Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Homeschool 101

School in the top of the Goodnow firetower
Today is the first day of school in our district, but my son is happily sleeping in. We started our homeschool experiment three weeks ago and we are settling into a routine. He'll get out of bed soon and join me for a few yoga poses, write in his journal while I take a shower, then we'll have breakfast. During the week, when dad's at work and I have morning yoga classes, he'll bring his books to the yoga studio. He'll read for hours flopped on pillows in the meditation room and he's been quiet as a mouse.

At home, he's working on the fourth grade curriculum from Time4Learning. The lessons are all online and look like a computer game, which appeals to the geek genes he inherited from his programmer/network administrator father. To keep him from going completely over to the dark side, we're supplementing with Kamana for Kids, a home-study naturalist course for children from the Wilderness Awareness School in Washington State. And lots of hiking and just being outside, of course.

Music was my son's least favorite class in school, so I figured we try something different than the typical music curriculum. Luckily we have a very talented singer/songwriter in town and he agreed to give my son guitar lessons. I hope they all go as well as the first one. Rather than jumping in with lots of things to practice, they started the lesson by changing the strings on the kid-sized guitar. This involved lots of holding the strings and using tools and my son was very happy. When they started to play, my son was given permission to make any noises he wanted with the guitar, as long as he agreed to learn the basic stuff too. They're planning to listen to lots of music together, from classical to jazz and rock. This morning my son asked to play Guitar Hero on the Wii, so I think music might have moved up a notch or two.

All in all, my son is doing well with the new routine. I wish I could say the same for me. I'm still adjusting to my daughter being at college and I catch myself taking an extra plate out of the cabinet when I set the table. I can't seem to get to bed at a decent hour and it's throwing off my mornings. Transitions are never easy and I try to remember to be gentle with myself. Change, while scary, is often good, and compared to some changes in my life, this is nothing.
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