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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Homeschool Update

Now that we're a few weeks into school, I thought I would update with how things are going.  We eased into things, starting out with just over 2 hours a day, with plenty of activities, but also getting into the structure of "we do school at the table in the other room, we do these things every day" and so on, and the boys have gotten used to that really quickly.    

Hannah will usually play independently in the same room, or work at the smaller kids table that's next to the homeschool table.  She colors, plays with blocks, plays with play doh, or does her own "work" of putting stickers on papers.  We do our daily morning stuff when Elizabeth takes her morning nap, which has worked out awesomely!  If she does wake up, it's usually not until we've moved on from worksheets and lessons to reading aloud, and she can join in with the rest of the kids for that.
Our daily schedule includes rest time for all of the kids after lunch.  The girls sleep, but the boys are just required to lay in their beds quietly for an hour or so.  Then they come down, and we do our afternoon school.  Because the girls are sleeping, this is a great time to get into more of the hands on projects and experiments.  

One thing that has taken some getting used to is that we're still only doing school stuff for 3 hours or so a day.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  When you add in lunch/recess/play time that they would have in a public school, it's about right, but because our schedule is condensed and I don't think of their free play time as school, it's still a bit hard for me to wrap my head around sometimes.
I have to pat myself on the back a little bit for finally understanding that I function best with a detailed plan.  If I were to just wing things, we wouldn't get to all the fun projects and activities we do.  It wouldn't happen.  So I spend my Sunday afternoons making my detailed plan for the week (based off of the basic plans I did for each subject before school started).  I find the projects and activities to go with Matthew's letter of the week and math concept.  I find things Jonah can do to supplement his phonics.  And I print out all my worksheets and things I need.

Last year, after we got off track, I didn't go back to planning.  I know better this year.  And I'm glad, because it means the kids get to do fun stuff like build huts for animals or dig for artifacts in the sandbox, paint pictures and play games.  They're still learning, but this is the kind of stuff they can spend hours on.
So school is going really well so far.  I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous that I wouldn't be able to handle it and that it would be too much work.  And it's hard sometimes.  I'm not always motivated to do school in the morning after a bad night's sleep when there are too many other things on my to do list that didn't get done.  But it's so worth it.  Jonah's starting to be able to sound out words.  Matthew is really creative with his art projects.  And I love seeing them enjoying school.

I've been posting pictures several times a week (like the ones in this post) on Instagram, my current favorite form of social media.  I use the hashtag #dedeynelutheranacademy for all my school pictures on there.  If you want to keep up with the DeDeyne kids, head on over there!

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