This title is a bit of a misnomer, since in the two months that we’ve been doing this we’ve had very few days that end up as planned, and almost no two have been the same, and yet, I do feel like we’ve established a rhythm.
We were fairly lucky in establishing a “routine” within the second week of school. I’ve been told by other, more experienced, home-schooling mothers that it takes anywhere from a month to a year to feel like you know what’s going on. I feel like on most days I have a pretty good handle on what needs to be done and a plan on how to do it. Some days, it feels a little out of control.
Typically we start with math, as it’s her favorite subject and she’s good at working independently on it. From there, depending on the day and the course load we tend to move to language arts, although, I’ve realized that she has a dead hour when it’s hard to get her to stay focused between 2:00 and 3:00 pm, so I’ve been moving easier lessons to that part of the day and taking more frequent breaks.
That seems to help on most days, until it doesn’t.
Every once in a while, we’ll have a melt down, although as we are both getting more familiar with the curriculum requirements and how to find the resources we need, those have gotten less and less frequent.
Patience is key, Patience with her, patience with myself, and patience to deal with the unexpected interruptions that come from work and other things outside my control.
To be honest, that’s what I’m working hardest on. I realize that my daughter is amazingly self sufficient for a third grader, and it sometimes gives me a false sense of what is actually reasonable to expect from her, after all she is only 8. That has been a challenge.
Another big challenge is getting her to feel good about making decisions on her own. After all in the traditional school setting she wasn’t really allowed to just decide to go on to the next lesson, so I find that at first she was checking in on a really regular basis, almost to the point where I caught myself chiding her for not being more willing to make decisions. I’ve tried to help guide her and she in turn has become much better at making choices and moving on to her next bit of work. I also realize that in her traditional school setting taking initiative was usually frowned upon.
This week for example I’ve been slammed at work, and yet, her schooling hasn’t suffered at all, in large part to her own self monitoring and keeping herself on track.
Also, grandma helps a lot.