Since she was caught dead to rights cheating on her spelling and lying to me about assignments, Em has been on her best behavior. Surrounded by three adults, she has certainly heard about how disappointed we are with her behavior.
The thing is, we all have taken walks down memory lane and realized we did it too. So it would be a hard sell for us to get indignant or self-righteous about it.
My theory that we would avoid this kind of behavior by homeschooling was disproved, but it isn’t the end of the world. I’ve treated it as a learning experience.
Yesterday, I loosened the restrictions on her television watching and allowed her to watch all of the science and nature documentaries she wanted. She had a “pajamas day” while we worked on The Cottage and yard.
Recently, Em had progressed through Time4Learning to the stage where she finished with multiplication and was heading into learning basic division. The problem with that was that she had forgotten her multiplication tables! Before our summer break, she had them down pat. Then we broke for summer and after a three-month break, she had forgotten them!
This really brought home to me the reality of what our kids lose over summer breaks in traditional school settings. The nine month on/three month off, educational model is horribly flawed!
I had known this, but it really became clear as we abandoned the math on Time4Learning in exchange for a two week long review of flash cards to get back on track with multiplication.
I had struggled with the decision to break for summer or homeschool straight through. Part of it, to be perfectly honest, was a fear that I was being too pushy, or academically strict. Was I wanting her to homeschool all year so that she could pull ahead of her peers? I had once calculated that if we stuck to achieving a “year” of homeschooling every nine months, without any summer break, Em could end up graduating high school at the age of 14 or 15.
So I guess you could say that one part of me was interested in year-round schooling because I had heard that there was less “data loss” and another part of me was interested in having a high school grad at the tender age of 14 or 15.
The more I thought of that idea, the more I worried I was rushing things too much. But having the reality of data loss after a three-month break smack me in the face, I knew one thing – I was definitely changing to year-round schooling!
How About Four Days Per Week?
So I’m toying with the idea of doing homeschool four days out of the week since we will be doing year-round schooling. I thought of doing it on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday schedule, but then realized it might make more sense to tackle it in a different manner.
Why not customize it by the week? Some weeks can be busier than others – I still run my cleaning biz and we have random play dates and other things filling our schedule.
I haven’t said anything to Em yet – merely mentioned that I was considering a four day a week schedule. So far this week, we have completed two of the days, and I may just take off tomorrow, homeschool on Thursday, and then on Friday.
Is it cheating if I admit that she is going on an all-day play date on Friday? She will still have to do homeschool with her friend, but I won’t be overseeing it. That would put us at four days this week. I’m going to give it a try and see how it goes.
Something is Sinking In
As we drove home today, the temps outside spiking to over 90 degrees, Em looked up at the sky and sighed. “It figures. Thin, wispy clouds.”
“What about them?” I asked.
“They hold the heat in. Now big, fat clouds…”
“Cumulus clouds?” I asked.
“Very good, Mama! Yes, cumulus clouds. They cool things off.”
“What do they call those thin clouds…are they cirrus clouds?”
“I dunno, I think of them as nasty, evil flat clouds.”
What could I say? I had to laugh.