After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Re-examining Our Mission

Joining the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers  once again...

It's been a laid back, pleasant week here at the lab.  Even though we have been back to a full schedule of academics with co-op resuming today, it seemed a peacefully easy week.  Perhaps it is because I realized TS 2 is way ahead in Math, and I slowed him down to one page a day in his Math-U-See book.  (He is still doing online drills with ALEKS and working in his other Math workbook each day.)  TS 2 is enjoying the last few lessons in his Math-U-See Delta book on Roman Numerals and Fractions.  These topics are much easier than the multiple digit long division he has been plodding through all year, so he is also finishing his math lesson more quickly than usual.  

During these slower-paced weeks, I sometimes question whether we are doing enough, but we are covering all the basics comprehensively plus many enrichment subjects, including Piano, Spanish, Health, Keyboarding, Co-op and regular field trips.  When I begin to fret, I bring myself back to our homeschool mission statement.  We are homeschooling, in large part, to restore a love of learning in the test subjects and to offer them more free time to pursue and develop their God given passions and gifts.  So when I hear TS 2 proclaim, "This is interesting!  I love history!" or "Wow, I never knew reading about ants could be fun!", I know we are doing something right.  When I see the test subjects playing together, making up elaborate sports tournaments or building amazing structures in the playroom, I remember why we are doing this.  And when we have time for play dates with friends after-school every week, I am grateful for the opportunity to give this slice of childhood back to the boys.  I remind myself that we are doing this because we believe that there is much more to learn in childhood than six hour school days plus hours of homework each night alone can provide.   There may be a time when returning to school is the best option for all of our children, but right now, I feel confident that we are where we should be and I thank God for giving me the courage to step out and try homeschooling.

Hmm, when I started this post, I hadn't planned on writing about all that :)  That is one of the reasons I love writing.  It helps me process my jumbled thoughts and feelings.  I just hope it makes for interesting reading at the same time!

I can't close out this post without noting the highlight of our week.  The kids bought an iPad with the money they have been saving from their allowances, gifts and working extra jobs around the house!  We walked in with a wad of cash, mostly fives and singles, and left with an iPad and proud smiles on our faces.  The thing I am most proud of, though, is that they willingly put aside money to save and to give from their weekly earnings, even though they knew it would delay their purchase.  There was never any grumbling about it.  We are happily splitting the "give" money between our church, Watoto Childcare Ministries and Compassion International.  It's not much, but it is given with love, and we trust God will use it to bless those in need.

I've been wanting to participate in Mary's Collage Friday link up at Homegrown Learners for a few weeks now, but could not remember to take enough pictures to do so- until this week!  I still have to figure out  how to make the collage bigger and number the photos so that I can easily explain each one in a list.  For now, I'll describe the pictures from left to right, starting in the top row:
  • TS 2's assignment sheet from earlier in the week
  • TS 1 working on the final copy of this week's writing assignment
  • TS 2 working on a math assignment 
  • All three smiling triumphantly outside the Apple store after the big purchase
  • Our cozy homeschool room, that often sits empty, rejected for the comfy couches
  • TS 1 working on math assignments
  • Checking out the iPads 
  • TS 2 working on a writing assignment
  • TS 1 practicing the piano
  • TS 2 having his weekly piano lesson
Well, there you have it.  Our week in words and pictures- minus an amazing field trip that deserves a post of it's own :) How was your week, friends?

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