Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 31: The Final Countdown

Well, this is it. The final countdown to the last weeks of school. This is where I really have to pull it off. Can I finish what I started last September? Finishing things is a hard one for me...the ADD part of me loves to start new and interesting things, but finishing up those last hard parts are always a challenge! 

So...this time last year I was gearing up for becoming Midlife Homeschool Mom and now I am figuring out how to finish my first year in this new endeavor. I spent two hours tonight compiling my final 6-week curriculum calendar and let's just mantra for this year should be "Best Laid Plans....". I've started each day/week/month with a great-looking calendar - and then my boys enter the picture and chaos ensues!

I'm encouraged that it looks like I'll be able to "finish" more subjects in my curriculum than I expected when I saw at mid-year that we were "behind". I began this year promising myself that I would go at my sons' speed and do what they needed, but I also realize now that if I stop for every issue Danny has, we will NEVER finish a school year, since his learning progress is so erratic and varies from day to day. 

Anyway, I need to make sure that even if Danny doesn't "get" everything we cover that I go ahead and progress so at least he's exposed to all the new information he needs. We can always review next year when we encounter paragraphs or regrouping again - it (and we) aren't going anywhere! 

Six more weeks...and then Mom will have a Summer Vacation Party!! :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 29: Learning when to rest...

Homeschooling is teaching ALL of us.

One of the first things I am learning in my first year of homeschooling is that I will be learning as much as my sons do. Not only about what their needs, abilities and challenges are and not just about history and science facts that I missed my FIRST time around in school (!), but what a homeschool is and how OUR particular school works.

This week I learned that our school has a cycle of about six weeks. During those weeks, we begin with some squeaky gears the first week or so, start to really pickup steam and plow through some quality work for a few weeks...and then we hit the hard weeks. Just when I feel like we have "got" this homeschooling thing and I'm doing it "right" and they are learning so much and I am helping them just right...that's when I start to feel the cars jump the track. A bump here and there and it starts to occur to me that this is getting harder. Personally, I get emotionally burnt out and physically exhausted. I can barely get out of bed in the morning, regardless of the hour. So I down more coffee to keep alert and focused...and then sleep goes missing. By the end of this last week, I just knew I couldn't go on another day without an "off week" and I checked the calender. By George, we were completing our sixth week since the last break - Bingo! It's amazing. Like clockwork.

Now I'm working on the acceptance factor - accepting that we can't go speeding straight through the last seven weeks of class and complete an amazing amount of work before the end of the school year. It will just be enough, no more, this time.  I need to accept that next week will be a break for all of us from classwork - and we can mend some holes in the housework around here that have been overlooked while we rest our schedule. We'll do some fun outings to the zoo and go to see the Constitution and Declaration of Independence at the National Archives...and yes, these will count as school field trips, but I will relax and enjoy the day with my guys for those trips!

Today was my first day "off" and I celebrated with a total Bruno Mars "Lazy Song" day....I didn't get out of bed until 11am, then rested in the recliner until 3pm, then in my office rocking chair until now :) I did unpack a suitcase and straighten a little, but looking around my office, I think I'll be working in here for a while between blogs! I know my next lesson will be how to have a nice, relaxing and recharging summer break while getting ready for a meaner, leaner homeschool next year.  I know it will be better, because "when you know better, you do better"..... :)