We are going in to our fourth week of the new school year (What? Four weeks already? Oh my word!) and things are working out very well. We did have some bumps at the beginning but I think we have slowly flattened them out. The past three weeks have been a time of trial and error (and some tears…not full blown meltdowns but just silent tears meandering their way down cheeks.)
The first, and major, bump of the year was with Emma’s day, or to be precise, the length of her day. I would like to know how homeschooled children in high school get done their day at noon. I know they exist because I kept hearing of them when my children were younger but I do not know how they do it. Emma starts her school day with Morning Time at 8:30. She moves on to her independent work at around 10, takes an hour break for lunch and then gets back at it. At 4:00, she was still going at it strong and was still nowhere close to being done.
Thus began a two week shuffle of things trying to figure out this beast or if it could even be figured out. I asked some online friends (bless those women, they have helped me brainstorm many a problem in my homeschool life) for help and was given some great points to think about and try.
The most obvious thing to try was to get rid of Morning Time but that isn’t even one to consider. MT is the anchor to our day. This is our Bible time, prayer time, read aloud time, our time for art, discussion, philosophy, critical thinking, drama; all the good things in life occur during MT. No, that is non-negotiable. MT stays.
Then we began looking at how she was spending her time. Emma does her school work downstairs in the school room, away from distractions. The younger two and myself stay upstairs to do our learning so I really have no idea if she is staying on task or if she is daydreaming. To figure this out, I had her do her work upstairs for a few days so that I could gauge how long it took her to get her work done with no daydreaming. Well, it still took her forever to get her work done even with working steadily on.
Next, we turned to the schedule. Most of her subjects were done daily. So we have played around with them and have divided them up so that the lesser subjects are only done 2 or 3 days a week. This has helped.
Another thing that has helped is for Emma to do her reading at night. Emma usually has 3 or 4 books to read at a time so this takes up a bit chunk of time. Reading is another area that is non-negotiable. We have played around with her reading time, though, and she is now doing this after supper, closer to bedtime. This has helped a great deal.
We are close to a full schedule now (we will add in logic next week) and it looks like this can be accomplished. The tears have ceased. Whew!