Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lesson Plans

We are coming into an ugly part of the homeschooling year. I gave the kids off tomorrow because it's Leap Day. The way I figure it, that's a day that only happens once every four years, so we should celebrate it, not waste time on school work, right? However, the last time I planned lessons, today also happens to be the last day I planned for. (You have to stop somewhere when you're planning lessons for three kids!)

So I say it's an ugly part of the homeschooling year because we're heading into March. The first month of spring (nominally)--at least it's the first month where we have hope again that there will be a spring. Spring means a couple of things-- the weather improves and there's more light, which means that we want to spend more time outside and that the gardening can begin (just another thing to fit into the day)...and that the end of the school year is in sight, which means we're getting bored with all the same old routines and book work we've been doing for months on end, and the thought of planning more lessons makes me want to run screaming into the night!

Of course there is work that needs to be finished. Both girls have finished the year's work for certain things. Rachel finished her grammar text, Julia finished her reading comprehension workbook and is practically done with a whole year's math. Still, there's history and science and other aspects of Language arts, French and music and physical education/health and art. There's review work and test prep (for Rachel, Julia doesn't have to take standardized tests yet) and projects to finish. It's just that no one actually wants to do it anymore! We'll do it, but we have lost the extreme excitement of September.

So my task when I go out to plan the lessons is to figure out how to get some excitement back without abandoning the work we still need to do...this is the hardest part of homeschooling, and why some parents look at me (or let's face it, flat out tell me!) I'm nuts for wanting to do it. Why not just let the school handle everything? If my kids were in school, this wouldn't be my worry, the teachers would handle everything.

Which is completely true--except for the actual handling it part. The making it interesting part. The part where the kids want to learn and are excited about doing it part. Which is why this burden is a challenge I (mostly) look forward to.


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