Saturday, February 4, 2012

2nd week of Homeschooling

Its taken me a little while to come around to deciding what to talk about in this weeks post. The last week has been filled with ups and downs when it came to homeschooling.

I have family that read my blog, some who expect that homeschooling should be a success from the get go and that bad days = enrolment in school........

But my sister in law once told me that the reason she follows blogs is because they reflect 'real life' so here is a dose of homeschooling 'real life'.

Generally our days start well, I find that we achieve our best if we start by 9am, after that the day feels like riding a bike up a hill......

We even had a moment where it was declared 'homeschooling was supposed to be fun!' Tell me about it! lol!!

I even posted about my issues with Callum on the Connecting Qld Home Schoolers Forum to gain some insight to homeschooling a 'teen boy' lol!

But over all it was a good week, we learned, and even had some fun in there somewhere! A park play with lots of other homeschooling families and a trip to GOMA with a few homeschooling families. Here is a little bit of what went on this week with everyone.

Callum (12) decided to declare to me that he thinks that his history work is a 'waste of his time' and is pretty much chucking a tantie about having to even do basic research.

Callum had picked the Medieval Times, and I've asked for him to jot down some important dates to create a timeline, which he has decided is too hard, even though he has done timelines at school and Wikipedia is handing him a timeline that he could just copy down.

His teachers from grade 5 and 7 warned me (when I mentioned that we were going to home school) that he has a poor attitude when it comes to school work, rushing work and wasting time allocated to a topic so he can get out of doing work he's not interested in.This was the main reason I wanted to especially home school Callum for his high school years as I felt he would not achieve to his potential.

So after a bit of yelling (frustration from me) and him acting as the world was ending, I decided to call it quits and organise lunch. Generally I let the kids have some free computer/xbox time, but after Callum's performance decided that he would have to have a 'rest' instead and read some of his novel. Well low and behold, Callum later comes to me with a completed timeline and tells me he has read his novel and is ready to do his book review in the morning!! I was more then pleasantly surprised to see that he had gone ahead and completed the work, and asked him why? to which he replied he just need some time to 'sort it out in his head'. Fantastic :)

Callum then asks me 'Can I play the xbox now?'....ummmm NO! lol!!

I have to admit the girls are a pleasure to home school. They love learning, they love learning new things and generally get on with their work so they can do what they want with the rest of their day.

Livia (11) goes ahead with her work with little prompting or direction from me. She especially loves the fact that she can do her school work in coloured gels pens instead of 'having' to use lead pencil or blue pens. Livia is interested in learning different languages this year and is already making strides with Spanish. She is also due to start weekly Spanish classes this 'term'.

Aliya (8) loves her 'school work'. She loves to learn and learn quickly. This year she is learning 'running writing' and is keen to write as well as her sister. She is moving through her workbooks really quickly as she will spend hours working on a task, I often have to tell her to finish up!!

Silas (5) is starting Prep work and is easily frustrated by the littlest things. There has been a few bad days where his teeth have been playing up as well causing him a lot of pain (he is due to have surgery to get his back molars removed on the 21st of February, so hopefully being pain free will make things easier) .

For example, in his name is the letter a, which he is having trouble writing. If his first attempt at a 'a' isn't perfect then he throws his pen down and refuses to continue writing. I asked an 'experienced' home schooler who has taught boys at home for advice and she suggested to attempt some 'tactile' exercises with him, writing letters in shaving cream or flour in big writing with his hands, so there will be a lot of fun to be had with that this week :) On the other hand Silas has come along well with his readers (I loaned a bunch from the library). This week was Pets (a horse, a cat, a dog) and I see (I see a bird, I see a girl, I see a frog). He mastered these books after day 3 and declared them boring! lol!! We have also been reading aloud Wombat Stew which was his book of choice and Kaydence also loves it :)

Kaydence (2) and Braith (nearly 1) have, in a way, been my most challenging 'students'. They can't be left to their own devises long or they start to 'make their own fun' getting into things or in Braith's case mastering climbing the stairs! I hate to admit that we've watched a little too much Dora this last week :( but I'm hoping that this week will be better planned out and more 'productive' for the little ones.

So if you've gotten this far I've one little thing I would like to add to my weekly updates, improvements I would like to aim for during the coming week.

1. Plan out my days the night before, I'm sure that in a few weeks this won't take up much of my time but atm, I've found that previewing everyone's work the night before sets the pace for the day.

2. Start the day with a 'Morning Meeting' with the kids.

3. Add a bit of fun into the day. The kids had a great time with 'Popcorn Science' (post to follow), after all 'homeschooling is supposed to be fun!'


  1. I know what you mean about boys. I have 4 boys and school has always been a challenge in getting them to do work. The eldest has always struggled but tries hard, the 2nd finds it relatively easy but just doesn't care much and just plods along putting in very little effort, the 3rd struggles and is so easily frustrated he just stops and refuses to continue and the 4th struggles and just doesn't care lol. I see the majority of mothers I mix with at school with girls and they never had the problems that I have with my boys. It is so frustrating and probably the main reason I haven't gone down the homeschool route myself,,,,I have wanted to but know that I will end up yelling way too much lol. Best of luck, I can't wait to hear more!!

  2. I have two boys and I can relate to your boy woes. I find that my boys respond fairly well to knowing exactly what is planned for the day. That way they can see how much is left to do. I've also been setting them a reasonable amount of time to be finished. In our case with younger students (10 and 8) I set the limits per subject or activity, but if your teen is working fairly independently you could set an end of school day limit. If he exceeds that time you could place a restriction on him, something that is bound to motivate him. My boys have to set aside their remaining work and complete it on the weekend if they run over the limit (which is very generous). So far we haven't had to hold Saturday school.
    Categorising homeschool as fun could present a few problems though. Sure there are fun times but there's also a lot of work and some things just aren't fun. We avoid the notion of things having to be fun as I don't want the boys growing up to think that things have to be fun in order to motivate them. If that was the case I would never iron, or cook, or clean...heheheh.

  3. It sounds to me like you are doing a great job, so early on in the year.

    And there are also plenty of bad days at school too....are all of those families thinking about pulling them out of school and homeschooling them lol!!

    I hope you'll join in on the Not Back To School Blog Hop -