September 19, 2007

Real-Time Homeschool Day Re-Cap

Want a quick re-cap on what types of things the Bees are learning at homeschool? Most people who begin homeschooling are interested in seeing what a REAL day looks like. Not your perfect day... when you feel like Martha Stewart mixed with Mother Teresa. You know the days I'm talking about (they are the Holy Grail of homeschooling and happen about twice a year, or twice a month if you are next to perfect)... those are the ones that most homeschool bloggers like to brag about on their blogs. How about getting REAL for a change? I often wonder what it is like in other homeschoolers' homes. If only we could be flies on the wall.

Here's the nitty-gritty of how our day went today. Lots of things didn't get done, but we made progress. I always shoot high, anyway. My lists are always too long to ever complete. I'm working on making them more digestible (still). If you have read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that it is an area I've struggled with forEver!

A glimpse of our day*:

Up with Daddy to talk to him before he leaves for work briefly. Kids eat breakfast with him (6:30 AM). We all do some morning chores and I check email and do some goofing off on the computer (here's where I went wrong with the day... should have done my planning, prayer journal and praying first!). Oops.

School Starts/Prep
Kids shower and start school a few minutes late (8:08am). I print off their school assignment list.

Character (Mom and the Kids)
I'm learning to let go of the perfectionism and be happy when we get half of my long list checked off. I'm also learning (and the retreat this past weekend was a wonderful help) that I need to keep myself from getting mad, depressed, grumpy or upset when things don't go as planned. I guess that is called "being flexible". You would think I am flexible... and I do have a really spontaneous side; however, I tend to fall apart when our goals don't get accomplished. Super-mom syndrome. I'm beginning to claim victory over this area, though. We spent a large part of the last two days since I've been home working on HEART issues during school hours. Unforgiveness, anger, resentment, selfishness, pride, grumpiness, whining, and other nasty attitudes have reared their ugly heads between the kids and even with me. We've been working on instantly dealing with issues and praying for each other so that we can forgive each other and restore the good mood of the day. Trust me... the prayers work. It may take a few times (especially if you begin to really work hard on it)... because of course - if the devil sees you making progress, he's bound to jump on your back.

We read a great devotional today about a young girl in Pakistan that was brave enough to share her faith despite death threats (Jesus Freaks Vol. 2 by DC Talk). We read about leprosy in Leviticus. We wrote in our prayer journals... and we said a long prayer for all the things on our prayer list that we update each week. The kids took their memory cards (index cards) down from last week and we didn't get to do our new verse. I'll have them do that tomorrow. We also sang some hymns this morning (Morgan suggested this and picked the songs).

We did an A Beka Math worksheet. We're doing review right now (first chapter or so in our new books is mostly review). Today's Math time went awry and we ended up spending over an hour on it. I have a dawdler that just didn't want to focus on the Math.

Morning Snack
Grapes and half of a muffin. I finally ate (forgot to eat breakfast earlier) last night's leftover rice. The kids fought with me for it and ended up nearly tackling each other on the stairs to get every last grain out of the bowl. We had a safety discussion and Mommy laid down the rules about no pushing, shoving, blocking, touching, passing, or otherwise bothering anyone on the stairs.

Morgan has a few pages left of last year's penmanship and she completed one of the pages today. Kaden finished his book last year, so he wrote five Bible verses in cursive instead. He managed to drag this subject out as well. We didn't get to our proofreading writing lesson, or our journal.

We read a few library books today that need to be returned tomorrow. Hopefully we will be picking up a whole new set of them tomorrow afternoon. I'm looking forward to being in our new unit and moving on. I do want to finish our read-aloud for this unit ("Around the World in 80 Days" ~ unabridged) before I return it. Looks like I'll have to renew it again. We're going to read the last of our library books tomorrow before we leave the house... and the ones we don't get to - "oh well!".

We finished our Visualize World Geography study on Japan yesterday, so today we were supposed to look at photos and plan a Japanese meal out that I could cook this weekend for them. However, we didn't get to this today. They did color a worksheet yesterday with all the provinces of Japan and they found the ancient capital city and the current capital city on the map. I'll probably look for some Japan books tomorrow at the library while I load up for our next unit. We did manage to re-pin the map to the school-room wall today, though... while looking for Guiana. Does that count?

Morgan got to her typing today. She did 18 wpm with 2 errors (98% accuracy) on Mavis Beacon. Kaden missed his, so he'll have to do it tomorrow (he was the one goofing off during Math time and didn't have time to do his typing by the time he finished his worksheets and got caught up).

Both of the kids did their online Rosetta Stone today. Daddy and Mommy are joining them to learn as they go. Daddy is great at languages and picks things up quickly. He learned French in high-school and still knows what many words mean. I did better in Spanish, but never finished learning it enough to converse. I'm really hoping to buy Rosetta Stone's Italian program (but who can afford 275$?). Right now we are using an online library's free version, but it only goes up to a certain level. Maybe by Christmas time I can afford to buy the full versions so we can get really serious about learning.

Baked Potatoes

Lifeskills & Chores
After lunch, I figured out what was for dinner and set out the frozen stuff to thaw. 'Chores' kind of go without saying at a homeschool house (since of course, the house gets much messier if you are THERE all day). The kids helped me clean up dishes and the kitchen, take care of the cat, and do laundry and put it away today. They mostly do their chores before school starts (at 8am), during their lunch hour, and right before and after dinner. Of course, we do lots of things for school AFTER dinner... so I am not sure you could call that "after school" at our house. Tonight, they did both Italian and Art after dinner.

Other than tid-bits in our books about flight, birds, and planes that we are finishing up... we didn't do any extra science experiments or reading. We do use a textbook from A Beka for science to fill in any gaps I may leave with the unit study method we use. However, I have found that it is not necessary. The kids are usually way ahead of their game.


No textbook today. We're about to watch "The Spirit of St. Louis" and "Apollo 13", though (probably Thursday, since we have church tomorrow and the library... and we'll be visiting a friend). We also had a book to read about Amelia Earhart (which I think the kids have read before at some point in history since it is our own book)... but we didn't get to it before Daddy came home and will have to read it tomorrow.

Just some singing this morning. Oh, and we talked about a 'fermata' on the hymn music sheet we were singing from. I couldn't remember what the Italian name for it was. I called it a "hold" and a "Bird's Eye" (less formal names). I explained what it was for as we sang our song. How is that for some music rhythm tutoring "off-the-cuff"? Hopefully tomorrow after church, Chickie will give Kaden his piano lesson.

We'll get a bunch of PE in Friday at our park day with our co-op, but I sure was hoping to take a walk or swim this week. Maybe Thursday. We didn't even get out to check the mail (which requires a walk around the block).


We did no KONOS other than the books we read that were on subject. We were so bad today. Not one single KONOS unit study activity got done. We had plans to draw in our journals, discuss things, read a poem, read a Roman Myth, and finish our vocabulary up (if Kaden could find his - he lost it before the weekend and we looked everywhere yesterday and couldn't find it). This is the kind of thing that really gets me upset (when plans fail).

Cajun pan-fried fish, baked green beans with butter and brown sugar sauce, butter beans and Mac-n-cheese. We had a quick dinner tonight. Nothing to write home about.

Tonight the kids did a repeat of GeeArt Lesson #3. We (I say 'we' because I'm learning along with them and it is our favorite part of school) learned about layering in our computer canvas, using structure - color - and lighting to show "emphasis", and how the eye is drawn to a certain spot on the canvas. Kaden ran off afterwards to play video games with Daddy, but Morgan spent the rest of the evening until bed time using the computer to create one of her GeeArt challenges (projects that relate to the lesson). Tomorrow we're going to actually get out the messy paints. Yipee!

The kids went to bed at around 10:30 PM. That means tomorrow will come really early. We were having so much fun with computer Art (Morgan and I) that we lost track of time. I was tired at around 9pm, though... so I should have listened to my body and told the kids to go get their nightgowns on when the getting was good. There's something Mommy can work on for tomorrow.

I'm up at 11:58 finishing this post so I can blog it tomorrow (and while I'm blogging it, tomorrow comes!). The rest of the family is snug in their beds and sound asleep. Before I go to bed, I have to sit down and do a little preparation for tomorrow's school day and pick up some messes. We're going to have a short day tomorrow with our afternoon taken up with a social visit, the library, dinner and church.

Finally, Mommy goes to bed
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz (1:02 AM - I'm guessing here!) I'll be up at 6:30 AM today.... but I certainly won't be blogging! Too much to do, too little time... (less time at the computer will certainly improve tomorrow, don't you think?)

*Of course, this isn't really a typical day. They are all different. That is the beauty of homeschooling. God always keeps you on your toes!

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kelly said...

So I am, reading your blog of how your day went and thinking, I really should clean up the kitchen, get tomorrow's lesson ready, finish cleaning up my "quarterly move of every piece of furniture in the house" that I started today. "Why today?" I'm thinking? Oh, I remember,dear hubby brought home a tiny little computer table, so OF COURSE, I need to rearrange the WHOLE living room. Guess I better get back to work. Have a blessed tomorrow.

AllyJo's Mama said...

"they are the Holy Grail of homeschooling and happen about twice a year"

Hysterical. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about! LOL I'm going to be laughing about that all day.

"Real time" reminds me of our "fake school". We only do fake school you know. One of my kid's grandpas kept asking for years, "When are you going to go to real school?" He finally made my daughter cry and he never asked her again. I guess they're cool with our "fake school" now. LOL

Blessings for the day.

Beverly said...

You should be glad you're not a fly on my wall, you would be sorely disappointed! *wink* I wish we could accomplish just 1/2 of what you listed as having done yesterday. Maybe we did, and I just didn't notice?

Jude said...

I may have mentioned this before, but if not, you might want to check out the free language courses offered by the BBC. Here's the link to BBC Italian.

Sprittibee said...

Kellybelly - ;) I'm the same way. Are you sure we weren't twins separated at birth? Today I had to cook for a friend and ended up deciding that I HAD to get my menu planners organized... so I spent an hour going through ALL my saved planners for good dinners and writing down the dinners I would repeat from each... and then throwing away the trash. YES it needed to be done, but SURELY not in the middle of one of my most hectic days of the week! We ate dinner at nearly 10pm because we were so "on the go" today! UGH. You would think I could learn my lesson.

allyjo's mama... :) Hope to keep you laughing all day. I keep myself laughing at myself quite often around here, too. I actually planned a K-1 Bible Class tonight and left my materials at my friend's house that we took dinner to! Loved what you said about "fake" school. Hard to know which is fake. I've met a lot of great teachers lately, though... and I know that not all of what goes on at PS or PrvS is fake! ;) Certainly don't mean to offend all the great teachers out there. Especially not all the ones who are RELATED TO ME! LOL

Beverly - Well... you should have seen us today. Let's see... we got to Bible, Prayer, Prayer Journal, Devotional, Discussion, Reading (which included some Sci. material), Math, and that's it! We left home after Mom cooked and went to drop off the food, take our friend to church, teach Bible class, drop off our friend, drive thru Sonic, and eat a nasty burger when we got home at 10pm! No art, no library, no KONOS. :(

However, my kids had a very enriching day. They learned a lot about helping others and being a friend. They prayed for my buddy at dinner. They learned that putting off your "schedule" to go and do things that need to be done is more important than feeling like you accomplished your goals. Sometimes God's goals for us are not the ones we plan for... but the relationships along the way.

Jude - I did check that out before once, but for some reason I didn't ever do anything with it. Thanks for reminding me and giving me the link again. I'll look into it again. Maybe that can be our "step 2" between free "travel" Rosetta and actually buying Rosetta. I think I'm going to whine about it to the grandparents and see if they can get us an early Christmas gift. ;) *sheepish grin*

Jen said...

WOW... I had no idea how packed a homeschool day would be. That is so neat that you include so many different subjects. :)

lindafay said...

Hi Sprittibee,
Just popping in today. I'm glad you are finally settled. You are such a perfectionist. I used to be, but after 18 years with my NOT perfectionist husband, I've had to give it up. But I still tend to find an area that needs organizing or cleaning, etc... and get sidetracked, spend hours fixing it up and wanting it to be just so.

Your school day shows just how much time you spend with your sweet kids. That's more important than finishing the list isn't it? Thanks for sharing your day.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing a real-day of homeschool. My children are still young so I'm wondering what it will be like in the future. I've always wished I could sit in on someone's school day with their kids. Thanks for letting me be a fly on the wall!

Mary said...

Every time I read what's on your to do list, I am awe inspired! Some days, it is a feat to get everyone dressed by lunchtime ;) We have "officially" started homeschool now, and I have noticed that a schedule is going to be a must if we are going to be successful. What library are you using for the language lessons? I'll check in to the one 'jude' mentioned, as well.
as always, i enjoy your wanderings!

Ann said...

yes, everyday is different in homeschooling and that is definately is the biggest blessing of the whole thing. We can do our own thing and have our own schedules and what we get done is what we get done. Tomorrow will always be here to check off the next things on our lists. Blessings on your day tomorrow!

Sprittibee said...

Jen - Yeah, we try. Some days we stop at Math and get totally stuck. But the rest of the week balances it all out. I think a lot of it depends on our attitude and how prepared we get the night before.

Lindafay - Yes, I am a perfectionist... you have me pegged. That's not such a compliment, though - I really don't want to be. I just can't seem to help myself.

Amy - Don't just base your judgement on my days. Get a wide variety of sources. As Linda said, I tend to be a little too stiff around the collar sometimes. ;) Do what comes natural to you according to your goals for your family. :)

Mary - Glad it is inspiring someone else to watch me try to go insane checking off my list! What a visual! ;) I had one of those days today that you talked about, so don't feel bad. We ended up cleaning house today instead of doing school... We use our local library for the online lessons. There are lots of libraries that offer them, though. Call around your area to see if you can find one that has the Rosetta Stone. The sad thing is, our library offers only the TRAVEL version, so I have to spring for the actual curriculum as soon as I win the lottery. Which will be hard because... I don't play.

Ann - Yeah, every day is different... and the very best thing about homeschooling is that even on a bad day, I would rather spend it with my kids (and husband) than anyone else. We get to share the good and bad together. ;) That is the real stuff of life. Thanks for the blessings.

sunshineperri said...

Thanks for posting what your day is like. I am going to try it tomorrow. Though you get up wayyyyy earlier than us!!!
I do find when we pray and do bible study first the day does flow more easily. Hmmm...I forgot today, must be the reason for the not so great day!!
I need to do more science and history.
My dd does most of her classes on line, it was her choice not mine. She seems to enjoy it, when something interesting comes up that she wants to share, that is what my son learns for that subject!
I also have to learn to be more flexible and I also plan way too much. I still have an art project that I planned a month ago and still haven't done!LOL
Keep up the good work.
I love your blog and need to find time to visit it more often!!

Happy Campers said...

Thanks for sharing your day! I've found that being flexible is a HARD thing to do sometimes :)

groovyoldlady said...

Oh wow. We don't start school until 10am (I get up at 6am, the girls get up between 730 and 8am) and all 4 of us are usually in bed by 9pm. We Groovies need alot of sleep or we're a cranky bunch!

B&B said...

I SO don't fit in! Schedule? What's that? Lol, school at our house is so different except I do have A Beka on the shelf.

Nice to meet you!
Vicki ~ who left her 9yo old to read to his heart's delight all morning.

Writing and Living said...

Thanks for sharing your links with me!

Christina said...

Perfectionism... You and I must be sisters in this!
Thanks for sharing your day with us!

The Nester said...

You are WAYYYYY to productive! I am so impressed! I'm also moving furniture (like one of your other readers). It's a sickness, an obsession. We did actually do school today. Just enough!

Tina said...

Yes, no 2 days are the same. :o) Thank you for letting me peek into your homeschooling day. :o)


Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing!! I am amazed at how much people are able to get done. I am happy to finish a quarter of all you described. ;)

Christine said...

It all looks like a lot accomplished when it's in writing, hunh? Loved reading about your day!

Rachel said...

Awesome! Thanks for such a good look at your day! Since we are just starting this journey, it is so helpful to see how other veteran moms "do it" and this was an EXCELLENT post on showing just that!
As always, thanks for the inspiration!

A Dusty Frame said...

Sounds like a wonderful day:)




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