Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lesson Planners, Pt. 1

I am a procrastinator that even puts off putting things off! If the sun is shining, I don't want to be indoors, sitting at a table, putting together lesson plans for our home school. There are plenty of chores outside that need tending to and other things that I would really like to do! If it's raining, I would rather spend the day baking bread, cinnamon rolls or some new dessert, or hunched over the sewing machine working on a new quilt. (Or finishing one of the many "starts"!) Then there are the days where I would just like an afternoon to finish a book! (again, one of many!) But, alas, as a home school mom, having a plan for school has to come first.

It is not as if I HATE lesson planning. Quite the opposite in fact. I enjoy it. I mean, really enjoy it. During the summer months, you can usually find me several times a week, sitting on the patio, sipping an iced tea, perusing the home school catalogs for the next, newest, greatest school book. And during the month of August, I develop quite the relationship with the UPS man. I don't think he "loves" me quite as much as I "love" him! I equate the feelings I have when I see the big brown truck with the feelings a child has on Christmas morning! How sick is that? So, you see, I don't dislike lesson planning. I just dislike the "timing".

One of the most asked questions (after the famous, "Are they ALL yours?") that we get is, "How do you schedule your day?" Easy. We don't. We have "guidelines", but one of the beauties of homeschooling is the flexibility to "wing it" when we need to! Here's a sampling of how our day goes...

7:00-7:15ish Mom shuffles to kitchen for first up of coffee.
7:15-8:00 Kids and Dad start trickling out of bed.
8:00-8:15ish Mom starts on second cup of coffee while starting breakfast.
8:30-10:00 Kids devour breakfast, while asking "what's for lunch?", and get their morning chores done. Dad leaves for work. (We are fortunate, my husband works as an emergency room nurse with an awesome schedule that gives him every other week off!)
10:00-12:30 Independent study time for older kids. (Math, grammar, spelling, writing, reading)
Mom-on-one time with 9 year old
12:30-1:30 Lunch and clean-up
1:30-3:00ish Geography, History or Science together
3:00-???? Mom relaxes with third cup of coffee or tea, usually at the computer, while kids start begging to play video games.
4:30-6:00 Mom starts dinner while kids do afternoon chores, read, play games, work on a craft project or just fight with one another, in which case, Mom reaches for a fourth cup of something hot (doesn't really care at this point, as long as it's not a weapon!)
6:00-7:00 Dinner time, typically being serenaded by the shrill ringing of the telephone
7:00-7:30ish After dinner clean-up and Mom begins correcting while chatting with Dad who's still at work, but on his lunch break.
7:30-8:00 Mom is still correcting, but at least it's quiet because kid's are finally allowed to play video games for 1/2 hour!
8:00-9:00 T.V. time with whole family while DVR is recording what Mom & Dad REALLY wanted to watch!
9:00 Kids go to bed and parents get to enjoy their recorded program....or we fall asleep and plan to watch it "tomorrow".

This is just a sample of a day in the life. Usually, it's not that neat and tidy. We experience many interruptions and end up postponing something until the next day. The key is to not beat myself up about not getting the clay model of a volcano built, or fixing a meal from the country we just studied (Hey, China was supposed to be done 3 weeks ago...I used up the ingredients in something else!). It isn't even about how much "knowledge" that I can throw at them. It is about teaching them the love of learning! If that is done correctly, parents won't have to worry about potential "gaps"...their children will fill them on their own.

Next time, I will share which books we are currently using. As you will see, I am more of an "eclectic" home school mom who likes variety! Works for us!

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