Sunday, October 2, 2011

Breathe. Just Breathe.

My mind is swirling with unfinished work issues as I switch gears from working mom to homeschooling mamma.

I think I can put off the bank deposit and the grocery store trip until another day?

Maybe I should pick up fast food or pop a frozen pizza in the oven so we can squeeze in a cool science experiment I’ve been thinking about?

Or we should make it a home economics night and cook up that nice healthy dinner on our menu plan, hoping we can have it ready and eaten before bath and bedtime?

Perhaps I should sit Esmé in front of a vaguely educational DVD and tackle the stack of dirty dishes overtaking the kitchen first?

Homeschooling goals?  It’s all about survival…

Working full-time has definitely changed my approach to homeschooling:

1.  It is unplanned and sporadic.  I’m happy to cover anything at all.  I don’t need a schedule or plan to make me feel guilty about all we’re not getting to.

2.  It surrounds us. I stock up on educational materials when I find them on sale.  There is always something to grab and use when we have a free educational moment, like while Esmé is sucking her gummy vitamins to put off bedtime instead of chewing them, thereby remaining quiet and attentive for a significant length of time.

3.  It is child-influenced.  There’s so little time that I don’t want to spend it in a battle of wills.  I’d rather spend a half-hour doing something Esmé is enthralled with than 2 hours figuring out how to manipulate her into completing her assigned math workbook pages.

So, let’s talk homeschool-related goals.

Organization.  There’s gotta be a limit to how unplanned and sporadic we are, hey?  I want Esmé to get her closet color coordinated figure out how to put her laundry away – and we’ve been working on decluttering together as well.  For me:  Declutter the unused educational materials?  Develop a menu plan of healthy 10-minute meals Esmé will actually eat?  Figure out how to clean the house in an hour a week?  Find an hour in the week to devote to cleaning house?

Homemaking.  I figure this is Esmé’s year to earn her keep with housekeeping.  At least start making her bed.

Math.  In trying to get past Esmé’s math-worksheet-delay-tactics, I discovered the Life of Fred Elementary Series.  At the rate the Miss is going, she’ll be a step ahead of the publisher by school year’s end.  Ready for calculus next year, perchance?

Reading.  Esmé’s got 1st-grade skills here, but she’s not interested.  At the rate she’s going, I’ll have read aloud through the Junie B. Jones series by Christmas, and she’ll have memorized all the snake and frog picture books (sans words) in the library.  Big goal – convince her that “ballet” is spelled b-a-l-l-e-t.  She thinks I am making this up.

Bible.  Esmé will be able to plot every Your Story Hour Bible story on her maps – she’s already got the stories memorized.  At least the ones she likes.  Like Samson.  And Nicodemus.  And I will happily answer her many questions that come at the most inconvenient moments.  Like “How do you become born again?” while I am trying to find ginger in the grocery store.

Character Building.  We’ll have this obedience thing worked out.  Or I will have answered every single “WHY?” Esmé can think of by year end, thanks to Google.

Physical Activity.   I am going to run a marathon!  As soon as I wash the dishes.  And Esmé will stop being scared of her Heelys.  And will hold her breath underwater.

All the Other Subjects.  I will provide fair blog reviews of a diverse range of educational products, on schedule.  In the process, Esmé will be exposed to all kinds of topics she might not otherwise come across.  Like classical music.

And whenever she decides to adopt a garter snake or build an Eiffel Tower from Legos, I will provide bunches of books on the topics so she can peruse them ad infinitum.

Maybe I should just let Esmé set her own goals.  This morning I walked into this assortment of books neatly laid out on her bed.  I think she did a better job planning today’s curriculum than I would’ve done…

Check out the TOS Crew Blog Cruise for more on homeschool-related goals…


kailani said...

I give you so much credit. I know there's no way I could ever homeschool. It just don't have the discipline. It would be recess all day!

Giggly Girls said...

I LOL and admire at all you accomplish. I'm not certain that I could get it all done. I already have trouble without the full-time job. lol

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

Hehe... love the tongue-in-cheek feel of this post. You have a lot on your plate, but it sounds like you've got a great sense of humor which always helps ease the stress of a full plate.

Michelle said...

I love this post! What a great outlook you have!

Jesse said...

There is a lot to be said for going with the flow and setting reasonable goals. I find that I am having to radically change the way I *want* to do things since I've started college full time again. One blessing is that it has forced me to simplify and not overthink stuff!

Julie Coney said...

great post. When you figure out how to get the dishes tackled... clue me in.
I think my dishes spawn when i go into the living room to read to the boys.