The good: The family time and relationship building was incredible. Learning to lead and work together instead of boss or bully was a big lesson. Watching Jacob become a reader was amazing! Experiencing the joy of Beth learning something new and cool was good for my mommy-teacher heart. We made some sweet friends who are along this same journey, both experienced and newbies. We also took advantage of making our own schedule and enjoyed vacationing and non-peak times.
The bad: It wasn't always easy. There were days when staying in pjs and doing a bunch of nothing productive would have been nice. Staying on task and motivated was the hardest part. Well, that and figuring out how to do school and chores and ... But, isn't that every mother's hardest task- getting it all done in 24 hours? Despite the misconception, we had more than our share of "socialization." It was easy to play field trips and playdates with friends or join another activity group. Not that I would drop any of them, just do a better job of scheduling.
I could probably go on, but it was enough of a positive experience for all of us that we decided to do it again!
We're doing things a little different this year, learning from experience last year. Plus, Jacob has more of a work load this year. Core subjects are Abeka curriculum, which provides a great foundation of facts and phonics. I love being able to focus on the lessons and review that they need individually, taking each subject at its own pace. Then, we are throwing all kinds of stuff at them, as they learn together. For Bible, we're doing character traits and studying the history of old hymns. We're learning about great artists and their art work. This has really surprised me how much they enjoy and take in. We're actually looking forward to a field trip to the art museum soon.
We are doing Apologia science again- Swimming Creatures. I just LOVE this science. Thankfully, we have some friends also doing this book, and the mom was excited to do the dissection and let us come watch. We are also doing history together this year. It's a combination of a curriculum that is literature based instead of a textbook, plus creating a learning notebook that I tweaked from another curriculum. The kids have actually been asking to start our learning day with history! I think it's because we can often curl up on the couch together and read our book. That's good stuff!
We are keeping ourselves social again this year by participating in a homeschool co-op. Moms teach and help in classes that provide and extra learning experience for the kids. I'm teaching a math in literature class, which Beth is thrilled to be able to take. She's also taking a painting class. We only have two classes left of this semester, and I can't wait to see all her projects at the Expo night! Jacob is loving his "PE" class and thinks he's pretty big stuff to be the only boy in his reading class.
I think we've gotten into a pretty good groove this year. It took some adjusting with our schedule and plan, but it's working. I love being mom and teacher! I look forward to what the rest of the school year holds for us!