Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another homeschooling post?

Can you stand another one so soon?

I have to report that as of today (that being day 9 of this homeschooling year) we are STILL making it to the table at 9:00 am.

Who'da thunk it?

Turns out the one who needed discipline was me.

Every morning I set the timer to go off at 9:00 am. When that buzzer goes off (our "morning bell," as it were) we are ALL to be dressed (which also includes doing our hair, teeth, and in my case, make-up), have our beds made, gone to the bathroom, eaten our breakfast, and be at the table.

If I have been running around and didn't get breakfast for some reason, it's "too bad so sad" for me.

The rules apply to all.

Having something I am accountable to, and something that cannot be altered (that being the 9:00 am start time) has made me much more responsible, which in turn is influencing the whole tone of our morning. I guess over the years I had allowed myself to get lazy, and unfortunately I was passing on those bad habits to my children. Funny how a quick "checking of email" can turn into a much-delayed morning, with me still clicking around at 10:30 and the kids still in their pajamas at 11.

Sad, sad, sad.

I can't claim any great breakthrough yet, but since they say it takes 21 days to make a new habit, I CAN say we're over one-third of the way there!

Since I LOVE to see what other moms are doing, I'll give you a look at what we're studying this year:

Sean (6th grade)
Religion: Faith & Life, Baltimore Catechism, the Gospels of Mark and Luke
Spelling: Writing Road to Reading, Wordly Wise
Grammar: Language of God, English 7 for Catholics
Editing: The Great Editing Adventure
Poetry: Harp & Laurel Wreath (current poem: "Charge of the Light Brigade")
Latin: Latina Christiana II
Math: Saxon 7/6
History: From Sea to Shining Sea (Catholic textbook project), lots of extra resources
Science: Harcourt Science, plus lots of extra resources (it's called "making due with what I had")

Reilly (5th grade)
Same as above, only she's in Saxon 6/5 and Latina Christiana I, and she's using Intermediate Language Lessons for Grammar. Her current poem is "George Washington" by Steven Vincent Benet.

Kathryn (4th grade)
Same, except she's in Saxon 5/4, Latina Christiana I, and the first half of Intermediate Language Lessons. Her current poem is "America for Me" by Henry Van Dyke.

Christopher (2nd grade)
Religion: Jesus Our Life (Faith & Life)
Spelling: Writing Road to Reading
Grammar: finishing up our Modern Curriculum Press workbooks
Poetry: Harp & Laurel Wreath (current poem is "The Owl and the Pussycat")
Latin: Greek/Latin flashcards
Math: Saxon 2
History: following along with the older kids, but with age-appropriate read-alouds
Science: following along with the older kids, but using Usborne books, along with many others.

Thomas (1st grade)
Same as above, but he's in the 2nd half of Saxon 1 and is finishing up his MCP A workbook for grammar. His current poem is "Windy Nights."

Marie (3 yrs) and Grace (20 months)
LOTS of paper, crayons, markers, and workbook pages! Actually, both of them really enjoy doing the phonogram flashcards (of all things!) and listening to all that's going on, so they are getting a better head start than I even imagine!

That's all the homeschooling news I have for now... other than the fact that I've assigned our first project -- a "mini history fair" on Lewis and Clark. Let's see how well THIS one goes over! *grin*


Beth said...

OUIZ, I'm ACTUALLY considering homeschooling!! OMG I'm scared!

Aussie Therese said...

Oh that is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your discipline with us. I really need to get into a better routine. Maybe I should have a timer set for 9.00 too.

Suburban Cowgirl said...

Ouiz -
You hit the nail on this one!

Having SELF-discipline helps everyone else's discipline!

(and knowing what breakfast is BEFORE going to bed helps a lot too -like you mentioned in another post.)

Excellent reminder!

(BTW - our curriculum looks a lot like yours - excepting LC II - that'll be January :) )

Ouiz said...

Beth, you ARE???? I can't help but be excited over this!!! Dang... if you were down here, you could join our merry little gang that is just starting up. Most of the women have kindergarteners, so your daughter would have plenty of HS playmates!

I'm sure your parish has an EXCELLENT HS group, though.

Therese, my hope and prayer is that I can say in mid-November... or late February... we are STILL making it to the table at 9:00 am! I am not the organized person I have dreams of being, and I know it's going to be WAAAAAAY too easy to slip back into old habits.

SCG, YOU, on the other hand, are that kind of organized person I aspire to be! I think (gulp) I'm going to have to be accountable to you on this one. I'm really going to HATE calling you and confessing that I'm back into the ol' 10:30 routine!

BTW, THANK YOU for the brilliant advice that I could, in fact, get on cathswap and buy EXTRA COPIES of books. See? God brings friends like you into my life, because these thoughts are just NOT GOING TO HIT ME unless someone gently carries me through the logic... *grin*

My children thank you greatly!

Suburban Cowgirl said...

Ouiz -

Glad to be of help! Got the books in hand yet?

Miss you bunches!

Should I call and check up on you at 9am? No, wait, that would become a distraction! I won't do that! I'll call during my lunchbreak :)

Adrienne said...

I didn't start home schooling my daughter until 9th grade! We are coming into grade 11 now. I was TERRIFIED & OVERWHEMED at first - High School and that - but, prayer really made it work!

The tight sched thing was ok for about 1 month - then it was her temper and my anger, which slowly evolved into her maturity growing by getting up at 6am to school in grade 10, and me walking around (to this day) in my husband's robe & slippers until everyone has sufficiently loaded up my kitchen sink and then I tidy myself, and maybe grade her papers within the same week. We model our curriculum largely from Our Lady of Victory Catholic Homeschool, with the only exception to a Catholic course being Jay M. Wile Science, because there is no catholic Science to date. We are not happy - but it is a good series, and I think I' will write him to tell him I believe he would make a good Catholic!!!

Our goals are more lofty for September - it happens to all of us at one time or another - and it does get better! Most importantly - it gets done. Be relieved; You are in good company.

Barbara said...

We'll start school in few weeks, and I am going to use some version of your timer idea.

We are morning people here and supposedly start at 8:00, but I get back from walking the dog at about 7 or 7:15. Add a little email or dilly dallying, plus shower, etc. and I am never ready on time. Even if the bigger kids start without me, they're doing all their independent work (of course), when it is better to start the day together and move to independent subjects later.

SO, this timer idea will be good for disciplining ME. I'll need to set it to go off 10-15 minutes ahead of our actual start time so I'll be able to scramble through the most important last minute tasks. Otherwise I think I won't drop everything when the bell goes off. I'll be surprised and unprepared.

Anyway, THANKS for the idea! Simple but effective.

Ouiz said...

Adrienne, you were brave to jump into HSing in the high school years! Goodness! Thankfully, I've had all this time to "warm up" to the idea before I actually get there!

Barbara, my hat's off to you for getting BACK from walking the dog at 7:00 AM! I hate to admit it, but I am not even up at 7. (oh, the shame!)

May both of you have a successful homeschooling year!!