August we will start our new school year and homeschool strong with the occasional day off through to Thanksgiving. The week of Thanksgiving will mark our Holiday break. We will be off until after the first of the year.

This schedule is just for my older kids. My preschooler will be doing school all the time. His schedule is a little more relaxed. We usually do school 3-4 days a week. And he needs consistency to keep up with what he is learning. These breaks are the perfect time for some one on one time with mommy.

 

 

 

 

 

Here we go again! Throwing out the plans Part 2!

Yes, that is right. I am revamping our homeschool schedule again! This is what I love about homeschooling. The fact that I can stop and change directions on a whim is empowering.

So this what we were doing in the beginning.

I was trying to fit every subject into everyday. I was also trying to do preschool like I did it back 10 years ago in a daycare center. And I was trying to follow the Florida school calendar.

This didn’t work at all!

Then I began:

Doing split scheduling like I did last year. We also started 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off, except preschool. And mostly book work.

Forget about it. With 4 kids that have dentist appointments, doctor appointments, sick days and the everyday household running, I felt like I was flying through the 6 weeks, but not accomplishing anything and rushing my kids through. I would leave out the “fun” part of homeschooling~ all the hands on stuff. And I still had a preschooler who hated school. He woke up twice and told me my school sucked and that he hated school, especially coloring. Plus with Christmas here and all the fun of that, it is hard to fit in school, fun, errands and cleaning.

So for now we are just coasting through. Working on hands on projects, finishing up books that we were reading, practicing our writing and working on Math. For Lil Man, we are making everything hands on. More learning centers, more arts and crafts, more computer and tablet time. And it has been working so far.

But beginning in 2014, we begin a whole new chapter, which the girls and I are very excited about. We are starting back to school January 6 and I will be posting more regular updates then.

Throwing out all my planning and winging it!

We are 2 weeks in to homeschooling and I haven’t found what will work for us. It is so much harder than any of those blogs, the ones that make you feel like your not doing enough, let on. I can’t seem to balance everything. So we are trying last years schedule with some adjustments and additions.

Preschool seems to be the hardest because he wants nothing to do with it or he wants all of my attention. I can’t win really. And trying to get a 4 year old to wait is impossible.

Hopefully next week I can post how everything has worked itself out and is going smoothly.

HOPEFULLY!

 

First Day of homeschool 2013

Here are my angels on their first day.

 

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Dakota on the first day of Preschool. This was our 3rd attempt at a picture.

 

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Brianna on her first day of 6th grade.

 

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Cailin on her first day of her 8th grade gap year. She has a goofy smile because of her uncle standing behind me.

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Here they are my 2013-2014 class!

You know I still can’t believe how fast time flies. When we started our homeschool journey Cailin was going into 3rd and Brianna was in 1st and little man was just a hope and dream!

Not Back to School weeks 2013

Well I hate to say this but the last two weeks of summer for my homeschool kids have sucked!

The weekend before my oldest was to head back to school, my homeschool kids got a really bad cold. So the first week of what was supposed to be fun and HAHA we don’t have school consist of sneezing, coughing, dirty tissues and Mucinex. My poor babies were hit hard. But they were due. Other than a few sniffles here and there, they have been extremely healthy for at least 2 years.

Once they finally got back on their feet which took about a week, it was time for our back to school shopping. No we aren’t shopping for school supplies! We are shopping to stock up the house. I do this at the beginning and end of summer. It was time for a BJ run! At the beginning of summer I took Hubby and 2 kids with me. BIG MISTAKE!! Hubby threw everything in the cart and boom $1000 before coupons! Never again, I tell ya!

This time I had 3 kids and well……….I wasn’t much better……take a look……….

 

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That is my receipt next to my brand new table which is a 108 inches long. My receipt well over half! OOPS! But that’s what happens when you got to stock up the house after going 3 months of non-heavy duty shopping. Plus my table is now full. Yup that’s right there is a total of 8 with 4 being teenagers. Another post coming about that later.

So that being said our not back to school  week wasn’t very fun. Hopefully that’s not an omen for the school year.

Why we are not homeschooling high school this year

I know just last week or so I posted that I would have a Pre-k, a middle schooler and a high schooler.  After much stress and anxiety (about 5 months worth) on my part, my daughter decided she wasn’t ready. She said there were things she wanted to go over and grasp before she jumped into high school. And I was very relieve! But then stressed again because we start school in 2 weeks. 

Are we saying she failed 8th grade? No! My daughter struggled in some minor areas but the majority she passed with flying colors. We are calling it a gap year. Yes all the formal paperwork says 8th grade but to us it is a catch up year. Which we knew she would have an extra year option.

Here in Florida if you turn 5 before September 1, then you start Kindergarten that year. Teachers here hate it! At least all the ones I have come across.  If your birthday is after September 1, you don’t start until the following August. Even though my oldest and middle daughter are 2 years apart, school age they are only one grade apart.  My middle daughter would be graduating before she is even 18. This will also happen for my son who is born in July.

My hubby and I always knew we would have a year if she felt she needed it. And I am really proud of her making the decision to take it now to prepare more knowing that high school is when it counts. Even though she feels terrible for all the money spent (that’s my frugal girl) on the curriculum for 9th grade. It’s not like it won’t get used next year. Plus my hubby was over the moon. He has had a hard time accepting it. I mean just 2 weeks ago we were talking about it and he said well she doesn’t start high school for another year. He has been in denial over the last few months. So when she asked if she could take her gap year he was quick to answer yes! Poor guy couldn’t handle his little girl growing up.

All in all my daughter may not be going into high school yet, but she showed her maturity level by making a very good decision.