family / HOMESCHOOLING

when the thrill is gone

10.03.11

Oh dear, sweet last week. I was happy to say goodbye to you and welcome the weekend. 

when the thrill is gone

It was a rough week of homeschooling last week. It felt like distractions and interruptions were at an all-time high. Not only external distractions, but I felt like my kids were constantly looking at me with empty, glazed-over stares. Who are these children? Have they forgotten everything? What happened to the thrill of back to school?

We moved through work at a snails-pace. A snail that whines for a snack every fifteen minutes. 

Ugh. Goodbye last week.

And so, by Friday, I was in a serious crack-down mode. Making grand, sweeping changes around the house, in how we do things, in my organization.

It started with the television. It had to go. It was slowing us down. The difference in the mood of our home was almost immediate. (That may have a lot to do with the difference in my mood once it was gone.)

Then, I faced up to the fact that my current lesson planning system wasn't working. I needed something a little broader, a little more goal-oriented, a little more all-in-one-place. 

October plans

So by plugging in a few digital scrapbooking elements by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals, scanning some of my own handwriting, and a little Photoshop, I created a weekly calendar. This way I can plug in some academic plans or goals for the week and take note of any appointments, classes, get-togethers (since I might  have missed a doctor's appointment two weeks ago. hmmmn.). I clip it in the front of my "master binder" and tweak it as the week goes on. It seems like this plan fits me better this year. And when the year is through, they'll serve as lesson plans for my review.

Get ready girlI also revisited some of the back-to-school-ish things we've done in previous years that my kids really got into. We've been calling her "get ready girl" for years. She originally began as a way to keep track of the things that needed to be done each morning–we'd make a list down the margins of the page: Get Dressed. Brush your teeth. Brush your hair. Make your bed. Then she became their favorite thing to color. This year, she serves as a mix of both, depending upon your age.

Screenshot_01I also remembered that I wanted to do one of these "All About Me" worksheets each year. I was bummed to find out I'd lost my form from last year and since last year's binders are packed away in the shed, I had to go by memory. I know I'm missing things, but I love reading their answers either way. If they crack me up now, I can only image how they'll make me laugh in a few years. 

So this week I'm reminding myself of that little post I wrote just a few weeks about about finding our own pace. I'm easing back in to school (aka I am on day two of a pounding headache, and I still had last night's dinner dishes to finish this morning) and I'm hoping that these changes will help us rediscover the thrill. 

P.S. Feel free to click on and download "Get Ready Girl" and "All About Me" for your own personal use. If you'd like more information about the digital scrapbooking elements in my weekly planning sheet, let me know. I'll be happy to share links to where you can find them on the Designer Digitals site!

Oh dear, sweet last week. I was happy to say goodbye to you and welcome the weekend. 

when the thrill is gone

It was a rough week of homeschooling last week. It felt like distractions and interruptions were at an all-time high. Not only external distractions, but I felt like my kids were constantly looking at me with empty, glazed-over stares. Who are these children? Have they forgotten everything? What happened to the thrill of back to school?

We moved through work at a snails-pace. A snail that whines for a snack every fifteen minutes. 

Ugh. Goodbye last week.

And so, by Friday, I was in a serious crack-down mode. Making grand, sweeping changes around the house, in how we do things, in my organization.

It started with the television. It had to go. It was slowing us down. The difference in the mood of our home was almost immediate. (That may have a lot to do with the difference in my mood once it was gone.)

Then, I faced up to the fact that my current lesson planning system wasn't working. I needed something a little broader, a little more goal-oriented, a little more all-in-one-place. 

October plans

So by plugging in a few digital scrapbooking elements by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals, scanning some of my own handwriting, and a little Photoshop, I created a weekly calendar. This way I can plug in some academic plans or goals for the week and take note of any appointments, classes, get-togethers (since I might  have missed a doctor's appointment two weeks ago. hmmmn.). I clip it in the front of my "master binder" and tweak it as the week goes on. It seems like this plan fits me better this year. And when the year is through, they'll serve as lesson plans for my review.

Get ready girlI also revisited some of the back-to-school-ish things we've done in previous years that my kids really got into. We've been calling her "get ready girl" for years. She originally began as a way to keep track of the things that needed to be done each morning–we'd make a list down the margins of the page: Get Dressed. Brush your teeth. Brush your hair. Make your bed. Then she became their favorite thing to color. This year, she serves as a mix of both, depending upon your age.

Screenshot_01I also remembered that I wanted to do one of these "All About Me" worksheets each year. I was bummed to find out I'd lost my form from last year and since last year's binders are packed away in the shed, I had to go by memory. I know I'm missing things, but I love reading their answers either way. If they crack me up now, I can only image how they'll make me laugh in a few years. 

So this week I'm reminding myself of that little post I wrote just a few weeks about about finding our own pace. I'm easing back in to school (aka I am on day two of a pounding headache, and I still had last night's dinner dishes to finish this morning) and I'm hoping that these changes will help us rediscover the thrill. 

P.S. Feel free to click on and download "Get Ready Girl" and "All About Me" for your own personal use. If you'd like more information about the digital scrapbooking elements in my weekly planning sheet, let me know. I'll be happy to share links to where you can find them on the Designer Digitals site!

12 comments on “when the thrill is gone”

  1. So where did the TV go? Did you actually ditch it entirely? I fantasize about doing just that, but something always holds me back . . . oh, that’s right. It’s my husband! 😉

  2. Ok, so that is totally our last couple of weeks too. I think part of the problem is me transitioning to “school” in my mind and planning out how everything is supposed to go…ahem…and then announcing that we’re starting school and expecting them to fall into place as I’ve been imagining it. We’ve all compromised a bit and seem to be finding a routine that works (for now).

  3. Hello Molly! I love Get Ready Girl. I may need to tweak her into “Get Ready Guy” for my boys. Thanks : ) PS – we have a Molly now…she is 3 months old and a delight. It’s such a *happy* name for us. Hope all is well!

  4. The TV went in the closet! In our family, it’s my husband who would happily go without any television (or any technology, quite frankly!) and I’m the one who drags my feet. (I love my Parenthood. 🙂 But, the way it changes the whole mood and feel of our home, and how quickly my kids make better use of their time without it—I can get on board with getting rid of it.

    That’s not to say it will never come out again. It might. It probably will. But for now, it’s a small change with big outcomes.

  5. i had a similar week, last week, and intend on it being different TODAY! i planned a lighter load for my week and IMMEDIATELY printed out your pdf’s. i realized i needed more quality time with my daughter (3rd grade). these sheets are a good starting point. i’ve turned into the school marm, not the mama i want to be!thanks for sharing everything!

  6. Just found your blog, and I love it. We just started homeschooling this year, so looking for likeminded folk who are going through similar ups and downs and ins and outs. Thanks for a great post. Will have to try the All About Me sheets.

  7. I can so relate to ‘those’ kind of homeschooling weeks- oh, yes. I confess, the words ‘the public school is right down the street, feel free to go’ have crossed my lips over the years. And then, after my own mini-tantrum, and lots of prayer, I too rethink what we are doing. So much tweaking as the years go by and a lot of letting go of my own expectations of how or what learning should be taking place.Oh- and now that I’m down to just one kid to teach, I figured with one on one, those days would be behind us- HA!

  8. Thank you for sharing the “All About Me” sheet! My son enjoyed completing his, and it’s a greaat idea to save them. Who knew that bagpipes are his favorite song??

  9. I love reading about your homeschooling. We used to do it but it didn’t last for my older kids. I also did an All About Me book where I had the kids illustrate their answers. They LOVE to see their books now. I asked them most of the same kind of questions, and I also added “what are you scared of?” and “What do you not like?” I was definitely surprised by those answers.

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