Friday, January 18, 2008

Cold Snap Leads to Work

We are having a very cold, cold-snap this weekend. Temperatures are suppose to stay below zero and let's not factor in the wind chills. It is the perfect days for snuggling up with the kids to read stories and watch movies. I'm looking forward to this. We need time to cuddle and catch up on our history reading.

This year we are studying Explorers to 1850. We are currently reading about the beginning of the slave trade using Story of the World as our main guide. Mrs. Bauer also puts in a lot of world history into her books which is nice. But one can only go through so much in a year, so instead of delving as deeply into the chapters on India and China, etc., I'll just read through them and we'll talk about them. But I won't have the kids do any written narration, although they often like to color the pictures provided in the student book while I read. By doing this and not being able to play outside, we'll be able to read several chapters and catch up from our long break during November and December.

Isn't that a great thing about homeschooling? We can follow along catching up quickly or slowing down as needed. We can start our science reading or history reading over hot chocolate at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Or we can get up and start subjects early in the morning, whatever works for the family's life which can change as the dynamics of the family change.

But we must not let our freedom turn into chaos. There should be some structure, some order to the day which allows for the greatest freedom. RPW has some good thoughts on this, you can read them here. When we as parents or children know what we can expect, our days and chores and learning move along quite nicely. Setting up a schedule, however loosely you define it, I really believe benefits life. But don't fall into the trap that since today didn't go well, you've failed; just start tomorrow over back on track. Knowing what is coming, being able to adjust to life, that is how a schedule helps. Use it as a tool to help your days go more smoothly, but don't use it as a noose to strangle the fun out of the freedom gained by scheduling your days.

Now would someone remind me of this in a couple of weeks?


Sniz said...

I am like you. I have a loose schedule. We've tried being less scheduled. We've tried being more scheduled. We found a way to "catch up" like you are saying and still make sure we are learning what we are supposed to. I like that freedom in homeschooling.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I hate being too tied to a schedule but we do have to have some kind of structure in the day.