Ever feel like a cat with a shiny object in your own home and within your own homeschooling rhythms? Look, a shiny toy! Oh, look over here, another shiny toy! I do! It can be especially hard to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. I know some families in the U.S. are starting back to homeschooling this week and some are starting back next week. We ourselves started on Monday, so I wanted to offer a word of encouragement and a plea for Operation Shiny Toy.
Turn off your computer.
Turn off the phone.
Do not schedule things during the time when you are homeschooling.
Do not say yes to events during the time when you are homeschooling.
Plan what you are doing; work at night to make sure you know what you are presenting the next day.
Commit yourself that the housework, emails and phone calls to make, the housekeeping and cooking (unless you are doing practical work in school!) can wait and you must finish your homeschooling time first.
Write down an outline to the flow of your day and homeschooling time.
Jump in and do it!
On Monday we woke up and started school with modeling, (using the exercises in this book that I mentioned before in the first post of the Virtual Tea: “Basic Sculptural Modeling” http://www.awsna.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=37_29&products_id=445) then jumped into first grade work whilst my fourth grader did some spelling and read. No one was used to being back in school, so it was slow going. Our first grader did well, but sweet toddler was unusually disruptive and we needed lots of breaks. He finally settled down to some of the homemade candy cane playdough and pushing a baby dolly in his big sister’s stroller. After lunch and getting toddler to sleep, we read aloud and my fourth grader did her Main Lesson. (First Grader spent a large amount of time here also with the candy cane playdough, and playing in her room with her dollies. Apparently candy cane playdough is a requirement for the first day back from break!) We didn’t get to Spanish nor the drawing exercises and drawing I had planned for the afternoon due to the amount of time it took to get through other things. There was quite a bit of grumbling, melting, feeling sad that school was starting again, especially on the part of the poor fourth grader who had to wait until the afternoon to really get going.
That is okay! It is only the first day back! You must keep going! Hang in there!
The second day we started with being outside. It was cold, but we stayed outside for almost an hour and then came in and tackled math. We did our Main Lessons, did some more modeling in the afternoon, and drawing.
On Wednesday we started with modeling again, and then had disruptions of life. Oh no, this is only Day Three of Operation No Shiny Toy! No disruptions please! Our new back to school rhythm is too fragile for morning disruptions yet! However, we got through math and baking, had lunch and put toddler down for a nap and then did our Main Lesson work in the afternoon. Not an ideal day, and I realized some of the commitments I made in the fall needed to be changed to the afternoon, but we still finished what we needed to. Please do learn from all my mistakes; that is what this blog is all about. We did a good deal of drawing.
Today is Thursday, Day Four of Operation Shiny Toy. We are starting with Spanish, because that is when our Spanish tutor can come, but she is coming early enough that it will just be starting early and jumping in on the plan. In the afternoon we will be preparing for Epiphany, and tomorrow we have the great fortune to go celebrate with friends from Germany in the morning and share in typical German and Austrian customs for Three Kings’ Day.
No homeschooling experience is perfect; it is not school but life! So stop reading, and jump in and do it! If you get sidetracked, go back to your plan.
If anyone takes up the Operation Shiny Toy challenge, and blogs about it, I would love to have your link in the comment section below!
Many blessings, and have fun getting “back to school”!