Friday, October 4, 2013

Homeschooling Adventures

I am a homeschooling mom now.

I make lesson plans, muddle my way through daily math, do science experiments, and tote my kids with me wherever I go.   On the one hand it's far more challenging than I expected to keep two very different types of learners challenged and engaged every day, but on the other hand it's also been far more enjoyable and satisfying than I expected as well.

I thought I would struggle with the kids' being home during the school day and would feel like they were consuming my time to get things done during the day, but so far I have been quite surprised at how much I genuinely enjoy their presence.

 I love being a part of their conversations.  I love watching as they get excited about something we're learning.  I love being able to pause when Ellie has a seizure, so I can confidently know that she's not missing any important instruction.  I love our morning devotionals.  And I especially love feeling like my time with them is no longer jam-packed into a few short hours a day.

So far we've learned about the Middle East, Asia, and the different parts of the solar system and I think I am learning as much the kids are.  We have weekly co-ops for science and social studies, which have been very fun for the kids and a relief for me not to have to teach them everything myself.

For field trips, we have visited the Air and Space Museum, stargazed in West Virginia, and visited the GMU observatory to look through their gigantic telescope.   Last week we participated in a homeschool cultural night with our science/social studies co-op.  There was a whole spread of delicious middle eastern food, a presentation from an American woman who had lived in Syria as a child, and a number of real artifacts from the Middle East that they got to touch and feel.  It was a fun way to wrap up our studies and I loved that the kids had each been assigned to give their own presentations as well.  It was really good for them to have a deadline and a motivation to push themselves outside of their comfort zone.

As an addition to our PE I was pleased when the gym teachers at their former elementary school allowed them to join in the after-school running program despite them not being students this year.  Twice a week they see their school friends and are now training to run in a race next month.  I think this little addition to our schedule was the final seal on the deal that made them 100% excited about homeschool!  

After about a month now, I'm happy to say that no one (including me) has asked to go back to school yet, so  I'm counting it as a success!

Here's a glimpse at some of our adventures:

Ellie gave her cultural night presentation on the sun (the only one to give a non-social studies report).

Adam gave his on Ancient Egypt.  He, especially, needed the deadline as writing projects are definitely not his favorite thing to do!

Here is the woman who gave the presentation on Syria.

We had hummus, falafel, taboulleh, figs, stuffed grape leaves, and really fancy baklava!  (Thanks, Ashley!)

We aren't studying rocks and minerals....yet...but the kids have been doing their own backyard studies lately!

What cooler way to learn about space than to take a trip to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum?  Man, I love living near DC.  

This was at our stargazing activity in West Virginia.   They looked through the telescopes for about 10 minutes and played night games the rest of the time!

This is a common sight in our house these days!

One of the co-op families lives on a mini farm.  Ellie is completely in love with everything about farm life and would love nothing more than if we sold our house and moved to the country too.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Go, Lara, go! I'm very happy to hear that this is working for you.

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