After a gloriously lazy Labour Day weekend, we are back on that Kindergarten grind! It was nice to start off with a short week, and we used some of that time for review and easing into our schedule.
Scheduling is actually one of my favourite things about homeschooling. As I prepared and tweaked our schedule for this year I looked up some sample schedules online. So much time waste! And it’s not that they don’t need that time in a traditional school setting, because moving and organizing 22+ kids takes time, but it’s a lot of extra time we don’t have to waste. My kids won’t spend most of their day “in transition”. Getting ready, waiting, queueing, busing, queueing, getting ready, waiting, taking attendance, settle, story, getting ready, queueing, recess, queueing, getting ready, settle, activities, lunch, queue, recess, queue, get ready, queue, library or gym, queue, settle, activities, get ready, queue, bus, home, snack, homework, swim class, dinner, bath, story, bed, rinse, repeat, PASS! Not only a pass for me, because let’s face it, I don’t want to do any of that morning run (with 3 going on 4 kids!), and I don’t want the bulk of our time together to be so painfully structured that there is no wiggle room because that will only lead to a burn out, but most importantly I don’t want that for my kids. I don’t want the bulk of what they learn in Kindergarten to be how to stand in a line. I don’t want them passing out from exhaustion while walking in the door. No kindergarten student should ever be doing homework after working all day! It’s just too much. It’s not the life I want for them. Which is why I love the freedom of our schedule. We don’t have to waste time putting on layers (and that will mean a lot in the winter) and trekking into the snow, or wasting time on a bus, so we can sit down and eat breakfast. We can start our work right away and transition through it smoothly. We can take a snack break without having to upset the whole process. And the best thing, is that once we get to lunch time, we’ve already put in a full days worth of traditional school activities! The kids can help in the kitchen, and learn to set the table, they have ample time to eat a nutritious meal. And our afternoon is free to go outside, not just for recess, but for hours! Doing the real learning of a child. Jumping, kicking, running, swinging, biking, making up games, collecting rocks, acorns, leaves! Building their imaginations, creativity, critical thinking skills, co-operation, and yes even in homeschool, social skills! That, in my opinion, is time well spent. A trip to the farmer’s market or hanging clothes on the line, is more valuable to me than learning how to sit still on a 30 minute bus ride.
Our first week flew by. We started by checking out the playgroup (because, again, homeschool does not equal poor social skills). O and E had a great time, but G was very overwhelmed. Hopefully she’ll have a better time next week. I felt for her though. Unlike O and E, I am an introvert (also sometimes known as a hermit!) They are amazing! I, on the other hand, chatted with the girl running the group, but that was it. I saw quite a few other moms talking but I didn’t manage to approach any of them. I played giant Lego’s with G instead. Maybe next time? We also started the book How To Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons, which is actually pretty great. It breaks down the lessons to 20 minutes, once a day, so we do it in the morning. We’re 4 days in and we are all really enjoying it. We did a fair bit of review this week and added a few new things, like the national anthem (so far they know “O Canada! Our Home and namumble mumble LAND!” We’re working on it.) and consciously spacing between letters/numbers. It was a good 4 days, and I’m looking forward to the week ahead.
We’re all learning and having fun. Now we’re just waiting for Swim Class to start so the kids have another out of the house group activity!
Wishing you all a wonderful and successful school year (no matter how you choose to educate your children because as always, I’m not saying this is the way for everyone, but this is my blog not yours, so stow it. Ha!)