Never be Afraid to Tweak

Tweaking Homeschooling.jpgThe thing about our homeschool is that it is ever-changing. We’ve just finished our first three weeks of school and I already need to tweak things. Even before we add our extra-curricular activities, our schedule is too full. My goal this year is to keep everything simple. I yearn for rest and leisurely learning. I have much to learn about simple.

What’s Working:

Morning Time:
Everyone’s favorite part of the day is Morning Time. For those of you not familiar with Morning Time, it is when I read aloud all the subjects that we combine (Bible, History, Science, Art Appreciation, and Composer Study). It’s also when we study our Memory Work.

They love our Ambleside Online Year 2 readings. Their favorites are The Burgess Animal Book and Our Island Story. Morning Time is a little long, however, so we try to break it up with some calisthenics.

Lightning Literature:

J-jo loves this curriculum and it has been a great hit.  If you missed it, you can read my review of it here.

Alternating Latin Curricula:

Bear is using Song School Latin 2 and Prima Latina.  We started both last year and got halfway through.  They reinforce each other so we do them both. One is a bit dry (but Bear likes it) and the other is a bit more creative.  They balance each other out and both have strengths I couldn’t give up. She does one on Tuesdays and the other on Thursdays. I’ll be alternating Latin for Children with Latina Christiana once we are done with SSL2 and PL. The other fun thing we do with Latin is play Race to the Colosseum from Pam at Everyday Snapshots.  More on that in another post, but in the meantime, check out her blog post about it.

What’s Not Working:

Math for Bear:

Math has been our nemesis ever since we started homeschooling. It’s a source of frustration for me because, while she’s very advanced and good at math, she does not enjoy it. She is very much a literature and history gal. We use Saxon and there’s nothing wrong with Saxon 5/4 as a curriculum – I actually love it and wish it would work for us. It is just the right difficulty level – that sweet spot between too hard and too easy – but Bear can’t abide it because of the repetitiveness, and has procrastinated getting her lesson done these past two weeks. It’s stressful and throws the whole day off. I am waiting for Rightstart E to arrive in the mail, and I am praying that the playful aspect of this curriculum and the fact that it is so Mommy intensive (and thus she will have my company, which is really what she wants to begin with) will make math more tolerable for all of us.

Juggling two kids at once:

This is the first year that J-jo has mandatory school. His work needs Mommy at his side (think All About Spelling, Lightning Literature, listening to him read, math games) and Bear still wants Mommy at her side, not to mention she needs me for All About Spelling, Writing and Rhetoric, and various other scripted subjects.) I am not sure exactly how to change things around so that my time is better balanced between the two.  Still tweaking and figuring it out and trying to make it work. Any tips would be appreciated.

 You can plan all you want on paper, but until you live it, you can’t be sure of your plan’s success.

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3 Responses

  1. Min
    Min at |

    I am always amazed by how much you do! I understand your struggle with math because K gets bored if it’s repetitive too. We finally worked out a schedule that works for us. Basically, the key is to mix things up and rotate. For example, we do two days of Challenging Word Problems and two days of Beast Academy. On the last day, we play games. We do this for three weeks. On the fourth week, we just do Life of Fred. I also advise skipping the number of problems given. If K can prove to me she can do them, she does not have to do all the problems (incentive to do them correctly the first time). But we review now and then for retention. Hope that helps!

    Reply to Min
  2. Karen @ Simply
    Karen @ Simply at |

    We’ll be reading Our Island Story in our read-aloud time this year too. I’m also using Song School Spanish with my 1st grader. Thanks for sharing that the Song School Latin pairs well with Prima Latina. I am thinking I might use Song School Latin for when we start Latin and I already have Prima Latina.

    Reply to Karen @ Simply
  3. Dianna Kennedy
    Dianna Kennedy at |

    Amen to tweaking. I wish I’d accepted that fact when I first started homeschooling, instead of insisting that every box be checked off in the lesson plan. Argh.

    I struggle too, with juggling different levels. I have a third grader and twin kindergarteners this year, as well as a toddler and soon to be mobile baby. Phew!

    Reply to Dianna Kennedy