It’s been a while since I’ve written about homeschooling. Probably because we’ve taken off for the whole month of December. There are just too many things for a mama to think about to organize lessons right now.
One often misunderstood aspect of homeschooling is this. We may miss a day or two, here and there but it’s not like missing a day of school. What I mean is, if you don’t send your child to school because you’ve got something you want to do during the day, your child misses a day of lessons. When a homeschooling family takes a day off, we pick up where we left off. Then we finish out the year a day or so later. Often, we even make up missed days by having lessons on the weekends.
And, when you hear a homeschooling mom say, “We are so behind in school right now,” it usually doesn’t mean her third grader is doing second grade material. It means, “I’ve set some pretty lofty goals for my children this year and planned our schedule to fit it all in thirty-six weeks. We’re twelve weeks into school and we’re still doing Week 10’s projects and reading assignments.”
I would love to hear comments from other moms out there who know this to be true. And most classroom teachers would probably agree that there are things they planned to do that may get hedged out when other things take priority. Sometimes it takes longer to do the necessary things than you had planned and you have less time to spend on the less-necessary things.
On one especially hectic day, we had somewhere to be that required us to cut short our school-time. While we were home, we did reading lessons together, but before we left the house, I gathered some stuff for the road.
I printed some math problems from Math Fact Cafe. They also have mazes. Mazes are good problem-solving skill-builders and a lot of fun. So I printed several of those as well. I copied our handwriting excercise and tore out a few pages from her bonus workbook.
(The bonus workbook is one of those all-in-one grade level books from the regular bookstore. It’s not a part of out daily curriculum, but it’s a good review and time-filler.)
I clipped all those things onto a clipboard, in order of priority, and had my daughter get her bag of pencils and crayons.
She jumped in the car, buckled-up and began working on them before her little sister and I even got ourselves together and out the door.
Ten minutes down the road, she was done. It would have taken her twice as long, if not more, to do that at home. I think the novelty of working in a different environment is stimulating.
It turned boring handwriting and math drills into an exciting activity for the car. I think it was fun to have a clipboard too. I remember being a kid and feeling so grown-up when I used one.
And perhaps, children, as many adults do, find it easier to complete a task when the end is within sight. Knowing exactly how many pages she had to do, she could work through them and be done. It would be irritating to sit down to a task and not know what Mom was going to throw at you next.
Which reminds me, I need to get our lessons and routine in order for next semester. Routine makes the world go ’round for this homeschooling family.