We have hit that time of the year, where parents and kids alike are ready for the end of the school year. Teachers are more than ready for summer vacation to arrive. This year, the great home school experiment has been… interesting. We have had great days and bad days, in between days and days where we seriously had to call it a mental health day and watch movies.
I have discovered that I enjoy spending more time with my kids, but I hate fighting with them to get anything done. About halfway through the year I decided that I needed to investigate some different options for curriculum for next year. Parents – you KNOW your kids. You know what their strengths and weaknesses are, what their high and low points are, what motivates them, and of course, what makes them special. Boys are hard to keep still. You can’t hand them a stack of work and expect that they are going to sit and work through it all without moving or playing. I got tired of having two kids ganging up on me (kudos to you parents with more than two at home), so I changed up our school routine. I have one with me for 30 minutes, while the other works on reading or the xbox (after their reading is finished), and then we swap. It has gotten so much better! Now I can focus on one, while the other is occupied with something else, so that we can get through the work that is needed.
With this being really the first year of having my boys at home, I had these grand ideas that we were going to fly through the school work and not have any issues. Well, my boys proved me wrong on that. They are both extremely stubborn (no idea where they got THAT from), and when they decide they don’t want to do something, they dig their heels in for the duration. We had days where we MAYBE got four pages of work accomplished. That was after the tears (from both kids and adult), and begging for something to be done. It took me a while, and a phone call to my mama as she had home schooled six of us, to realize that we did not have to hit each and every problem. I began to look at the pages and cross things out. If I know they have it, we move on. Why beat a dead horse when it is making everyone miserable??
With the new schedule and now working through half pages instead of the entire thing, oh my goodness! What a difference! We are getting something accomplished, work is being finished, and mom is not growing anymore grey hairs for the time being. But, working through what we are using, made me realize, I need a different curriculum. We need more hands on, movement, and reading based. We get the reading, we love books, but I need something that is a bit more fast-paced and can keep the attention span of boys who can’t sit still for more than two minutes at a time. So with all that being said, the home school experiment will continue for another year, and we are looking forward to an entire new set of challenges that will arise. Each new grade and year brings something new to the table, but having the flexibility to change as needed is perfection!
But even though summer is approaching, who says the learning has to stop!? We have had some amazing field trips so far, and we are planning on some more this summer! School does not always happen in conventional ways. Sometimes you have to get out and go!
How did your home school year go!?