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Slacker Mom Does Homeschool… Kinda.

My last posts about homeschool were approximately one million years ago. Anyone who happened to read those posts since then probably pictures us, sitting daily at our dining room table, working through math facts and adorable literary themed crafts and activities.

Weeeellll…..
You were wrong.

My plans are grand and typically well thought out but my brain is just a teensy bit defective, so all that energy kinda sputters and dies.

At the beginning of the year, my commitment to homeschool was really wavering, honestly. Everyone in my world was discussing kindergarten and teachers and testing and assessing and… I was just so bored at home. I went from full homeschool obsession to full quilt obsession and looking at curriculum was boo-oring and our current curriclum wasn’t working the way I imagined so I prayed about this upcoming year in a whiny kind of, “am I reeeally supposed to homeschool” sort of way and the answer was
Yes.

Well, okay then. Fine. I can at least start online shopping for new and improved curriculum. I do like to shop.

My pessimism shouts, “sure, spend more money on more curriculum that you’ll be bored of by January and you’ll decide isn’t working for you and then your husband will shoot evil eye daggers at you when you suggest purchasing more curriculum so then you don’t and you just kinda ‘make it work’ but we all know that means lay on the couch and not do anything.”

My pessimism would like to add that anyone capable of writing such run-on sentences might not be the best candidate for teaching reading and writing.

Here’s what’s changed in our “kindergarten lite” curriculum, bullet point style.

  • “Lite?” More like ridiculous overkill. Seriously. Let’s play number games and read some Bob Books.
  • I more or less ditched the math curriculum in the last few weeks. Pretty dry, repetitive, and just too MUCH. Hard to explain with a bullet point, lol.
  • Five in a Row changed quite a bit and could also use a post of its own. {*Snort* Don’t wait around for that.} Basically… we read the suggested books for three to five days and that is it.
  • I stopped taking pictures because it unintentionally pressured my perfectionist daughter.
  • Calendar time got nixed due to lack of consistency and fun.
  • I really failed on teaching the Gospel the way I had hoped this year, but since I never pre-planned it, it never happened. :/
  • We still do UPSTART with Waterford’s Rusty and Rosy program but cut way back, just doing the minimum to remain in the program. (Anyone Utahns interested in knowing more about this program? Leave a comment.)
  • I GOT SMART and started using the system I had mastered for my Walk Beside Me LDS curriculum: one file folder with everything in it. I even brought back the old preschool cutting/tracing/pasting workbooks mentioned here. Every page is ready to go, organized by the week, for the remainder of the school year.
  • We still do chapter book read alouds, but we read them at bedtime, with her public schooled sister. I want them to both love books, and it’s our favorite time of the day.

Are you sensing a theme? It’s a theme I’m calling SIMPLIFICATION. Maybe I’m just too lazy to homeschool the way some of my homeschool blogger heroes do. Maybe I’m just more honest. It came down to doing the least school–and enjoying it!–or not doing it at all because it was all too much.

For anyone who thinks they couldn’t homeschool because it’s “too hard,” I want you to know that what this comes down to is that each day; we play a math game or two (more if I can maintain her attention with some apps), we read a Bob Book or other early reader, we read a picture book, a poem, and perhaps a workpage or two.

It’s bugging me that I don’t have a good paragraph to neatly tie this all together, and I’m also tempted to open Photoshop and create a little graphic to hide the fact that I have no pictures to go with this post (blame the perfectionist!), but I’m just going to hit publish or it will be the hundredth homeschool post saved in my drafts to date.

The End.

Homeschooling… Or sleeping?

This past week or so has been full of challenges. Motivation, or a lack thereof, challenges. I think I’ve been avoiding my blog because I don’t like to admit defeat. More importantly; I don’t want to be defeated. I’d very much prefer to be regular feated, thank you very much!

This week we did two rather lazy days of homeschool. Then on Wednesday we… Well frankly we didn’t do much of anything. Thursday, I cleaned my room. It was pretty much an all day project. Today looks like it will be a repeat of Wednesday’s schedule.

The homeschool bubble has deflated. The fresh smell of new curriculum is worn off. The excitement of planning days has waned, knowing that my plans will surely be replaced by the desire to do nothing. Playing Where’s My Water* on my tablet is looking better than attempting to get my four year old to do a craft without a meltdown. Except sleep. Sleeping is looking pretty great these days. We do a lot of that. Or more accurately, I ask my kids, “Don’t you want to watch a show on Mommy’s bed while Mommy takes a rest?”

I know my mom will read this, and the therapist in her will ask if I am depressed. No, I don’t think so. I am ADHD still, and that’s depressing! Life is boring, and boring is super boring. (Almost like a super power. I’m Super Bored!)

What do you do when you don’t have motivation to do much of anything? 

Homeschooling by the Seat of my Pants + a Halloween Countdown Chain

Homeschooling by the Seat of my Pants

As of right now, I have no idea what we’re doing as far as ‘homeschool.‘ I’m switching up some of my curriculum plans and trying some new things out. For now, we’re just sort of homeschooling by the seat of my pants.


What’s that mean? It means I’m making it up as I go, naturally. Take this Halloween Countdown Chain activity:

On a whim, we made a Halloween countdown chain. I loved to do this as a child. You simply count how many days left until something exciting–Halloween in this case–and make a paper chain. Cut strips of colored construction paper into 1 inch strips. Staple, or glue, on strip of paper into a circle. Loop your next circle through the previous circle, and staple that. Then continue until you have the number of days remaining until your holiday or vacation. Each day, tear off one strip and count again!

To qualify this as a ‘learning’ activity, just look at the following. We:

  • increased calendar awareness by counting how many days until Halloween
  • practiced counting numbers above twenty
  • did basic division by figuring out how many of each color we needed to cut (I needed 13 strips of each color for our 26 days)
  • could have practiced scissor skills but Mommy used a paper cutter instead :)
  • reinforced counting by counting our paper strips to ensure we had enough
  • used motor skills to work the stapler
  • discussed geometry by creating circles and discussed (uh, something) by making a chain
  • used team work to share the stapler and help a younger sibling
  • talked about cultural awareness by discussing Halloween colors
  • used math by counting down each day
  • practiced patience and forgiveness when sibling tore five circles off the next day and we put them back together
  • recognized sharing and taking turns while we switched off who got to tear off the circle for the day
Look at all those skills we worked on! With very little forethought or effort, we completed an entire math lesson in a single activity. Some days, that’s okay. Some days, a little craft activity with the slightest effort towards making it ‘educational’… some days, that’s enough.

 

This is Not a Homeschool Blog.

I feel the need to clarify why I’m posting two posts today. This is something I rarely do. In fact, lately I’m lucky to get out the Monday-Friday posts I aim for posting! The short reason is this: this is not a homeschool blog.

Some of you come here for LDS/homeschool goodness, and that’s great. A lot of you come here for the slacker mom realism I try to serve up, when I’m not busy napping, and that’s totally awesome too. And some of you seem to come here because you hate laundry as badly as I do and frankly, you can only pin stuff for so long. We procrastinate life together. That’s good with me. (I suspect I’d have a few more ADHD readers, but I think they’re all distracted?)

This Friday I will be launching a weekly (ha! ha ha!) series I’m calling “Friday Flashback.” (My take on this Weekly Wrap Up link up.) It will somewhat chronicle our homeschooling journey–the ups, the downs, the slacker-y, and the super. Some of you won’t get into posts like that. I just wanted to let you know…

this is not a homeschool blog. 

If you’re feeling bad about yourself for ANY REASON EVER while on my blog, tell me. If you feel like no one who homeschools could possibly be a slacker mom, . If I start magically posting about how clean my house is, or tips and tutorials on perfecting make up, or step by step tutorials on throwing the best children’s birthday party with handmade party favors and the decadent dessert table, then sweetie, you’re at the wrong blog!

This blog is, at its heart, a down to earth, real life chronicle of… well, my life. In all its disorganized chaotic messiness. I may post recipes, the rare craft, and perhaps some printables, but trust me when I say to you:

my kitchen is still a mess.
the laundry still hasn’t been done.
the kids ate cheerios for breakfast and froot loops for lunch.
and I still have no idea what’s for dinner. 

{Homeschool} Preschool Graduation

Preschool Graduation Party - Homeschool Style!

A couple of weeks ago, Nicole’s little cousin mentioned something about her upcoming preschool graduation. I explained what this meant and Nicole immediately jumped on the idea that she needed a graduation party too. After all, we were just about to finish our Walk Beside Me preschool curriculum! I told her sure, we can do that. Of course, I meant “party of six,” or a family party.

She then asked if she could invite her next door neighbor.
Um, yes?
And her cousin who was also graduating?
Uh… sure.
And the sisters of her cousin?

You see where this is going, right? Pretty soon I agreed to inviting all the four year olds Nicole knows! So we did a simple extremely low budget (think dollar store!) graduation party to celebrate the finishing of our Walk Beside Me Preschool!

I invited all the moms via evite. Then I shopped in mid-May at the dollar store and spent about $5 on little decorations. I threw together some simple allergy friendly party favors using Smarties and Dum Dums. I designed a treat bag topper for the preschool graduation, and stapled it to a little treat bag. For good measure, I sprinkled some confetti in the treat bag too. Click the image to download your own treat toppers!

Digital scrap products from Sweet Shoppe Designs by Design by Dani.

The day of the party I panicked because the weather was a little iffy for the park gathering I had planned. Not wanting to clean my house, and knowing one of our allergy buddies couldn’t be in my house with our Stupid Shedding Dog, I got permission to throw our party at our church. (Okay, this involved last minute phone tag and total panic on my part… but it all worked out okay!)

At our super simple party, we made our own graduation hats for a craft using supplies I already had at home.

These required some construction paper, scissors, a glue stick, and a stapler. You can get a full tutorial on making graduation caps, (we skipped the tassels) but you can see how easily it was to construct…

They weren’t perfect. ;) But how cute are these little models?

Then we played a game I made up the night before. I called it,
“Preschool, Preschool, KINDERGARTEN.”

You might know it as “duck, duck, goose.”
Yeah, I felt pretty clever.

Then we passed out the treat bags and we were DONE.

Party decorations: $5
Party treats: $5
My preschooler knowing I’m proud of her?
Priceless.

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