Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Your Homeschool Schedule

The first couple weeks we were homeschooling, I had a very lazy schedule. I knew we 'needed' a schedule, but, well, I love to sleep and without a 'need' to wake up at a certain time, I enjoyed a few more sleep-ins than I should have. There, I admitted it. *sigh*

Then a couple weeks ago I was visiting with Tami, Carin, Aly and Kim (all K12'ers) and I asked the dreaded question of them: "How's it going?"

Carin and Aly both were feeling much like I was. Tami, having always homeschooled her children, was doing just fine. Kim, however, was a first timer like me, and yet, inexplicably, she was doing just fine.

Well, perhaps not inexplicably, because there was a perfectly good explanation. A schedule

Kim shared with us her schedule. I've been following the same schedule now for two weeks, and holy moly boys and girls, it's totally working for me!

It's not rocket science, but I thought I'd share it with you. Perhaps it will help you, as it did me.

7:00 I get up, get showered and ready for my day. (My boys are usually up, but they like to ease into their day with some play or TV. I'm okay with that.)

8:00 Breakfast

8:15 Scripture Study

8:30 Boys get ready for their day, including walking the dog and having a bit of outside fun, like basketball. I get online and check a few blogs, email, log into K12 and get my head around what's coming up for the day.

9:00 Boys come in and school gets underway.

10:30 We take a break. A snack, a bit of outside play. And I get to feed my blog habit a bit more.

11:00 Back to school.

12:30 Lunch and a play break.

1:00 School!

2:30 Done for the day! Whew!

3:00 We like to go to the gym most days. We found a gym where I can work out and the boys can play basketball or swim. It's very handy and cool. I like it!

4:00 Now we're home and I get some writing done before dinner.

You might ask how I find time to get housework done, right? I fit it in, in little bits of time. If I didn't write, then I'd get more done, but it's a choice I make. Definitely my home is not what it once was. But as they say, there'll be a time when I can keep my house as clean as I want it to be ... and that day will also be when my children are not home to love, to care for, to cherish.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Homeschooling and Socialization

This is probably the biggest concern friends and family express when I tell them I homeschool. What about friends? they ask. So let's see about friends ...

  • We live in a neighborhood of many friends whom the boys freely play with after the public school gets out. 
  • Once a week they go to Scouts where they play, interact, and serve in a group of ten boys.
  • At least twice a week they go to Karate where they interact with boys and girls in the age range of 8-13.
  • Each Sunday they spend two hours at Church in a group of boys and girls their own age, learning, and doing activities.
  • In between Sunday and Saturday each week, the boys may participate in as few as one or as many as several playgroups, field trips or other 'out' activities.

Do they sound undersocialized to you? Umm, I think not ;)

Dr. Laura wrote an excellent article in May of this year summarizing a study by the Department of Psychology at Bellhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi. In their study these researchers determined that homeschooled university students adjust as well, or even better, than their non-homeschooled counterparts. 

In addition to all that I listed, my boys are also getting time with me, their mom, to feel love, to learn and to grow and to find themselves in the safety and security of a loving home. I don't know about you, but while I spent my school days in the company of hundreds of other children, I only felt further away from who I was, from who loved me. I struggled to find my identity in the halls of my school, between the good girls, the bad girls, the boys, the brainiacks, the jocks ... you name it. 

I think my boys have a tremendous advantage because they can figure out if they are smart, funny, attractive, capable ... in the safety of their home. And the answers they find for themselves will be answers for their life, not just for the moment they are with their friends, but in their hearts, their heads, their lives. 

There is one point about socialization I'd like to make, though. And that's the importance of socialization for MOM. 

Sitting in Tami's backyard last week, I realized that I would be there even if my kids weren't, lol. I need the time to sit with others who are of the same mind as I am. I still talk with my friends from 'before', but they don't really get where I am right now. They don't get why I chose to homeschool, or what unique challenges I face day to day.

However, my homeschooling friends, though they are new, are fast becoming special people in my lives--friends I don't want to go without.

So if you're considering homeschooling, or doing it now, don't forget the importance of friends for yourself as well as for your children. You will get ideas and help from your friends, and the strength and courage to face another day. And your kids will make new friends too!

Now, that's a win/win situation, right?

Friday, September 26, 2008


Last week I went to Tami's Friday picnic and talked with the other moms about Acountable Kids (or something like that.) The point was, that the child knows what they're responsible for and they receive consequences or rewards based on their ability (or lack thereof) to follow through on what they've committed to do.

Today at Tami's picnic, I realized that I have not been accountable for my blog!

I started this blog so that I could keep a record of my journey, both for my sake and for the sake of others who are going through the same thing, either now or down the road. And I've been doing a mighty poor job of it, darn it!

So I'm renewing my committment to you, to myself and to Tami (who is a faithful follower even though I let her down all the time. She just tells me really nicely.)

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (I remember when it was just Webster's Dictionary ... how old does that make me? For me to know and you to find out. So there!) says accountability is "an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's action for one's actions." 

I have lots to tell you, and have a plan in place for keeping my blog regular with all the things. Some things I plan to talk about in future posts are:
  • socialization
  • schedules
  • household chores
  • pacing
  • love
Does that whet your appetite? I hope so! 

Now that I have a plan, I'll be sure to follow through. That ought to be the first thing we talk about next because I've discovered it's the key to our homeschool success and that is HAVE A PLAN.  It sort of goes under schedules but ... we'll see where we end up.

Thanks for being patient with me! Especially you, Tami ;)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


This has been a hard week.

Life piled on top of me. Squished me pretty good, too.

We had computer problems with K12 - a rarity, from what I hear - but for a newbie like me, it was death. I couldn't function without the online school step-by-step instructions on what to do for each lesson.

That, on top of my life-pile, and I felt like I could hardly breathe. I wondered, really for the first time, what in the world I was doing. I was crazy! What was I thinking? I couldn't do this! I'm too psychotic to be able to pull this off!

I had a good cry (or two, but who's counting, really. No one saw. Doesn't count.)

And today I felt better.

Today I decided to let go of things. Not just figuratively, but literally. I called up people and got out of things I was committed to. I canceled activities or appointments that weren't necessary. I took a good long look at the K12 lesson plans for my boys and figured out how I could make them work and saw that we are not as behind as I had feared.

Today the OLS (k12 online school) was up and running and I could breathe again.

One thing I did that I want to share with all you other newbies or wannabes out there is that I asked for help. In my deepest, darkest moment, I did not crawl into my cave like I wanted to, but I reached out for help to other k12 moms. I asked for help and they gave it, freely, with love and kindness and with real been-there-done-that experience. It helped tremendously.