And Here We Go...


This post marks the kick-off of our first full homeschool week. I've been wildly preparing over the last month, and I think we're kinda, sorta prepared. Did I finish all the tasks I laid out accomplish last month? Well, no...but the filing has already waited 3 or 4 years, so what's one more?

We always gain energy from fresh starts, so I revamped the kids' schedules, my schedule, our curriculum, the school room, and, hey, even the menu. I stayed away from the dog's schedule. He only has three activities anyway.


You can take a look at our new schedules here.

Don't be dismayed that every 30 minutes of our lives seem to be planned out. We don't really live that way, but it does help keep the kids from lying around complaining of boredom or asking for screen time. Put a schedule in front of them that appears to lack adequate free time, and suddenly they're riding bikes in the driveway, running through the woods behind the house, or picking up a book that isn't assigned reading. They are bound and determined to squeeze in as many unstructured minutes into their structure as they can.

Aside from having so many planned "activities" (is having tea an activity for kids?), our schedules contain a lot of detail this year in terms of what subjects we work on when. I did this to avoid the end-of-the-week discovery that we'd forgotten 2 or 3 assignments that week. Unfortunately, we haven't become accustomed to the schedule, so we're still forgetting things. Sigh.

I used a free five-day schedule Excel template from PEAH's (Parents Educating at Home) website to create our schedules. It's completely editable, I've used it ffor several years in different ways.

School room:

When we decided to homeschool, I thought we'd just work at the kitchen table, on the sofa, on the floor - wherever. My mom asked me if I didn't need a dedicated room for schooling. I thought she was just stuck in her "school" mindset. Until I started reading and checking. Turned out most folks had some sort of "school room".

Now, of course, I realize that most of us (me) need a school room to keep the school stuff in. School work is fine for the kitchen table, but school books/supplies/projects/etc. are not. Especially during dinner. We spill.

I do enjoy having a school room, and I found a ton of fantastic ideas on various blogs that inspired me. Over the past 4 years, the converted bedroom has gone through a few reorganizations, but I think we're set for this year:

When I'm working with the one or both boys, we generally sit at the table in the middle of the room (which is getting a bit cramped for my big guy). During their independent work, I really "encourage" them to go somewhere else (upstairs, kitchen, neighbor's house), so that I can work with the other child uninterrupted.

Needless to say, their work areas in the school room don't see much action, but they are great places to keep more stuff and hang schedules!:

So with all of the planning and preparation out of the way, we started school! How did it go? Read my weekly wrap-up to find out...

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