Thursday, November 4, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Time to get back in the saddle. I had to take time off in order to have surgery. I thought we would only miss a little bit of schoolwork, but we ended up missing a LOT. However, I have learned so much in the interim that it may have helped our homeschooling journey more than hurt it. I have learned that when not faced with a structured school day, my children still seek out plenty of opportunities to grow and learn. For the first time, I have seen the benefit of "unschooling". I have watched them pursue so many varied things that they have learned from. Another thing that astounded me was my daughter writing a 5 page book report on a Biography she checked out from the library. I did not assign it, she just did it. Tucker, the child who I have to fight to get to write, has taken to writing letters. Troy I sometimes have to almost sit on to get to listen to me read a book, but lately he'll bring me a stack just to read to him.

I have been stressing science, art, and music curriculum and feeling I am somehow short changing my kids by not having something in stone. However, I have learned in the last few weeks that they really do delve deeply into subjects when they are pursuing their own loves, and they learn a LOT on their own. So, I think I shall try to do a lot more delight centered learning.

So, this week they are each reading biographies. They are writing a lot. Math? They have been doing shopping for me and I actually let them watch me pay bills and help balance our account. I also allowed them to budget some things out and go buy them. They were amazed to see how fast our paycheck went to the most basic of things, and exactly how much it costs to live and support a family. I thought it was sweet that they felt guilty taking their allowances after they saw what it takes to keep our family afloat.

They have also gotten better at chores. There are many things I have been reluctant to do in teaching my children about housework. I don't know why, but I have. I just *know* that when they do the work, it will not be good enough and I'll have to re-do it or want it redone. However, since I am on restriction post surgery, it has forced me to change this.

At first, I was just resigned that the house would not be cleaned "right" until I got better. But, yesterday morning I SNAPPED! I cannot do it, and by golly my 12 & 14 year old are old enough to clean and clean RIGHT. So, yesterday I had them clean and re-clean all morning. They only got a pass to another area when their current area is right. I also had them keep track in a note book of everything they do, that way they can "reference" it later if they "forget" how to do it right. Since they have not been doing their chores right, and have not been helping me much while I have been down, they will not get their last two weeks allowance until this work is done. I sit here writing you proud to say the house is almost in spic & span condition, except my room and bathroom. I will pay them extra to do it as I think our own areas are ALWAYS our own responsibility.

Laundry is another area where I have remained vigilant, and have not shared. I am VERY picky about my laundry. How it is sorted, what temperatures are used, what cycle, the softener, detergent...all of it, including how it is folded/hung. Of course, laundry is WAY behind. So much so that Katie insisted on doing some on her own. She has paid attention (I have allowed them to "help", but with me there directing never on their own) and she did it exactly as I would have. I am very proud. Even more so, I realize, I don't have to take so much on even when well. The kids are capable of doing housework, and doing it correctly.

So, even though we have not been formally schooling, we certainly have had a lot of learning going on around here. I am grateful for this time of growth in our family. I think it well help us all to do better in the future.

The picture at the top is a picture of Tucker's souffl├ęs he made the other day from scratch. They rose nicely and turned out perfect. They were hot chocolate souffl├ęs, using a Hershey's cookbook recipe. BRAVO Tucker...he is well on his way to his goal of being a chef.


  1. WAY TO GO MAMA AND KIDDOS!!! are you still going to do the workboxes? I have been implementing that into our homeschool the last couple weeks.

  2. Yes, I intend to do the workboxes. Just o implement them now is kind of tricky. I do a folder system inspired by the workboxes with the big kids. I need to get something done for little guy.


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