Wednesday, September 8, 2010

All in due time

One reason I decided to take an extended break from teaching after Grace was born is that when I am teaching, I seem to always have my “teacher hat” on.  My brain is a whirlwind of reflections on what I have done, contemplations over what I could have done better, and plans for what I would like to do next.  It can be exhausting.  When I was teaching in public school, my brain was too occupied with other people’s children, leaving little time for my own.  
Now that I am both mother and teacher to my girls, I find my brain is just working double-time.  Today was our second full day of lessons.  We begin each day at 8:00 by taking our dog to the park for exercise.  Our dog Jake is very much like a toddler.  Wear him out early, and we can all learn in peace!  Some of our highlights have been:

  • introducing a biography study:  Lilah is fascintated with the connections she is making to the life of Jeff Corwin.  Grace chose Zlata’s Diary and is trying to imagine her life being turned upside down by war.  It also has a special meaning for her now that her uncle is in a war-zone.
  • learning how to use a bible:  We are not homeschooling for religious reasons but I came across a unit study: Increasing in Wisom and I love it.  I am using it for vocabulary.  The girls are looking up definitions in the dictionary and learning to use the bible to refernce key terms like wisdom,generosity, and leadership.  They also journal about thier personal experiences with these terms.
  • our writing program: Write Shop. With just two lessons, I am noticing an improvement in their cross-curriculum writing.  We are focusing on taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.  Both my girls have said how much fun they think it is.
However, I would be remiss if I did not mention that I could totally stress over the fact we have not had a lesson in history or science yet. I had planned for it but we somehow ran out of time.  We work without break until 12:00, have lunch, then an hour of play time. We are going to have to use our afternoon for history/science/spanish/typing.  But today we had a doctor appointment......tomorrow.  We will get to it tomorrow!  
I was also thinking of our music appreciation.  Last spring Lilah and I did composer studies.  I firmly believe that every child should know who Mozart and Beethoven were and why their music matters.  But I was thinking that this year we could have a little more fun......  Rather than study classical composers, we are going to study Contemporary Composers beginning with Michael Jackson! Our kids are growing up with Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber, and The Jonas Brothers.  No offense, tweens, but there is not  much to contemplate in their lyrics.  Every month we will focus on someone who helped shape our culture.  We will listen to a wide array of music from Motown to the Beetles.   
Lilah's Graphite Pencil drawing

It will be fun.  Then maybe we can study Broadway musicals and even go to a few.  Oops, there goes my brain spinning out of control !
Grace's favorite part of our house
It is fun for me to be a teacher again.  I enjoy learning with my children.  I do have to remember though, that there are times to take off the teacher hat, turn off the computer, stop the research and just relax with them.  They do not need a teacher 24/7.  Sometimes they just need a mother or a playmate or a confidant.  Those are the times I do not need to worry about what we did not get to on our checklist, or if I have my plans typed up for the next day.  I have to trust that it will get done and it will be done well... all in due time.


Theresa said...

That Bible program sounds fascinating. I like the idea of learning about classical music, as well. And I agree about the Justin Beiber, Jonas Brothers, etc. I am a HUGE Bruce Springsteen fan, so if you ever decide to talk about him and need any info...I'd be glad to help ;-)

Michelle said...

Love all the plans! I had that problem as a classroom teacher, too. I had nothing left for my own child at the end of each day. It's better now, but my brain is on overload this year!

Karen said...

I am so loving your plans. I, like Theresa, like the idea of the Bible program. We don't HS for religious reasons either but I like Kei learning about character traits.

I LOVE the contemporary artists study and am so using that. :) One thing we are doing this year is taking the lyrics to Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start The Fire" and learning what each thing he sings about it. Chocked full of history and Kei loves Billy Joel. I was an 80's music girl so Kei knows all the crazy British bands. :)

Isn't HSing fun?????

Jessica said...

The wisdom study is from Queen Homeschool

Increasing In Wisdom, a bible study of proverbs for elementary aged children by Michelle Zoppa.

lexi said...

I think it is very cool that you are wanting to do a modern music study! I would love to hear more about this!

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