Homeschooling begins

Yesterday we started our new adventure of homeschooling three of our kids. The other two will be attending public schools starting next week. Homeschooling is not a new idea for our family, we have done it before, when my oldest son was in Kindergarten, he is now in 5th grade. It’s been a few years. Yesterday, was our first day and it went pretty well. The kids that are homeschooling are in 5th grade, 2nd grade and preschool. We are using a workbox system. I really like it so far and so do they. The basic idea is to have all one child’s curriculum in one place. Each student has their own box. Each subject has a file folder with the work that needs to be done for the week inside it. The child then has a schedule telling them which subjects to do in what order. They systematically work through the days work as independently as possible. So far that is going really well. The kids like it and I love it. It keeps things organized and the day moving at a good pace and no one is constantly looking for this book or that.

I knew homeschooling would be a challenge just because we have a diverse age grouping with the three who are home, but this week public school has not started yet and I have two more kids at home with me. Both of them have special needs. One is our 4-year-old Joshua, who has developmental delays and ADHD and the other is our sixth grade daughter Kaki who has Intellectual Disability. Kaki functions on about a 2-year-old level. So basically this week I have a 5th grader, a 2nd grader, and three preschoolers. It is REALLY hard to entertain three preschoolers while still doing school work with the other two kids. I spend all my time just trying to keep them from tearing up the house while keeping the other two on track. I saw the big yellow school bus come and stop at my house today and I have never been so excited to see a bus running a practice route in my life. On Monday, they will come and pick up my daughter and I will have one less preschooler to entertain while trying to home school. Our 4-year-old son will also be attending school but has a graduated start so he doesn’t actually start until September 5. You might wonder why I was crazy enough to have my first week of homeschooling this week while all five kids are still at home? Well, we are due with kid #6 in early November and I needed to start school earlier so I can take some time off when the baby comes. Yesterday it didn’t go too bad. I actually managed to get the older boys school work finished without too many tears from the toddlers. Today was a different story. The novelty of sitting still and “doing school” had worn off for the preschoolers and they were a bit more trouble today. In addition, our daughter has been attending a summer camp program all summer with parks and rec. It has been really fabulous and she loved it. She loves routine and she needs to be entertained. So, today it finally hit her that she would not be going to summer camp anymore and she got MAD about it. So, she was grumpy and taking it out on everyone today. That makes life very difficult because when she gets mad, she gets combative. So, I had school with my three regular kids, an ADHD kid who was literally bouncing off the walls, and a combative 11-year-old girl with an attitude. I am tired! But we got school done. And I will be very thankful when my two kiddos go off on the big yellow bus and I have just three to home school. It will be very nice. Overall, I think it’s going to be a good year. The older boys are enjoying the freedoms of homeschooling and I am training them to do various chores around the house and even cooking dinner. It’s going to be good.

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