This week was our first official week of homeschool. It wasn't perfect, but definitely an overall success. In fact, the last time we tried homeschool, I don't think we had a single week that was this successful.
We actually started doing some school in the summer, but it was very light, and not five days a week. I wanted to test the water to see if I was up to homeschooling, test curriculum, and work out as many bugs as I could before the school year started. I'm glad I did it that way, because it helped me see that, even though the plan I had for language arts was a good one, it was not very realistic with five kids. I hope to pick it up again, and plan on adding it to our current curriculum every now and then, but until then, I found another curriculum that I like and the kids can do more independently, allowing me to help all of them and still give some attention to the little ones who aren't in school, yet.
And I think I found one of the biggest reasons I love homeschooling this week. I get to watch the progress the kids make, and that is very exciting. My five-year old, who used to struggle with the reading program we got is now flying through the lessons. That is so fun to see!
It was also exciting to see my daughter - who's teacher last year complained about her horrible handwriting, surprise me with very beautiful handwriting when she's motivated to use it.
Last night, my fifth grader was disappointed that today is Saturday and he can't do school. Granted, it's because he wants to earn another sticker for the prize box, but I'll take it!
And the best thing about this week is the discovery of unit studies. I've never used them before, but learned about them from the homeschool conference this summer. Since the kids will be using the computer and internet in school, we started the year off with learning about computers - starting with computer safety and rules. They have loved it and have been so engaged! We have had some really great conversations. I got some great books from the library, we took apart a broken laptop so we could see all the parts, we made rules for computer and internet use, and the kids spent an afternoon AFTER school was over, still looking at the computer books and talking about the cool things in it.
We did have struggles, but I think as we get used to the homeschool routine, they will iron themselves out. I already know - from previous homeschooling experience - that new ones will come up, but the success of this first week is still so exciting to me.