Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Refresher Course

We started school again today.

Fourth and second grade, which means that I'm starting my FIFTH year of "officially" homeschooling. I have to admit, I never thought that I'd be a homeschooling parent, and now, I really can't imagine doing it any other way.

But, since we follow the "traditional" calendar (and I'll get into the "why" we do that another time - needless to say, I have many homeschooling friends who don't do it this way), that means that the first couple of weeks are time for us to get back in the groove of things. During the summer our days are filled, but filled with golf and tennis and swim team. The evenings are filled with dance, there are trips to be taken, camps to attend, and friends to spend long days with. Returning to the "grind", so to speak, is an adjustment.

I've noticed that kids also need "refresher courses" when it comes to almost everything. You think your kids know how to be safe in a parking lot, or how to clean their room, or what's involved in packing a backpack, or what's required in a school day, only to discover, usually unpleasantly, that they DON'T.  And you shake your head wondering where you went so wrong, and how these kids are ever going to survive this world.

But like any kids, mine love all the "new" that comes with a new school year. They love picking out their pencils and pens and other supplies, setting up their supply caddies and binders, and flipping through brand new books and workbooks.

And every year, I adjust - slightly - based on the new things I've learned about them since we set up the new stuff last year. And I need to take a little while to give myself a refresher course. How to organize things, what I need to have ready, how far in advance I need to request library materials, and how much prep time things actually take.

I've learned that both girls like to have an official, daily, "to do" list. They want to see what their day looks like, and they want to see what their week looks like. Last year I used a spiral journal, with a page every day. It gave me plenty of room to write, in big, neat letters for Reagan, and slightly smaller cursive letters for Madison, exactly what we were doing that day.

I've learned that, of the five weekdays, I need a minimum of two days where we don't have to be anywhere until the evening, two days that we can do EITHER a morning or an afternoon activity, and only one day we can truly be "out" of the house. This year, we're taking a weekly art class on Tuesday mornings, and our co-op is every Wednesday, alternating between field trips and class days. This meant that I had to turn down a few opportunities, because, I have learned over the past few years, you absolutely can't do everything.

I've learned that Madison works best when she gets up, starts early, and can get the bulk of her work done before lunch. After lunch, she slows WAY down, and if she doesn't start until mid-morning, her chances of finishing are slim. But Reagan needs some time to settle herself in the morning, and she isn't really ready until around 10:00.

When you homeschool, you aren't just learning about math and reading and spelling. You learn a LOT about each other, and every year you get a new refresher course on just who your kids are!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Web Analytics