I've got the kettle on, ya got a minute to visit?

I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Year round and the great dilemma!

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The great dilemma was addressed in my last post.....burn-out.  I get tired of going to the table for school and doing the same thing four days a week.  I know I can mix it up, and I do----but somehow by February I'm ready to shut er down!  SO after speaking with my principal the discussion of year-round school comes up....

WHAT?????????  Year round school?  Are you crazy?  Did you hear what I said?  I can't hardly make it to February, how am I going to do it year round?????

(To which the small reply of "Um, Marla- it was YOUR idea." was given.)

Oh,'re right.  It was.

So why might I consider schooling year round?  Let me count the ways, er reasons:
  I am considering schooling year round because......
   1) Once my children get out of sync, it is so hard to get them back.  After 3 months of summer vacation it takes a huge theatrical build up for weeks to get them excited about starting school.  Then they are gung-ho for about 2 weeks, then ask what all the hype was about.  This leaves me feeling disappointed and inadequate.
   2) There are seasons in a year when I'd rather not worry too much about school.  For example, collection week in November for Operation Christmas Child is a very stressful time for me. (For those of you who don't know, I'm the Birmingham Area Co-ordinator)  Also, there is a week the end of September/beginning of October that is spent preparing/working events for OCC.  Throughout the year Andy travels for work and we like to join him when we can.  It would be nice to be so flexible that if a week came up when we needed a break then we wouldn't have to give it a second thought.
   3) This goes along with #2- if we school year round we can adopt a three weeks on/one week off schedule while still getting a substantial break in the summer (or Christmas).  This would allow me and the kids to have refresh weeks.  We could visit Grandma, Aunt Beth, Nonny....go to Atlanta or Chattanooga, work on projects at home.  The idea of spreading our summer out into mini-vacays all year sounds very appealing. 
  4) Lastly, I like the idea of teaching my children to always be in a learning mode- that they don't need to switch their brain off for three months and veg before starting the next school-year.  There is always the opportunity to learn, and if they close themselves off to that way of thinking, then I fear they might miss the amazing and incredible right infront of them!

Do you school year-round?  If not, have you ever considered it?  What schedule do you follow?  And lastly, got any pointers?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A normal day vs a productive day.....

My homeschooling skills are seriously lacking.  While I love to school at home, after 5 years of doing it, I  still haven't quite found the groove of our day.  I'm not one of those kinds of moms that has every minute planned in the day, I tried it and got too maxed out.  I'm not one of those kinds of moms that gets up at 6 in the morning to get my day going, I tried it and got too pooped out.  And I'm not one of those kinds of moms that has it all planned out and everything runs through the scope of the lesson book, I tried it and got stressed out!  SO where do I fall? How do I keep it all together?  How do I keep moving forward?  Which direction should I take?  And, honestly, is the constant change good for my kids?

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I've taken the last two weeks as a breather.  We put up the math books, the spelling books, the language arts and phonics.  All we've done the last two weeks are lapbooks, reading, writing, bible study, anatomy, and documentaries to go with where we are in Story of the World.  It's been quite refreshing to get away from the school table......but I feel her calling me back, almost like a friend I've neglected for some time who only wants to spend some good quality time with me and the children.  I feel like she misses us, and wants to host us once again with the best she has to offer.  I hear her saying, "Come!  I have so much to share with you!" SO today, we are making our way back.

This, I believe, is one of the beauties of homeschooling.  The freedom to teach not what is mandated, but what is life.  I like that I can teach my children to change strategies when something becomes mundane or cloudy under the scrutiny of constant observation from a sole perspective. Mix it up, if you will.  Teaching encompasses so much.  Don't you agree? 

I'm going to keep thinking about those questions from above.  Please, feel free to share your insight!