State of the Home School, October 2008

four children laughing and smiling at camera

So, here we are at the several-weeks-into-the-school-year point, and things are going well. I KNOW! Wonderful, in’nt it?

The older boys have finally stepped over to the dark side. They actually believe that they can do the work set before them. On top of that, when I assign a task, they actually do it!

I’m talking reading articles and stories, summarizing them verbally, completing math assignments, helping little brothers with their phonics lessons…we even have done two art lessons together. Oh, and today we listened to some silly symphonies and they danced wildly around the living room with sticks, pretending to be conductors. It’s entirely possible that they’re [gasp] enjoying themselves on a regular basis.

The younger boys are still a bit unsure of themselves from time to time, but I’ve focused on a very regular routine with them. We do a couple of things right after breakfast (we still work at the dining table, so they’re already in place) and then they’re done until lunch, when the process repeats. For “morning school” we do printing, half of math, grammar (3 times a week), and phonics. Math ends with a wild version of the Hokey Pokey since we’re learning left and right, and phonics is often supervised by older brothers. They have the choice of working with me or brothers. “Afternoon school” is when we finish math, do either history or science, and read stories together.

They’ve been fairly confident from day to day. Captain Earthquake has been experimenting with pouting and temper at the drop of a hat, but he was receptive when I taught him to take deep breaths when angry. Today he made it past one breath and started laughing.

Usually by this time in the school year I’m ready to rip my hair out after days of trying to convince boys that yes they can read, yes they can understand the story, yes they can learn. So far, so good. Will things break down in the future? They might. I don’t know. For today, things are good.

We’ll just coast along on that.

Earnest Parenting: advice for homeschooling parents.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

View all contributions by

{ 6 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment


3 − two =

CommentLuv badge

  • Mary October 10, 2008, 8:17 pm

    Hmmm I feel like I’m traveling in the opposite direction. At that age my kids loved school and ate it up…now it’s the end of the week and one child has done very little of his work and the other one will need several hours of more review to “get it”. Sigh….guess what I’ll be spending saturday doing. Just a hint out there for young parents/couples to make a budget early on in your marriage and live on less than you make so when you have kids you can have the ability to stay home full time and have a regular routine! Hindsight is so great!

    Reply
  • franco October 17, 2008, 6:05 pm

    home school is good for students that need home school due to extra curricular activities like acting or sports, but for the mere fact that they dont want to go to school is not good for self esteem or social issues. they usually dont make friends easily and they dont know how to work in a library envirnment as well.

    Reply
  • Amy October 18, 2008, 1:18 am

    Mary I’m sorry that the battles are cropping up! I hope things settle down for you.

    Franco I wrote a whole long treatise (in the comments) about homeschooling and social skills over on the post titled How to Get Started Homeschooling part 1, so I won’t repeat it all here. Short version: my boys spend time with kids their age almost daily. They get a good balance of exposure to other kids without getting too “exposed” to other kids. They just finished football, they’re in Scouts, take piano lessons, and participate in church activities.

    I agree that some kids have social difficulties but I would attribute that to personality much sooner than I would to homeschooling. I was downright AWFUL socially well into adulthood and I was publicly schooled all the way through.

    Currently my boys are happy to stay home. They see the benefit of getting work done in less time and being able to pursue interests as they wish. I’ll try to get their caterpillar mansion photos posted next week. It’s huge! If they wanted to go to public school I would let them. Reluctantly, but I would allow it and support them completely. I’m not sure what you mean about library environments…we spend time at the library every week checking out books (we currently have 32 of them out) after piano lessons. It’s part of the school day.

    I’m always interested in discussing schooling options. How was your education growing up?

    Reply
  • Jordans October 20, 2008, 3:18 pm

    What got you to decide to home school them? I have a couple friends that are home schooled and they are actually more social then a lot of people i know.

    Reply
  • Amy October 23, 2008, 12:00 am

    Jordans I’ll have to blame my sister for the homeschooling idea. I was teaching public school when she and her hubby were expecting their first and she brought up the idea based on some books she was reading. I’d never considered the idea before. The more I thought about it, the more it appealed to me and well, here we are. 🙂

    Reply
  • franco October 28, 2008, 5:14 pm

    Amy you are so smart and confident in your work! i can learn a lot from your blog site and great attitude, i wish i could talk more with you about these important issue, I cant find many people like you!

    Reply