Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Mom Learned

This was our first week of homeschooling. I planned activities set to themes. I spent much time with my printer, laminator and card stock getting to know each other better. For 6 serious months and a couple casual years before that,  I have been praying, reading articles, visiting blog sites, comparison shopping, planning, pinteresting etc. I admit to some big butterflies and being up until 1 am Monday night anticipating our fresh start.  Here's where all the theory, plans, ideas and finding what worked for others would be tested. Quite a bit of bit of pressure to potentially place on a tiny 22 month old's shoulders if I wasn't careful. The reality of the entire process and approach of homeschooling are all new to me. Teaching while being fun, doing laundry, feeding baby D, spending time with D and MDH, naps and meals to prepare, running errands, keeping the house picked up, etc.. M is not the only one being exposed to a whole bunch of new concepts this week. Here is what I've learned this week:

What didn't work:
1. Comparing myself to other homeschoolers.
2. Getting excited about a project that just popped in to my head while teaching something else, and attempting to prepare it while M is awake.
3. Pushing an activity because of how much time I put in to a project or because it looked so great on someone's website. If M doesn't respond or isn't ready for that project, let it go and move on.

What did work:
4. I am a visual teacher, checklists are my friends :-)
5. Break down the concept until it reaches him.
6. Keep researching. If one approach doesn't work, another one will.

What makes all the hard work worth while:
7. Encourage M to say super fun as often as possible, as in 'M, I have something super fun planned for you today.' It's worth it to hear him say back, "suwer vun" :-D
8. I know when a project has hit a home run when he cries because it's over or he keeps doing it for double digit amount of minutes not encouraged by me.

Best Projects:
9. for M: Window markers, crayons, plastic toy animals.
For Mommy: Working an hour in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon

Worst Projects:
10.  for M: Sorting and patterns- not ready
For mommy: Trying to laminate and cut the pattern activity- think little 1 inch squared pieces-  with M curious about what I was doing.

Rewards this week from homeschooling:
11.  The process of having planned fun challenging projects gives structure to our day.
12. Less toddler melt downs
13. Day goes by quicker
14. The awareness that skills obtained from all of my various professional work outside of the home leading up to now has helped prepare me for this task.(organization, excel spreadsheets, research)

Challenges of the week:
14. Making sure I'm staying connected to my Heavenly Father. He alone can give me the stamina, patience and insight needed to meet this challenge to educate my children.

Tip for the week:
15.  I hole punched my flash cards in the top left hand corner and attached them with a book ring. No more losing them or having them scattered around the house.

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