Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Homeschool Update- End of the Year!

Hi Friends-  It's been awhile!  Homeschooling definitely has taken more time and energy than I thought.  Being a homemaker, keeping up with exercise, nutrition, cleaning, cooking, marriage, parenting, homeschooling and many other pursuits has me stretched in so many directions.  I'm really trying to apply the principle of Less vs. More.  I have a long way to go, but I'm trying to do less on the computer so that is one reason I don't update my blog so much.  I wish I could share more, but follow me on Facebook and you can see more of what we do.  I only am able to blog a little bit.

So, we finally ended our homeschool year officially!  I have learned SO much as homeschool mom vs. being a classroom teacher.  Did I tell you I taught 12 years of Kindergarten and this first year as homeschool Kindergarten teacher was nothing like how I taught?  I should have figured it wouldn't be the same. 

Here are some pictures of the last few months of school:
Typing Club online

Roller Skating with co-op the first time ever!

Playing our favorite game- Candyland

Making crafts on the back porch- child led

My son got golf clubs- ready for golf camp this summer

My poor daughter got a bad ear infection

Last day of homeschool co-op

Being silly with my babes

My son entered a creation in the showcase at co-op

My daughter turned 4 in May

Grand Prix with Awana

Last day of school!  Kindergarten done!

My daughter asked Jesus into her heart at Awana.

Tea party for a co-op friend

The fort in our living room- AKA cabbage box

I don't know if you are like me, but I am a perfectionist, but it seems like nowhere in my world can I get to that level.  I want to do everything WELL.  But what happens is I do everything mediocre and that just doesn't sit well with me.  I read a lot of homeschool blogs and I wonder why I can't get it together with my two kids.  But I'm learning that we are all different and what works for one family does not work for another.  I have tried schedules and non-schedules and I still am learning what works for me and my kids.  I have a plan for the summer which I will share soon that I hope to keep as a school schedule in the fall.

Here are some things I learned my first year homeschooling:

1. Being a teacher in a classroom has been a disadvantage to being a homeschool mom.  Why do I say that?  Well, I found teaching one child is a lot different than a classroom full of kids.  In a classroom, the key to having a smooth day was a good set of transition routines.  At home, the key to teaching is having a good relationship with my child which I'm learning very slowly.

2. Having a rigid time schedule is really stressful.  When I taught at school we did everything by the clock.  School always began at 8:30, Recess was always at 10:30, Lunch was at 12:00.  I tried that at home.  It did not work!!  What I opted for was a loose routine.  We did things in order, but not necessarily in a rigid time frame.  I aimed to have breakfast, school, snacks and quiet time at relatively the same time every day, but if we were early or late, that didn't matter.  If I stressed about time, then that made the day miserable.

3.  Having fun is the key to success.  Everyday my kids asked if we were going to do something fun that day.  Well, I thought learning was fun, but they wanted adventure.  Every day was not an adventure, but I did add a lot of elements like going out to parks, the library and other fun places during school hours.  If I added these in, then they could look forward to them when our school work was finished.  I learned to relax and sometimes let the day flow.

4. Loving my children and giving them the best of me is the best lesson I can give.  This was tough for me, not that I didn't love my children, but that I really wanted to get things accomplished.  But I did not want them to think my stuff was more important than them.  My kids are very hands on and both require a lot of quality time.  I feel like I can't ever give them enough.  I am a quiet and calm person, but I have learned that tickles and snuggles and lots of jumping, dancing and playing are what my kids desire most.  I plan to do as much of this as possible for as long as I have them with me.

OK, so my first year of homeschooling taught me more about myself than I ever wanted to know, but as I go through each year I think I will get to know my kids and myself better.  I am very excited for next year as we do 1st grade and PreK.  I have all the curriculum, but most of all I just want them to know about Jesus. So even if we don't cover everything I want them to know how much I love them and how much Jesus loves them.

Stay tuned for my yearly curriculum reveal post coming up sometime this summer.
Also, I will be sharing my Report Card and School Memories notebook by video soon too.

Blessings, Shonda

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