Well, I have homeschooled all of three weeks and I already feel like I screwed up and need a do-over.
I've made several teaching blunders, but I think the biggest was not planning a transition from summer randomness to our new school routine.
I expected to be able to dive right in full force from the beginning and have everything go smoothly. I also expected my kids to be super excited about school and all the fun things I had planned for them. Moreover, I expected that they would be so enthusiastic about the new things they were learning that they would temporarily forget all about their toys upstairs or the Angry Birds app on the iPad.
I'll wait while you laugh at me.
My oldest son went from a very predictable, routine public school Kindergarten setting to a very laid-back, unstructured summer. I expected him to hear the words "it's time for school," and jump into a school-like structure at home overnight. That just wasn't fair to any of us.
Sam loves the unit studies and doing school as a group, but getting him to stop (or not to start) playing in the morning and sit for school time is always a challenge. We have the same problem when I turn my attention to one of the other kids... or when we break for a bit while I make our snack... or if we still have school work to finish after lunch. He doesn't have the attention span to do all of his work at once, but pulling him back in after a break is and issue too.
I was getting so frustrated. I felt like it was poor parenting and/or teaching on my part and just plain rotten attitudes on my kids' part, until I read this post over at Mudpies and Make-Up. It made me feel SO much better to know that even a seasoned homeschooler and kids who have known nothing but a homeschooled lifestyle need a bit of "training" to get back into the swing of things after summer break. I love so much that Sarah plans the first couple weeks of their school time to focus mainly on rules, routine, and expectations.
My kids could definitely benefit from a week or two like that, so that is exactly what we're doing. Just a little late.
God gives us so much grace and many, many do-overs. I think this a time when I need to give myself and my kids some grace and allow us a do-over.
I hope and pray that the kids can adjust to more structure than they've been used to, and that I can be patient with them as they learn!