Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Things I'm wondering.

If every morning, after our bible story read-aloud, Dylan wants to type up his own narration and then illustrate it on the reverse side, can that double as our language arts lesson for the day? Or should I still be making him complete a lesson in his language workbook? Here is today's work:

If Dylan dresses Caitlyn up as Cinderella and then reads her several fairy tales, does that count as "school"? (Here they had just switched to a nativity story after completing Cinderella.)

If yesterday we spent a great deal of time discussing weather, (conducting, even, two experiments to measure air pressure), does it matter so much if we didn't really cover science today?

If Dylan flies through math problems with his linking cubes but only half-heartedly and distractedly completes his workbook pages (acting as though he can't even subtract 2 from 3), does this mean I should just put the workbook away for a while? Or should I be spending extra time working on these written problems with him?

Am I the only homeschooling mom who questions every little detail?

I just want this to be fun. I'm worried that I'm not actually as relaxed as I had hoped I would be when it comes to teaching the fundamentals. I've also noticed that the things I really enjoy doing most with the kids are the things which require so little effort: our Little House read-alouds (which always include further discussion), simple demonstrations (yesterday, as part of our map studies, we all piled together into my closet with Dylan's globe and flashlight and learned about how the sun makes day and night), and Tuesday Tea Time (yesterday we had cheesecake and milk and read a lovely poem, "September", by Helen Hunt Jackson, and then we all drew our own interpretations with colored pencils.)

I guess I'm just unsure of how much structure we need, or whether I should be doing more (or less). Darren thinks I'm doing a great job, but I still worry. How do you decide how much or how little structure your days should have? Am I sweating the small stuff? Will this all fall into place if I just give it a little longer? Will I ever stop second guessing myself?

Oh, the questions. I know there can be no clear answers to some of these, but I feel better already for having asked them.

Finally (but most importantly) I just want to say, on behalf of my family, THANK YOU all for the love, support, and prayers you've offered in response to our happy announcement. We feel so loved!


Jen said...

I'm so glad you brought this up. I, too, worry about every tiny, tiny detail. Should we be doing this? Or that? Is this enough? Should we be more creative? Is this too strict? You are doing such a great job. Depsite my own doubts about myself, I would say yes to all of your questions! Well done!

Michelle said...

You know, in many states kindergarten isn't even mandatory, right?

You're doing a great job. It's hard to relax and have fun, but please try to enjoy this time. It won't be long before your children will have two or three hours of work and you'll feel like a nag!

Anonymous said...

Your child is a!

Celeste said...

More to come on this one!


He who wears the most black wins. said...

It's TOTALLY okay to be nervous and have some fears. I don't have other advice to offer you, but I do want you to know that your feelings are valid and, no matter what age our children are, we have every obligation to worry about whether they are learning what they should be! :)

Worry on, sister, but just KEEP HAVING FUN with them! ")

mom-in-training said...

I'm new to this, too, so I feel like I'm not really the right person to give an opinion... BUT - I'm going to anyway. :) Every example you gave sounds like pure homeschooling to me. And I've been told by so many people that in Kindergarten, an hour a day is enough - as long as there is lots of reading and life experiences the rest of the day. And you most definitely are doing all of that. Dylan is getting such a great kindergarten experience. Please don't worry - from my point of view, you are doing an AMAZING job! I could really learn from your examples!!! And look at what all Dylan is already doing?!? WOW!!!!

Jill said...

I know this much- whenever I read about your homeschooling days I want to BE in your 'school.' It looks engaging, fun, and peaceful. Something feels really 'right' about all of it. I think you are doing awesome.

Suzanne Temple said...

Whoo-hooo! Congrats. I've been out of the loop a bit, but am happy to hear your good news!

Laura W. said...

To answer your questions...Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No...and Finally, NO!!!! you are not the only home school Mom that questions every detail!!! You are doing a great job! I love all of your activities! Reading is the most important thing, I think!! and I would pray that as your children get older they will love to read! It is such a gift and that is how we learn everything!!! Keep up the good work!
PS We are HUGE Little House fans!

Jane Ramsey said...

I agree with Darren: you are doing a GREAT job. You are teaching them new things but also following their interests and building on that.
I think every mother questions herself and wonders these things, so you are not alone.
But, looking at all they do and the enthusiasm they have for learning, I'd say you're off to a great start!