Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 8/Yr 2: Homeschooling is panic alternating with peace

Every so often, I start the "Homeschooling Mom Panic" phase. This usually happens when I'm lesson planning, like I did during my teacher "break" last week. I look at all the curriculum I am using, try to figure out how to get all the necessary content done by the end of the school year PLUS mix in all the field trips and extras that make homeschooling fun. Finally, I try to make sure we are covering all the materials that are included in "common core" so they will be able to transition back into public school when - or if - it becomes time.

I get performance anxiety because I feel so underqualified. Then, I get hit by another health problem - this time a terrible head cold - and I'm not able to "teach". And panic sets in. How can I teach my children when I can't even open my eyes for more than 10 minutes or read a book to them? And since I have chronic health conditions, I know this will happen regularly for the rest of my life - and the rest of their schooling.

I do have a small place of calm deep inside because I know things would be harder if they were in public school. I could NEVER get them dressed and ready for school on time in my condition AND I could never handle the absurd homework/project/extracurricular work they would bring home either. So - I know this is better and I move to thinking how I can do it.

Most importantly, I know my boys know how to do their work independently by now. I didn't have the energy to stock the workboxes, so I started with the basic Three R's on the white board, then I added instrument practice, glider exercise time and ended with a great Science Inventions kit I had stored for a rainy day. 

For Math, they do their regular Teaching Textbooks on CD, which they love. Boom, one R is done. 

For Language Arts, I am REALLY starting to love the Time 4 Learning website program for Language Arts. They do lessons in Language Arts (today was synonyms for Ben and pronoun nominatives for Danny) and Language Arts Extension (reading comprehension) with great videos and they seem very comprehensive. For the long reading comprehension paragraphs, I even found a wonderful FREE download for web and document audio reading called Natural Reader which will translate any text into audio so Ben can hear the paragraphs while he reads along, since he isn't 100% proficient on reading comprension yet. Second R down.

For reading, Mom can't read today, so we won't be beginning our new Newbery Honor book about a boy during the Civil War called Across Five Aprils, but we have time to start that tomorrow. I checked to see if there was an audio version at the library, but no luck :( However, the boys need to finish their self-reader, By The Great Horn Spoon, about a boy and his butler (!) during the Gold Rush, so they'll be reading to each other today while I listen. Last R completed and we could stop here and I'd still feel good, because the Reading portion also fulfills our History and Geography lessons as well (thank you, Sonlight!).

But...I did add instrument practice and glider exercise time, because we need to get used to doing those daily. And for future reference, please remind me NOT to practice my flute with the boys when I have a head cold!! Ouch in the ears...seriously...

Well, gotta go get another hot drink of something for the throat and a little something to eat, but I just wanted to stop by and note briefly that even sick in bed, homeschooling rocks. *sniff* *sniff* *gurgle* :)

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