It’s back to school on Viatori! We started again on the holiday Monday last week.
I did a bit of soul searching, some research on the Internet, heeded some advice of other cruising homeschoolers, and a lot of reading of a few really great homeschooling blogs. I downloaded a free ebook from homeschool mom, Jamie Martin, entitled Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom. As well, I bought some new writing/ language arts curriculum from The Brave Writer, Julie Bogart and we have started using it.
I have also taken a deep breathe and a big step back. I learned to set up a routine, not a schedule. It might not sound like a big deal, but it means letting the plans change. If we stumble across a great museum, we skip school for the morning and head to the museum. If we are parked beside a boat with the right aged kids, we will take the time to play with them, because friends and playmates are important. If something is not working, I stop doing it and try something else. If we are all crabby after breakfast, even after this Momma has had her coffee, we play a game instead. If all else fails, we pack it up early and head to the park sooner than we thought, instead of plowing through the material because that’s what the schedule says we do! The need for sleep, food, fun or quiet may supersede my planned routine for the day. And that’s okay!
We will strive to do math twice a week and have a dedicated writing time two mornings a week. We are going to incorporate music time by listening to some classical music and singing a selection of worship songs. I would like to try our hand at reading, listening to and writing poetry. We will have art every other week, maybe on a Friday morning, if that works out.
I am also going to try really hard to eliminate a word from my vocabulary. SHOULD. There are a hundred things I SHOULD be doing, a hundred things I SHOULD be teaching the boys and a hundred things they SHOULD be learning. The use of the word SHOULD often comes with a lot of guilt and I know that women, and mothers in particular, suffer from enough feelings of guilt already.
Instead, I am going to try really hard to change SHOULD to WANT. What do I WANT to do today? What do I WANT to teach today? What do the boys WANT to do today? What do the boys WANT to learn about today? It sure helps with attitude and willingness, that’s for sure.
I know there are some topics and ideas that we just need to plow through and study, but it helps to tackle them with the promise of doing something that interests one or both of the boys. We are also more intentional about playing word games, making lists, skip counting and other little activities in the car or while we are walking together. Even movie time can be rolled into school time, by having a discussion about the storyline or the characters.
Everything can be done with more intention. School does not have to be done while sitting quietly in the salon, with a workbook in front of you and a pencil in your hand and I am slowly discovering that.
Let’s pray this session of school goes better than the last. Thankfully, it feels better already.