This week, the day after Labor Day, we began our fourteenth year of homeschooling. What a week it’s been! Not only did we start schooling within our home, but our outside activities kicked in with a vengeance. Unbelievably, we have squeezed ten music classes, a Keepers at Home meeting, and three hours’ worth of co-op classes into the past three days.

I posted earlier about my desire to redeem my time and use it more effectively. I consider our schedule still very much in the tweaking phase, but it seems to be working. I’ve blocked off one hour of one-on-one time per school-age child (there are four), and 30 minutes of “pre-school” time with my oldest preschooler, which will probably have to be moved since it’s scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and he’s just not a morning person (and comes by that honestly).

I’m allowing blocks of time for each subject. For instance, instead of doing one page of math a day, do as much as you can within the time allowed. This should enable us to work ahead, since we have one day a week when we are hardly home due to outside classes.

During my one-on-one time for each child, I cover teaching instruction in all subjects. They will do the actual work during the time scheduled for those individual subjects.

We have set up an area with a large dry erase board, table, and bench; this is where I handle individual instruction. The board is wonderful! I wish we’d had one a long time ago. It’s great for working math problems. I still prefer the couch for reading, though.

Respect each other’s individual time; don’t interrupt!

My twelve-year-old son’s first language arts lesson was a hoot! His example of an interrogative sentence was: “Hell, what’s your name?” (he left out the “o” in “hello”). For a sentence which makes a command, he wrote: “Go do you’s school.” I don’t know what kind of brain fog overcame him during the summer, but we are not Yankees!

My sixteen-year-old son asked me to teach him Russian this year for high school foreign language (which actually locks us into at least two years). I have a B.A. in Russian, but I’m more than a little rusty considering I graduated sixteen years ago. I am going to teach him three days a week. We’ve only done one, but already he says it’s his favorite subject. I just hope I can stay a step ahead, refresh my memory, and not disappoint him!

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