Lot’s of changes here. Being without a vehicle has made homeschooling so much easier. It used be that we were fighting with outside activities for time but now we have so much time. The house is neater and the schoolwork is all caught up. More on that in a minute. So our list of what we accomplished this week is different but more fulfilling.
What we did do this week:
- Weatherized the house: well we didn’t, but a crew was here working on that all week
- Workbook work
- Easy Peasy Online School
- Costco shopping with a friend and our little ones
- Orthodontist appointment: Artist got her braces off 🙂
- Math drills
- Read lots to the younger kids
- Played around with water and our freezing temperatures outside
- Created a new cleaning system for ourselves
The HOME in Homeschooling
So many things pull us out of our homes. There are the lessons like music or foreign language, there are classes like a science co-op or drama group, there are sports activities like soccer or open gym, there are just so many awesome activities for us as homeschoolers, how do you choose?
Well, our choice was made for us with the demise of our latest vehicle. We were doing so many activities every week. Here is a list of things we did with the homeschool group before our vehicle bit the dust:
- Science co-ops: ran these and participated
- Drama club
- Homeschool Choir
- Singing at nursing homes
- Ice skating
- Homeschool meetings: set-up and lead most of them
- Open gym
- Yearbook: started and ran
- and, and, and
That is just a partial list of our weekly things to do with/for our homeschool group. There are also field trips, the soccer team, talent shows, spelling bees, you name it, our group was doing it. Most of it was organized and run by us.
Now, these are all wonderful things to do. Really there are. But the HOME in homeschooling was becoming the, “get what you can get done in the time left” schooling. We were gone so much we wondered if our home was more of a motel than a house. My husband and I would laugh when saying this and then look at each other like, ” Really? Is this what we have become?”
We would spend our mornings preparing to be gone again:
- Packing lunches
- Collecting workbooks for down times
- Final prep for co-op lessons to teach
- Collecting supplies for co-op classes
- Rushing to do our animal chores
- Eat a quick breakfast
- And slamming that door behind us to a now empty house
That was a typical Monday. Don’t get me wrong, we would get all of our schoolwork accomplished but had barely any time to relax when we were home. When we got home we were exhausted. This was a typical week:
- Monday: Co-op classes, Drama club, Yearbook all in the afternoon
- Tuesday: Ice skating in the morning or Soccer in the afternoon, and Homeschool meetings in the evenings once a month
- Wednesday: Field trips in the morning once a month and Homeschool Q&A in the afternoon once a month
- Thursday: Open gym in the afternoon
- Friday: Home
Now as you can see these are all taking up only parts of the day. Some were just mornings or just afternoons but I would have to plan out my week and figure out when we would get our actual schoolwork done. Each day we would get these activities and our schoolwork done but at what cost? There has to be a limit.
Someone once said to me, “If your not home is it really homeschooling?” Now there are many ways to homeschool, don’t get me wrong, but the way we were doing it was just was to hectic for us. We needed time to crash and not worry about the activities for the next day.
Helping to keep out homeschool group going for the last 3-4 years has been a blessing and a burden. We are a veteran homeschooling family and love to share what we have found works. This is our 22nd year homeschooling and we know a few things that could be helpful to a family starting out and love sharing that knowledge. We also know how to fit it all in since we have homeschooled for so long that it is just a way of life for us. Homeschooling is the natural thing for us to do each day.
So what have we learned by being home more and not doing all those activities?
- The homeschool group can survive without us
- Our children are happier to just chill
- We accomplish our schoolwork so much faster
- We like to sleep in a little later
- Our afternoons are ours again to do what makes us happy
- The house is cleaner since we are here to keep it neat (kinda weird that is was so much messier when we were here less…)
- I am a more relaxed mama
- I have my weekends back: not planning 3 co-op classes for Monday has totally freed up my weekends
Pick and choose what you children will participate in. We have 6 kids still at home and could easily make a legitimate excuse for every activity we were doing but how did those choices change us as a family?
Make it a point to be home with your kids. There will always be something else to participate in but for this time just choose home.
Socializing is a hot topic… make time to spend with others but cherish this time you have with your children. Too soon they will be graduating and you will wonder where all the time went.
What do you think? Let us know 🙂
Lastly a picture from this week… Artist got her braces off. A beautiful smile on a beautiful young lady.