Thursday, September 4, 2008

Homeschooling: Week 1

Yesterday, late in the morning, Nell was making stuff with pattern blocks, Ben was playing with stacking cups and Simon was reading a book on the living room couch.

"Wow," I said to Nell. "This was how I imagined homeschool would be. Everyone happily doing projects on the floor."

"Yes," she said. "This is what I was picturing, too."

A few idyllic scenes like this one aside, it has been a difficult week for Nell and me. The boys have taken to homeschooling like piggies to a field of mud, mainly because they have never been to "real school."

Ben and Simon get up early and start right in with their books. Simon did fifteen pages of handwriting on Tuesday and three pages of Writing (Draw then Write) on Wednesday, first thing in the morning. Ben sat right beside him monitoring his every move. Simon soldiered on, seeing nothing amiss in this intense filial attention.

Nell, who very much enjoyed kindergarten and first grade, misses school. She misses her friends, and I feel for her.

The first two days were dark. Nell cried or sulked every time I asked her to do anything academic. She hated her math book, so we researched math for visual learners and ordered from Miquon Math (evidently uses Cuisenaire Rods for demonstrating concepts -- not being a visual learner myself, I am intrigued). I looked up Charlotte Mason and came across a company called Winter Promise. Nell loves history and she loves to read. So this week we are reading. All of her new workbooks will arrive next week. I'm not sure if we'll get to them or not. She seems much happier without workbooks.

We may be headed to unschooling. Or at least making unschooling a big part of our days.

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