The past month has nearly been a blur. All components of our school year are now in place: our new history/literature/writing curriculum, other academic subjects, online classes, and extracurricular activities. I'm enjoying it all and feel we've put together a good mix for the year, but it's been draining and frustrating at times. As I told someone yesterday, I expected we'd have a steep learning curve with the online classes, but I didn't expect the curve to be a vertical line! The demands, the new procedures, the deadlines, the rigidity are things we're not used to around here, and though I believe we'll find them valuable and ultimately "do-able," the attempts to get it all under control with the Papa gone have been painful at times. He's been away for two weeks, returning tomorrow, and then leaving again Tuesday for another few days. He's been helping out by phone and email and that's a real blessing...I'd have nuked out way before now without his input!
I'll be leaving a week from today (or perhaps earlier if needed) to attend the birth of our twelfth grandchild in Virginia. So I'll spend this weekend making sure that plans are in place for my absence for two, possibly three weeks. This is when you see how good your systems really are: can they run without you? Again, my being in touch by phone and email will help, but I can't make sure everyone is out of bed and studying by 8, so I'll count on the self-discipline we've been working on to stand in for my mild coercion :-)
Thursdays have been a lot of fun so far this year. Three of the kids are involved in the Crystal Sea Drama Company again this year, and this takes pretty much all day. The big production this year is a Broadway musical revue, a huge undertaking since many of the kids don't read music and have never sung in a group before. I am having a great time helping them learn parts and learn to sing, using experience that has lain dormant for way too long! I also spend part of the day just generally helping supervise the throngs of kids who are moving from one class to another, trying not to be too disruptive of the Mother's Day Out program which is also housed in the large church where we meet.
At other times in the same day, one of the children and three of my grandsons are taking a Tae Kwon Do class and another of the kids is taking piano, all at the same facility. It's been a great way to give the kids some non-academic classes without being in the car and on the road half a dozen times each week. Oh, we come home on Thursdays dead tired and the kids are asleep in the van before we pull in the driveway, but so far we wouldn't trade it. I've adjusted Friday mornings a bit to help us recover, which of course is one of the lovely privileges of home schooling!
So, how is YOUR year going so far?
So...I've been busy gathering graphics and ideas for the renovation and haven't taken much time to post. I'll be back, but you might not recognize me!
It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon...
It's been a BUSY week at Granny's House. It was our first week of school, other than a few early math lessons before vacation. Our online classes don't start until after Labor Day, and drama doesn't start until next week, so I can't say we're going full throttle...but we got enough going to get a feel for what our year might be like. We are doing a new curriculum this year (Tapestry of Grace) with all four of our remaining students and the rhythms will be different than what we're used to. But I've found over the past 21 years of home schooling that every year is different, even if the academic components remain the same.
One year there's a nursing baby, next year there's a long illness, the year after that one leaves for college and so we're reduced by one driver, the following year we make a major move and leave our co-op.
Some years we have a brand new student that requires a lot of one-on-one time...other years we have two students who would rather eat Brussels sprouts than find a common denominator.
One year the Papa is teaching at Notre Dame and has more time off than he's ever had...the next year he's whisked away to the Gulf War and we're on our own.
It's not all a function of which history program we choose or which math levels we're doing. There will be dozens of variables every year, and as I've said many times, life is a series of trading one set of problems (and joys) for another. So it is with homeschooling....and ever will be. When the last set of challenges disappears, it will be because I look up and see that last cap and gown.
Of course, as I was sitting tonight hunting for maps on the internet and making up vocabulary quizzes, I admitted to myself that I'll probably come home from that commencement ceremony and call one of you up and ask, "What maps do you still need to find for next year? Need any help?"
Once a homeschool junkie, always addicted.
So...we're off and running in year 22 here at Granny's House.
Where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children (and grandchildren) are above average...