I posted back in May that we were trying to decide between homeschooling another year or putting some of the kids back into public school. After months….and months, of questioning and trying to figure out what to do with each of them, we have decided to homeschool another year! There have been some minor changes in the direction of homeschooling, but we want at least one more year of the flexibility and freedom. Glenn who started 8th grade this year is now going through Virtual Homeschool Group and supplementing with Discovery K12. Ben in 7th, Tierney in 5th, and Garrett in 1st, are all going through Connections Academy. I chose to pull Glenn out just because the work was not on the same level as he was and there is only so much Connections was able to do for him.
The weekend before school started, I had each of the kids choose which hours they wanted to actually do school stuff. I have realized that with trying to fit all 4 of them into the same hours was just too much. Granted, this way would take up more of my time throughout the day, but isn’t that kinda what I am here for? Isn’t that part of the reason I am doing it this way? Of course! It also made each of them more accountable for their work and what needed to be done. I have to say I get a lot of “Aren’t you afraid you are spoiling them for real life?” and “Don’t you think its unfair that you get to make up your own schedules?” I understand they will not always have the ability to pick and choose what they do and when, and having them make their own schedules will also help them keep that in mind. They have each been in public school, so they know there are certain rules and routines. I am fine with letting them pick and choose for now. We also made it a point to hit up some awesome Back to School sales. I have to say we are stocked with plenty of papers, crayons, books, and anything that caught our attention. We made a few trips to Office Depot for the 25 cent Sharpies!
Our first week of school was probably not much more different than any other family. We all woke up every morning and we all ate breakfast, got dressed, and went on to whatever it was we were doing. Tierney likes to get up early and get things done so she blocked off from 8am -10am and then again from 12pm- 2pm on Monday and Wednesday. The other days she only has 3 courses and she does those in the mid morning, usually between 9am and noon. Ben and Glenn both like to sleep in a bit but are usually up by about 9am. Ben likes to procrastinate so he set his schedule up for mostly afternoons, from noon- 3pm and then if anything else had to be done he has it set for after dinner. Glenn choose a few hours in the morning and the rest after dinner so his schedule is more like 9am-11am and then around 6pm till whenever. I helped Garrett pick out some times during the mid morning just so he could get it done and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day, he has his schedule from 9am- 1pm. For all of them we do something crafty during the week, whether its something we found in their lessons or something we found while wandering around Pinterest. PE consisted of some Yoga from classes we found on YouTube as well as Kung Fu I found online. We also went fishing a few times and Tierney caught an octopus. They brought home some horseshoe crabs and tons of shells. Towards the end of the week we took a trip out to Sunken Gardens here in Downtown St. Pete. It was a nice way to get out, no one was there, and the kids got to learn a little about plants and butterflies while we were there. The koi were HUGE and so were the lily pads!
I honestly can’t say that I don’t miss the waking up early and rushing around the house to get everyone out. I can’t say I don’t miss taking pictures of the kids going to school and teacher gifts. I do miss those things, as much as I miss the end of the year celebrations and all the holidays and awards during the year. I am a member of the SAC with Connections Academy, but it is not the same as it would be at a public school, obviously. I also can’t say I don’t enjoy all the time we get to spend together. All the activities and places we get to go while everyone else in at work and in school. I enjoy the freedom and the flexibility we are able to have with homeschool. Granted there are certain days and times the kids in Connections have to be home for teacher calls or Live Lessons, but overall we are able to do so much more.
That’s pretty much a week into our life and how the first week went for us, how was your family’s first week of school?