Lessons from the Sixteenth Week

We have come close to the middle of this school year. Week 18 will happen here in a couple of weeks. In the US, there are 36 school weeks, or 180 school days, in case you did not know that. So here we are, starting week 17 and looking back at week 16. What have we learned?

Before the concert, mom and children

Before their concert at the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville

First of all, I have slowed down my Trello lesson planning. For those of you new to homeschooling and planning, this happens every year. Once you know what you are doing and what your daily goals are, you do not need to put it into writing anymore.

All the more reason to start out by writing down briefly what gets accomplished, or what your goals are daily. After 15 weeks, you have it ingrained in you. And you can relax with the record keeping, unless your state requires it.

Secondly, the kids had a concert at the Tennessee Theater with their respective Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras. It was fun, as always, and a bit emotional for me. I never think I would cry again during their performance, because we have been there many times. But then, I cry.

We work hard, you all. And then, to see them on stage, playing beautiful classical music with other children, it touches my heart.


The Third Lesson

My son requested 30 minutes of screen time Monday through Friday. “I get that you are trying to teach us things, but it gets a little boring around here if we can only listen to Adventures in Odyssey or read a book or watch tutorials online,” he said. He recently turned 12 and I had to hear him.

I accepted, but requested that we get stuff done before they do their screen time. Because even without screen time, we did not finish everything. That’s right. I asked homeschooling moms before I got started how the schedule went, how you fit everything in, and the answers were fuzzy at best.

Well, here it is. Somebody has to be brave enough to say it: in homeschooling, you do not always finish your daily goals. But you catch up throughout the year. Guess what? The same is true for public schools and private schools. Teachers do not always finish the textbooks or the daily lesson plans.

Nevertheless, homeschooling is more efficient than regular schooling. You can still do school on a snow day. When your child has a contagious disease that is not making him completely miserable, you can still teach him at home. If he were in a regular school, he would have to miss out on instruction. Say your child has a cancellation for a class outside the home. Behold, extra time to catch up on other subjects.

So screen time is back Monday through Friday. Only 30 minutes per day and only after they have finished everything. They are more motivated to stay focused and are watching the clock even more so than I am.

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