How we're homeschooling THIS year.

I think I've written on this before, but since the homeschooling world is chugging along at full-speed now that Labor Day is past, I'm sharing how we're doing homeschool this year. Every year looks different, and this year I am cautiously optimistic because we're already halfway through September, and I'm not hiding in the bathroom every day extolling the ways I'm falling behind in my imaginary schedule. Part of that is because I never made a schedule this year. Make of that what you will.

I follow a lot of homeschool themed Facebook pages, and they are buzzing with these beautiful, drool worthy downloads made by incredibly talented moms that know how to do things like Photoshop. There are worksheets for everything. PDFs of lists for what we should be doing each week for every conceivable curriculum. Since I have given myself wholly to Classical Conversations, I've seen mostly pdfs for Essentials (both for moms and kids), timeline characters to print and cutout, presentation feedback reports, Latin charts, and ALL the US geography downloads. So. Many. Downloads.

I think they're magnificent. I love looking at them. I want them. And they don't work for me. They end up as educational clutter in my head and my home. I'm more of the "let's read this book on this topic and draw a picture after we're done" kind of homeschooler. Or "let's make a notebook with a page for each state. Here's blank paper. Draw Maine and find 5 facts about it to write/draw."  I am so basic with school. Tommy is supposed to be doing an art history timeline starting with the Middle Ages. I almost downloaded this beautiful pre-made booklet for him to fill out. All it required was for me to download the booklet, print the booklet, get the booklet bound, and give it to him. Instead he's got a blank sketch book. I'm calling this an opportunity for him to have creative license.

Every year I see all these incredible worksheets and downloads. I covet them. Then I remember I don't actually use them, and it's okay for me to continue on my Basic path. I can be extraordinary in other things, but homeschooling, at least for me, is all about putting my head down and getting through it as painlessly and effectively as possible.  So for all you Basic Homeschoolers, we're okay. Or we're not and we've screwed up our kids' futures while the boys and girls who's moms actually loved them printed all the downloads and spiral bound them with their own binding machines. I'll bet they laminated the covers of everything too. Hey, I have a laminator, and I even used it a couple of times last year.

Since I'm Basic every year, that's not really a change. The thing that will make the 2017/2018 school year memorable is the amount of outside commitments we have. Big kids are taking over my life.  On Monday, I take Tommy to his Challenge 2 class. Tuesday is the day that Charlotte, Matthew, and I have our classes. Tuesday evening is AHG and Trail Life. Wednesday is Spanish for Tommy in the early afternoon, guitar in late afternoon, and youth group for both Tommy and Charlotte in the evening. There's just enough space in between each thing that I'll have about 1.5 hours in between them. On Thursday, Charlotte has musical theater in the afternoon. Friday nights we will either be at our missional community OR I will be watching Andrew Pudewa dvds on writing. In the next few weeks, I will find out how I'm supposed to fit basketball into that line-up. Plus I have orthodontist appointments peppered in there for some extra spice in my life.

I'm choosing to believe this is a good thing. It's taken me a month to come to this place of acceptance. The month of August and half of September was a rising sense of anxiety over fitting all the things while also doing the regular things like our school work at home, cooking, vacuuming, laundry, etc. Before this year, although I would often hear how homeschooling is a full-time job, and it really is, I didn't embrace the sentiment. I still felt that I should in some way be able to get more done. I have no illusion of that this year. I am FULL-TIME working for my kids' education. I want a governess. Or a housekeeper. Or a chef. Moe's cannot be my personal chef. At least that's what Jon is telling me. I still don't understand why he says these hurtful words to me about my relationship with Moe's. They don't even sell french fries! They are healthy...enough.

Oh, and I keep forgetting I'm supposed to wear glasses when I read until I'm sitting in Biggby trying to type something and get irritated that the screen is getting fuzzier the longer I sit here. That's not really pertinent to homeschooling, but it is my life at this moment.

Anyway. To all my Basic mom friends, you go on being basic. And for all my mom friends that can make and use all the beautiful downloads, I am truly in awe of you. Seriously. I do not know how you do it.

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