Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Schedules and homeschooling

When I became a homeschooler, it involved a whole shift in viewpoint. EVERYTHING changed. Not a vast amount, but everything became a slightly different color, is the best way to explain it. I just started to take some things for granted, like schedules and book choices.

Another homeschooling mom called me this week with a question. "We're having unexpected cousins over today. Should I try to do school? We're already a day behind!"
I was a touch confused. A day behind? What does that mean? I pointed out that right now, if her son is doing kindergarten, he's already at least three months ahead of his peers. He doesn't have to finish kindergarten by June 2008, either; more like August 2008 when his peers would be starting first grade. A day behind? Impossible.
Then I did the math of counting how many days our school's course plans provide--four days a week, nine weeks per quarter, four quarters. That comes to 144 days of school. Again, what does "a day behind" mean?
I think--I hope, really--she relaxed and let her kids play with their cousins with a clear conscience.

The other story I have is about choices. This pertains more to Kolbe's flexibility, but it applies here too. I was asked about sending in our quarterly reports. I haven't sent anything back yet, but I will for first grade. Dale pointed out, "It's not an obligation. If you want them to verify your grades, you send stuff in. But they don't kick you out if you don't."
That made sense. The next question was, "Do you have to use their books?"
She was surprised when I said no. "If you want to use their course plans, yes, but you don't have to use their course plans. Like for first grade, they use MCP Math. They sell Saxon, and you're perfectly welcome to use it, but then you're on your own for course plans. Or you could use Math-It, or Math-U-See, or whatever; it's up to you. And you can still send your stuff in quarterly and they'll verify your grades."
She was surprised by their flexibility; she's never seen anyone else like that. I don't know if anyone else is that flexible; I imagine Seton isn't since they do so much of their own publishing. [That isn't a knock against Seton and I may be wrong. Any input would be great.]

I just took these things for granted. We as parents are in charge. That puts all of the responsibility on us as well, but that's another post. I as a parent decide when we do school and for how long, admittedly using the conventional schedule as a template. I decide how quickly to cover the material and when to take time off. I decide which texts to use, using suggestions from others.
And isn't that what homeschooling is all about?

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2 Comments:

At 9:55 AM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...

Absolutely!

My husband took a 10 day vacation right smack in the middle of the school year. Our kids got to take it off too with no worries about homework or missed assignments.

Time with family is priceless!

But then I hear the parents who say to me, "I could never be around my kids for that long."

I can't imagine it. How can a parent NOT want to be with their own children? Taking a break now and again to recharge Yes, but in general how can that statement make sense to any loving parent?

Just a thought.

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger Dana said...

The scheduling thing, I think, is toughest in the beginning. You want to do everything "right." It took me a bit to realize "right" had less to do with schedules and more to do with engagement and family.

Sometimes, I wish I could go back and start over, but oh well.

 

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