School Days, School Days

While many families are heading out to orientations and grabbing the last few items of school supplies off their lists, we are doing our own sort of school preparations, so I thought I’d share a bit about that today. This will be our second year of homeschooling our two kids and I am happy to share that the start of this year is much less terrifying than last. Last year there were so many unknowns — from how the kids would react, to what grade level our daughter really needed to be at, to how I would handle going from having my days free to manage the house and do chores to being not just a full-time mom, but a full-time teacher for our two kids at two different levels, too. This year we’re going into the year with both kids happily on-board with homeschooling, my daughter finally seated in what feels like the right spot academically, and the knowledge that as long as I take a short break around mid-day to recharge my introverted self, well, the only anxiety I really have is that I’m still not very good at long-term lesson planning (that’s a work in progress). It’s a huge difference.

Where we live, the laws have certain requirements for what we have to teach, but we are very free to decide how we want to meet those requirements. Because of this, instead of just purchasing a set curriculum we build our studies piece by piece based on what our children need. There are certain subjects, like math, that are easy because we purchase a pre-set curriculum. It’s pretty simple to just work a lesson per day when it’s all set out for you. That’s what we had thought we’d do for language arts, too, but we weren’t able to find a program where the reading and grammar components fit our children properly, so we’re building that component our selves – from novel studies to grammar to vocabulary to writing.

Thankfully, I have a very good partner — where I have loads of patience for the day-to-day execution of tasks, Mr Knitting Sarah is much more skilled at long-term planning and lesson-building. We talk constantly about our long term goals, what skills we really want the kids to have as strengths, and then we work toward charting a course to reach those goals. We’ve settled on the grand arch of where we’re heading this year — that’s the easy part — and we’ve been spending evenings and mornings talking through the finer points, bookmarking and printing printables, and penciling in our calendars. In addition to all our basics, we’re planning to really dig in to history and geography this year as well as introducing foreign language. I love language, so this is certainly a treat for me. It’s all a lot of work and the to-do lists (like my knitting one from my last post) feel never-ending, but it feels pretty incredible to know that we’re outfitting our kids with a truly personalized education that is both challenging and fun.

We’ll be starting our lessons soon, but when not planning — and sometimes just as a time for meditation to allow me time to quietly think through certain aspects of our school plans — I’ve been chipping away at some knitting and spinning projects.

IMG_0384I try to sneak a few minutes every day to make progress on my Dyeabolical Falkland in the Fate, PhD colorway. When I say ‘minutes,’ I mean it — this is really slow-going at the moment, but progress is progress.

IMG_0394As I mentioned yesterday, my lace shawl is beyond ‘bathing suit’ size and I have to admit that I’m really loving the knitting at the moment. I feel confident in the pattern and it’s proven an excellent pairing for watching the Star Wards Trilogy with my son at the hottest part of the day during our little heat wave we’ve been having.

While at the pool the other day, I finished up the first sock of my String Theory Colorworks Inertia socks in Oeneology.IMG_0386I cast-on sock #2 for good measure, but haven’t gotten any farther than that because this arrived…

IMG_0396The August skein for the Summer Sock Club from Feel Good Yarn Co! Of course, I’m on a bit of a timer for this one, so I’ll be pressing pause on my stripey sock for a bit to work on this project.

IMG_0399I’ve settled on Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter‘s SpingTastic Socks. I would be farther, but after a long hot day outside in the sun I misread the decreases on the chart last night and had to tink back a couple rounds to the start of the chart. I do have to say, in addition to being a really fun pattern & a 100% awesome color what I love about this project is that the chart is nice and big. The blue shawl I’m working on has a really small chart that makes me think I really need to get my eyes checked. The SpringTastic Chart is huge and so easy to read — it makes me feel young again!

 Well, my weekend is looking more and more like time spent planning & acquiring a few small school supplies, time by the pool (it’s going to be in the 90F ballpark here), some knitting time, and throw in a bathtub repair for good measure (because life always has random curveballs). Time to get to it — none of my to-do lists are taking care of themselves!

11 responses to “School Days, School Days

  1. I home schooled my sons in the 80’s. Best decision I ever made! Love your project bag, too, and what great stitch definition on your socks!!

    • I hear a lot of doubt about homeschooling from non-homeschoolers, but never any from parents or kids who are/were homeschooled. The project bag I got from Stitched by Jessalu – she’s a total doll & chooses great fabrics. And the socks, well, a great design and fab yarn make always make me look so good! 🙂

  2. I can so relate to the school thing. It’s been 20 years now and as I type this, my husband is into our “science” box, looking for pH test strips and test tubes to test his compost pile. We love science experiments still. We still have all our curriculum too.

  3. You remind me of my cousin Sarah. She’s a farmer’s wife and home schooling Mom. They have 8 children. I have no idea how she does it. I can barley get my children to do homework without pulling all of my hair out

    • I have no idea how people do it with more kids because most days I feel like I’m barely keeping it together with two who are close in age! Having had a public school experience for 4years before turning to homeschooling, I will say in a lot of ways it’s easier than the whole school/homework scene. Everything goes at our pace and I have all the background materials to help my kids through any problems. Plus “homework” doesn’t really exist. With two kids and one teacher, we just set goals and work toward them and things get done. There are days that are harder than others, but you learn to just go with it.

      • I agree. I have two kids too and I often find myself overwhelmed, but I also take into consideration that I am an introvert that hates disorder in my life. I can’t always have it that way either.

      • I’m a major introvert, too. One of the first lessons I learned in homeschooling is that I actually need to plan our school days to include small windows of quiet time for myself. And this year, now that we’ll all used to the situation, I’m working on creating daily/weekly assignment lists for the kids. Definitely helps keeps us all on target!

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