Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blending Holidays and Homeschooling.

It's the mid of December and we are finding our schedules interrupted seven ways from Sunday. One thing you can be certain of is that a first grade child may not be a slave to his or her schedule, but they still like to have some sort of knowledge of what to expect as to what will be happening on a daily basis, and take comfort in that. A crazy holiday schedule can certainly knock that for a loop.

This week I talked with Dawn, who's little girl is in a Christmas Ballet with my own little Diva, and is named Cooper. Cooper's a few weeks older than my own Diva and is as cute as a button. As a Homeschooler there is a misconception of homeschooled children not getting the same social interaction that public and private schooled children miss out on the same experiences that their peer group get. That's where a Co-op comes in to play, but it's not the big focus in Dawn's holiday school plans.

“We take three weeks off... and enjoy the holidays right before and after Christmas. “ Dawn finds a less rigid schedule, with plenty of study time geared to the different culture's winter celebrations, is key to working out a winter curriculum for her first grader.

From a mother's standpoint, I can say with authority that things like being a room mom, and bringing the snacks, being there for field trips etc still happen - Dawn and I both helped decorate the hall that our daughters are in for the Christmas Ballet this year. I wouldn't change a thing to be honest - our kiddos are thriving in an education environment that is tailor made to their learning needs.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Because there is always a beginning!

As a Homeschooling mother I wear a few hats. Not only am I mom, and primary caregiver, but I am her educator and am responsible not only for nutritional content of food, safety in the home, clean clothing, warm blankets and of course lots of love, I also am responsible for finding her curriculum and choosing what she will do and what she won't as a First Grader.

Some days it's easy, and some days it isn't. I have to know where she's going to have trouble and praise her liberally, and help her through the rough spots... Sometimes it's easier than others as I have my own failings and things academically where I do not flourish as well as I could. On top of that I also am the primary breadwinner for the family, and cover things by writing, being a certified doula (which is a trained labor assistant) and working with any thing I can as a freelance IT consultant. Those are the days I am thankful for an extended network that I keep in touch with as a homeschooling mom... because I am not alone in this.

Is it worth it?

Oh every minute of it.

Talking with other mothers in my shoes we find how they balance it out – J is a nurse down in the South East. She works three days on, and four days off. Her boys homeschool schedule is very similar, but their child care provider helps while she is at work and they flourish, bright attentive boys who have done this since first grade as well.

Over the course of this series I'll cover things I do for the homeschool curriculum for my first grader, but will also be talking to and relating a few stories of other homeschoolers in the first grade and how they work their own curriculum.