Sometimes I am searching for the light in the middle of the homeschool year. Did you ever feel that way? There is a saying that every homeschooling family is ready to quit in February, so maybe this feeling that homeschooling is a hard juggle is just starting early. What usually happens is that by the end of the year I will be saying, “Oh well, it wasn’t really SO bad!”. I told a friend that other day that maybe homeschooling is a little like childbirth, and we forget the painful parts, which is why we come back for the next year! Hahahaha!
So, at this time of year, at least for me, we just have to press on. I have to keep myself going because the end of the year is not that far away, and I realize particularly for our high schooler, we may have to extend a little past the date where we normally end even with pressing on.
So, in order to conquer the midyear feels, I have been busy bringing in light into our homeschool in various forms. I have done this with physical forms of light in our home – candles and salt lamps; through crafts that make our space feel cheery. I have done this with emotional things that give us light. For example, this month we have focused on courtesy and kind speech and loyalty through a variety of stories and biographies and our Christian faith. That feels nice. We try to get out to walk everyday for a very physical dose of light as well. We have been at the horse farm and the children have been playing outside with our puppy. I have streamlined errands as much as possible and made rest, exercise, rhythm, and cleanliness a priority.
For those of you Waldorf homeschooling and wondering where we are these days, our first grader is on his second math block of the year. He is going over all four math processes, and starting to work on math facts involving the numbers 1-20, the multiplication tables, patterns and estimating and more. Math is easy for him. He is also working on all his letter sounds (for those of you not Waldorf homeschooling, we introduce academics in first grade, not kindergarten, for a variety of reasons), short vowels and consonant-vowel-consonant words and we are doing a lot of modeling in this block.
Our sixth grader has completed Astronomy, Mineralogy, European Geography, and we are finishing up Rome this week and moving into a math block next week. She has daily practice in math, grammar, spelling, and is working on Latin a few times a week. She is working a lot on black and white drawing also during this block.
Our oldest child is a ninth grader. Biology is the one subject that has been consistently hard for her, and we switched tactics partway through the first semester so we are still catching up. She has recently been studying and writing about, “The House of the Scorpion, ” and the poetry of Mary Oliver ( from Oak Meadow’s freshman year literature and composition suggestions), along with Biology, Spanish II, and Algebra I. She has been creating her own business making horse-related products to sell.
So, it isn’t perfect, but it is moving! Throw some of your light over here and tell me how your homeschooling is going!
I think my February blues came a bit early this year too. I had a hard time getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. But at the moment things are going very smoothly in our homeschool, and I’m finding a lot of fulfillment. I just hope it lasts and that the rough weeks I had earlier this month weren’t a taste of worse to come in February. I think it helps that we have had very mild weather for January.
Hang in there Carrie! As with childbirth – homeschooling is SO worth it! (grin) 🙂
I like the extra light idea. I think I can work with that up here in the dark north as well.. thank you!
We have been having a pretty rough return to schooling as well,…. our sixth grader is still having a hard time with his spelling and grammar, so I decided to skip Middle Ages this year and instead add more of the Language arts into the school year, which means we are bumping all the history blocks up a year. Which I do not think is much of a problem to be honest.
It also looks very much like my first grader will end up being a Kindergartener again,… she is physically definitely not ready, and I was advised by a Waldorf teacher to wait with her, but since she was very keen on “school”, I thought we could try it,… well it turns out she is not as ready as some of us thought. She does not have the patience nor the attention span yet, albeit she loves to spell and do some of the math concepts. I know though that if we push on it will be a disaster come second grade. So I rather start first grade with her again in the fall.
I wish we could go for walks up here already again as well, we all need some more fresh air, but it is still very cold up here, albeit it felt like spring today.
Well, that’s pretty much it from our home front. I feel like I need a vacation again…