Ah, the world of homeschooling!
So big! So vast! So...monotonous?
This is our first year to homeschool, and my son is five years-old.
I kind of figured Kindergarten would be full of paint and play-dough with a little reading and counting thrown in the mix. Instead I often find myself dreading the coming week, knowing the repetition of every subject is going to drive me crazy.
So, I did what I told myself I wasn't going to do: I started incorporating my own ideas into the lesson plans.
Nothing mind-blowing or anything--just enough of something different each week to keep my son (and me) engaged.
The first week I did this I asked my son to pick one thing he wanted to learn about. You know, like, animals...or...animals.
He chose volcanoes.
So, we learned about volcanoes together, and the week seemed to fly by along with the rest of his regular schoolwork.
At the end of the week, we built and erupted a volcano. It was entertainment for the whole family!
One week he said he wanted to learn about tigers. We researched facts together (tigers have 30 teeth--did you know that?) and made a book of facts (complete with clip art of a tiger for him to color). One of my friends stopped by one morning, and P grabbed his Tiger book and showed it to her, beaming.
He also learned the first stanza of "The Tyger" by William Blake (a poem I had to learn in high school!), and we went on a "Tiger Hunt." I hid a rubber tiger figurine around the house, and we all had to go around the house looking for the tiger while saying the first stanza of "The Tyger" as we marched around. P and his 3 year-old brother REALLY liked this activity. At the end of the week they got to watch a documentary on tigers while eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate.
I know homeschooling isn't all play-dough and making things explode. I've signed myself up for years of listening to small children sound out words and struggle to grasp the concept of addition.
But homeschooling isn't about ME.
It's not FOR me.
It's about the kids, and even when I'm getting burned out I have to remind myself that THIS is what is best for our children--rain or shine.
I better go--we're leaning about the "Giant Squid" this week, and I don't think Mom saying, "Uh, they're big!" is going to cut it when my son asks for information about it.