This week was our first week back into our study routine. I decided to blog about each day in order to introduce our routine and our curriculum/resource choices for this year. But there was also an element that blogging gives me the time and space to sort out my thinking and reactions to our day.

I struggled at the beginning of the week, a bit tense over how much I had planned to do in each day, stressed because we had no margin. And then towards the end of the week, though I still need to tweak our routine, I realised that life does happen and I am okay with laying aside what was planned and doing what is important. The familiar saying comparing the urgent with the important has been good to reflect on this week. I certainly want to focus on what is important – each hour of the day.

Last year we had 1 hour where everyone (except Josh) was working on their discipline studies (they are different for each student but cover the subjects that need daily practice). This gave me an opportunity to catch up with at least one of the kids as well as teaching Daniel reading/writing. This year I had planned for these things to be done spasmodically through our day – and it didn’t work too well. The children couldn’t get their teeth into independent work and I didn’t know where anyone was at, at any given time. So this weekend I tweak our routine to make sure that we have 1 hour of discipline studies all happening at the same time.

I also learnt that ½ hour isn’t long enough for some lessons. It is plenty long enough for the discipline studies, in fact some of them only last 15-20minutes but the lessons that involve reading, talking and recording – they need an hour. One in particular that needs to be tweaked is our Living Math lesson. I know that there are many supporters of short lessons but I wonder how age appropriate that is. As our kids get older they need to be able to focus for longer than 20 minutes. So I am pleased that this has come to my attention and I will do a little tweaking.

This leads to my biggest struggle though – ½ hour lessons means we can do more subjects, but maybe not do them as well. So if I am to give them 1 hour we can’t do as many subjects – which ones to drop?

This is where my workshop time comes in and I think I’ll tweak that too. Instead of doing a little bit in many subjects over a long period of time, I think we’ll do a bigger bit, in few subjects over a short period of time. Eg. We may focus on Living Math this term, and Logic next. Take a seasonal approach rather than a year long study. I know I’ve had these thoughts before but in the flurry of planning and writing routines these good thoughts get lost! It takes living it out and tweaking for the good stuff to come to the surface!

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