This first week of homeschooling was full of ups and downs.
Monday was superb. Tuesday is our day off. Wednesday was Independence Day and we let our au pair leave early to go see the fireworks at the Mall (I mean, how could she miss that?). But even so, I had 3 good hours in the morning for school. But Sam was resenting every minute of it and I couldn’t figure out why, so I decided to take her on a field trip to the grocery store. I’m not kidding – this was a pre-planned field trip with a purpose: to observe how all the food is organized and categorized. We are accumulating observations of organization and categorization and I was saving this trip for exactly this situation: a day when Sammy just wouldn’t work. I just didn’t expect it to happen on the second day of class. Anyway, the field trip went well. Then on Thursday I told our au pair to sleep in since I knew she’d be out late the previous night, so I was in charge of all the kids until 10am. But by the time Ale took over, both Sam and I were crashing and needed a nap. We woke up around 1pm and did about 2 hours of school, but neither one of us was at our best. We were just wiped from all the fun of the previous night.
But Friday, we started first thing in the morning, both in fine spirits, and we had another great day. Sam even did a Handwriting Without Tears lesson and loved it – a complete reversal of Monday’s reaction. But in order to get her to begin the lesson, I basically had to order her to do it. I told her that she had to do one math, one reading, and one penmanship lesson in each class period. She didn’t like that, but she pulled out the printing book and got started and ended up doing very well and enjoying it. She did good work for 3 hours, and only complained a few times about how 3 hours “takes soooo long.”
- messing with the schedule is a bad idea
- big swings in productivity and enjoyment will probably be common
- if something isn’t going well, let it lie for a while
- sometimes I will have to flat-out tell her what to do; the kicker will be figuring out when to do that
- glad I started during the summer so there is no pressure to have school every day, or worry if we have a bad day.
Overall, it was a good week. Next week will be a full week of regular schedule. so that will help (or, I suppose, it could hurt). I hope to be able to do a cool field trip, if the weather cooperates. But the week after that, Sam is going to camp and there will be no school at all. I don’t like all the disruptions, but it’s just the way our life is right now and we’ll have to deal with it.
But, yes, it was a very good week.