I’m not just an artist, I’m a homeschooling Mom too.
So, I know that this is usually an art blog, but today the suggested topic for the Ultimate Blog Challenge was to describe a day in your life. I decided to describe today, a typical Thursday for my family. A typical Thursday for a homeschooling family.This is a typical Thursday for our homeschooling family. Click To Tweet
Thursday is homeschool co-op day.
Once a week my family goes to homeschool co-op, where they get a chance to experience a classroom setting with other kids. I works out nicely for us, because it also lets me outsource some of the subjects I’m not as strong in. For example, while I enjoy science, once it gets to High School level I’m not really comfortable teaching it. Now, I could manage, a lot of homeschool curriculum is designed for the child to mostly do independently, but its nice to bring my kids here, where some of the parents actually have degrees in various sciences, and let my kids be taught by someone who can actually answer their questions without taking a trip to the library to look it up. Of course even though homeschool co-op is only once a week, the kids take home assignments to complete at home all week long, so they are really getting a full year’s worth of work in these subjects.
Our Thursday morning routine is rushed. As homeschoolers, we aren’t exactly used to having to get everyone out the door by 8:30 in the morning. We all do our best to stay out of each other’s way, and to help each other get ready. We have to get up, take care of all of our morning’s bathing and grooming needs, all with only one bathroom. We also need to crowd into our kitchen for breakfast and for packing our lunches. The kids have to gather all their books and things, though often they do it the night before, and I have to gather supplies for the class that I’m teaching. I usually get most of it together the night before, but always have to run around grabbing last minute items.
This year I’m teaching a preschool-Kindergarten class, and today we are doing activities that involve, cooking oil, water, glitter, food coloring, shaving cream and bubble soap. Also I needed the book that outlines the activities, a Children’s Bible story book, a sheet… sounds like a lot of random stuff but it all is related as I’ll explain a little later.
After we gather everything up, we pack into my van, my teenage son drives us to co-op. My daughter usually sits in the back and listens to her iPod, but today she sat in the back practicing her speech for her public speaking class. This morning we arrived just a couple of minutes late, but not by much. The kids rushed out of the van and into class, and spent a few minutes trying to get my purse, my class supplies, my laptop, and my lunch all loaded into my arms at once. I didn’t have to rush as much because I don’t teach until the last “block” or period.
The co-op day.
The co-op is structured into four “blocks” or class periods, plus a lunch time and a chapel time. My kids have various classes all through the day, but for me I have a lot of time to sit and work on personal things before my class. Many times I have all day until the last block to myself, just doing whatever I want in the parent room, but today a lot of families are out sick, so I’ll have the first two blocks free, but will be helping out in another class third block, and then teaching my class fourth block.
The first block of our co-op day goes from 9:00-10:00 in the morning. I sit in the parent room, and work on whatever I want, lately its been my blog. Meanwhile my son is in study hall, and my daughter is in her Public Speaking class. That’s this year, in years past the classes have varied, last year my son had a High School biology class first block
From 10:05-11:05 we have second block, again I’m in the parent room. My daughter is in study hall and my son is taking American Literature and writing.
Lunch is from 11:10-11:45 in the morning. Not much to say about this, obviously we eat.
Our co-op is a Christian co-op, so mid day we have chapel. There will be singing, prayer, then a short bible teaching, then important announcements and information, then we close in prayer and dismiss the kids.
Third block I often have to myself, but technically I’m a “floater” during third block, which means that I go where ever another person is needed if someone else is absent. Both my son and daughter are in Intermediate Drawing and Design. That is an awesome class taught by an artist who used to be with Disney.
Today I see that I will be helping at some drawing class, I’m not sure if its the same one my kids are in. I’ll have to ask and make sure.
Fourth block is our last class period of the day. My son is in a class called “Creation College”, which is mostly an apologetics class. My daughter is in a Bible Study class. My daughter’s classes are all elective classes this year, but many years she is in a lot of academic classes. My son also is only in one real strong academic class this year. That means we are doing the rest of our academics on our own at home. In years past co-op has really been helpful in getting our core classes taken care of, but this year not so much. We are questioning whether we want to continue with co-op next year, since my son will be taking college classes through dual enrollment, and unless my daughter can take academic classes it will just be one less day to work on things at home. We are waiting to see what classes are offered for next year, and then we’ll decide.
At any rate, fourth block for me this year is the one block that I am teaching. In my class today we will be reading the story of when Jesus’s disciples were fishing all night and didn’t catch anything, but then Jesus told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat and they caught nets full, too much to bring the boat in.
From that story we are going to start talking about the oceans, rivers, lakes, and about water in general. We’ll make a “wave bottle” with the oil, water, food coloring and glitter, and we’ll watch the waves move back and forth in the bottle and about how waves move. Then we’ll probably also make waves in a pan of water by making drips into it, and we’ll talk about the motion of the waves and ripples, and how they bounce off the edges of the pan. We’ll blow bubbles and catch them on paper. We’ll talk about how water sometimes makes bubbles but how too weak to float on the air, they break as soon as they reach the surface of the water most of the time, but how soap has a stronger surface tension, like a skin, that allows the bubbles to stay together and float for a while without breaking. We’ll also take the shaving cream, color it with a few drops of tempera paint, and finger paint with it, making peaks and “waves” on our shaving cream.
One thing that’s fun about teaching Pre-Kindergarten is that we don’t have to really get into anything too complicated, the kids are learning all the time, even if all you do is hand them play-dough. Everything is still new to them, and observing waves and pointing out how ripples start from a center point and travel out in all directions until they bounce off the side of the pan is actually an activity that introduces them to basic science concepts, in a fun way.
Most weeks we are all pretty much tired and ready to go home after co-op. This week that isn’t really an option for us though. Today after co-op my husband will show up to pick up my son and drive him across the county to the county clerk’s office so he can apply for a passport. That is because, if all works out, my son is going on a missions trip to Nepal in March, and we need to expedite a passport for him so travel plans can be finalized.
While my husband and son head to the county clerk, my youngest daughter and I are heading to Target to do some shopping for my oldest daughter’s baby shower this weekend. Then we’ll rush home so my oldest daughter can use my van to go move some things into her new rented house. Also because the faster I get home, the more likely that I’ll be able to answer questions if my husband needs any information for the forms at the county clerk’s office.
Once home my two daughters will go together to move some stuff into my older daughter’s new house, and I’ll watch my granddaughter and make dinner for me, my son, two daughters, husband, granddaughter and son-in-law.
At least, that’s the plan… whether that is what really happens today only time will tell.