Last year, Georgie was a newborn. I spent a lot of time parked next to a kid with a baby attached to the breast, nursing. I was also suffering from typical newborn exhaustion. I tried to direct the kids' education, however, some days were just "here's a workbook. Do the best you can do. I'm going to bed."
This year is different. Georgie is a toddler. The dog + toddler + 2 school aged kids has gotten to be an overwhelming handful. When a public school mom says, "Oh, I could never homeschool. I don't have the patience," I fall to the floor laughing maniacally. I really don't have the patience. I really, truly do not have the patience.
We've slimmed our school day down. When that wasn't enough, we slimmed it down some more. It finally got reduced to Math, some history, AWANA, piano, gymnastics, and co-op. AWANA takes up a good amount of time every day. Some of our co-op classes have homework, too, so there is more work that we are doing from home. Everything has crescendoed to a point where I was yelling, then crying, then feeling guilty, then yelling some more. It has not been my best school year ever. I've decided that most of the teaching needs to be taken out of my hands.
Next week, we're going to try Time 4 Learning. We did this once before (after the baby was born) as a free 1 month trial. I had thought about continuing it, but as a true stoic, I kept thinking about the money vs. the books I could buy with that monthly money. Yes, for 1 month's price for 1 kid, I could buy a spelling curriculum for both kids for 6 years. But it would be another teacher intensive spelling book. I really need less teaching time. We'll probably stick with our BJU Math. I would love to continue our history (we are 2/3rds done with SOTW 3, and I really like it). BJU Science 5 had me developing an eye twitch last week, and I simply cannot do it this year. Cannot. do. it. So that's my story.
As a review for what we DID accomplish in November:
We wrote novels. The 8yo's novel is full of action and I'd really like to carve out some time to help her finish it. It was 2,700+ words, but it isn't finished yet. Our goal was between 2000-3000, (her age would put her at 2nd or 3rd gr, so this seemed a fair goal for her age). We definitely hit that goal and the story has great promise! The 10yo confirmed what I always knew: she can't handle rewards and goal setting, lol. Trying to find her motivation has always been my biggest struggle. Potty training was awful for this kid. Time has always been the best motivator (she'll do it when she's ready, but be prepared to wait a loooonnnngggg time). If time doesn't do it, then some negative feedback might finally work. So for next year's novel, I think I may just have her work through the Nanowrimo workbook and call it good. It would at least get her thinking about noveling and storywriting, and practicing the elements, without the pressures of having to "perform". She's a perfectionist that doesn't want to perform unless there is some internal drive to put forth the effort.
Math: the 8yo learned telling time, and is now on to measurement. The 10yo learned geometry and is now on to learning long division (fun, fun times). Daddy is building the downstairs entertainment room, so the kids are also getting a lot of hands on lessons in measurement, building.
History: we are 2/3rds done with SOTW 3. We've learned about Napolean, the Haitians, and the start of factories. The kids have learned about how everyone had to go to work, even the toddlers. Days were very long. This makes a good threat to use when kids aren't working hard and are complaining at home:)
We did some familiar quotations this month, but it was about 1/3rd of the time. We did 1 science lesson (boo, hiss). Piano is coming along marvelously. This is our big piano year. The 8yo has been learning to play by ear, and can play above her music reading ability. The 10yo is suddenly interested in piano and has been trying to play from my books, and doing really well with it! The piano is constantly being fought over, and there is always at least one kid playing something at any given time. They also take their lesson songs and rework it into something different, their own songs. Their songs use chords and a melody; the songs also have rhythm and a repeatable pattern.