Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thank You

Thanks to all who contributed toward our settling our dilemma of how to educate the various children in the upcoming school year. Many of you participated in the poll, which indicated that the majority of you believe we should homeschool all of the children, tailoring our program to each child's needs and capabilities. The emails and comments also bore this out. At this moment we are moving through the sluggish process of testing and assessments, to determine what special needs the children may have, and if there is a practical way to meet them. I admit that I am guardedly optimistic about finding any useful help, since we have come up empty time and again. Still, I am waiting a while longer, holding off on making firm plans, until I have a little more information.

That being said, several of you had some interesting suggestions which we are taking under consideration. We are looking at a variety of curriculum and supplementary activities. It is our intention to leave nothing to chance, and have a very well planned, structured program in place at the get go. In addition, my two little reluctant scholars are, not coincidentally, both quite behind in their studies. So much so, that we feel it is necessary to keep them on a lighter school schedule all summer long. The other three do the occasional math drill, and read every day. Sometimes if I'm feeling especially mean, I may give them a short writing assignment. Or maybe I'll just give them all a summer journal and expect them to write in it for a few minutes each day. But my two who lag behind, who drag their academic feet, will do a regular program of math and language arts each morning. I am hoping this will allow me to get them into their groove, so to speak, before taking on the other three and their intensive unit study. A couple of months getting into good habits will go a long way come fall, when I try and add more layers.

Another huge positive of having all of the children at home, is the ability to "do school" on unconventional days. During the school year camp is in session on the weekends, and Dad is largely absent, as he is cooking for the hungry hoards. His days off tend to be on the weekdays, which is hard with children in school. We can never go too far afield on days off, because children need to be sent off to school, and collected at the end of the day. If all are home, we can work on the days Daddy works, and take off for projects or play on the days he is free. This whole last year it felt as though we were in a constant tug-of-war with the school, simply over issues like making schedules work, and digging up the time and resources to keep the girls in their place there, while tending to the completely different needs of those at home. It wasn't necessarily bad, but it did get challenging.

So today I find myself with a stack of books and papers, making some headway with planning. The children are sprawled all over the playroom floor making elaborate creations with Lego. I am of the persuasion that Lego is one of the only toys needed to amuse children who have reached the age of not choking on small objects. Even the teens and adults in this family get down on the floor and create. But that's a whole different post...therapeutic Lego?


Denise said...

I still love Legos and Nerf toys. I actually bought a nerf gun the other day.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I have missed much while quietly slinking in the corner until my camera was full and I 'had' to finally put the pictures on my computer. I am currently poised to send said pictures.
That said! I am praying for you in your schooling decisions. It won't be easy but at least you'll have complete control of the situation(s).
I was thinking... is it possible to do unit studies where you do a similar thing with all of the children? I don't know if that would work since you mentioned that the children don't seem to care if they are left out of something fun as long as they've spoiled it for everyone. But it might make them really 'see' that they are indeed missing something.