Here's something. Lately I've been thinking a lot about the idea of homeschooling Olivia. Not for the reasons you might think. I actually really like public school and have a lot of faith in the public educational system. Other people don't and that's okay. Anyway, she still has another year of preschool before she would start kindergarten, so we'll have lots of time to try things out both ways and see what we think.
One of my very legitimate concerns about doing home school is that (ahem) I kind of have a really short attention span and a bad track record to go with it. Bryan and I have both acknowledged the fact that homeschooling is the kind of thing that I may very well be excited about for a month or a week and then totally lose interest and stop planning things for it like I should. I have a lot of other legitimate concerns about it, but I won't bother mentioning them right now.
Olivia's summer vacation is coming up and I thought this might be a great time to do a watered down sort of test run of trying out home school. To prove just how watered down this summer is going to be, I planned it all out this afternoon. Impressed? :)
Basically, this is how it went down. After dinner I asked Olivia what kinds of things she wants to learn about. We offered some suggestions and she gave quite a few of her own. Then, while she and Bryan played, I sat down with our big wall calendar and assigned a theme to each week. Then I went through and planned an activity for each weekday of that theme. (Bryan also offered a lot of great ideas.) Some activities are cooler than others. And apparently we're going to be at the zoo a lot. But whatevs. This is not the mega-stress-about-it test run. This is the home-school-is-fun-and-will-hopefully-help-us-not-be-whiny-and-cranky-all-summer test run.
In addition to all the random activities we planned out, we'll also aim to do the following every week day:
- reading lessons*
- read at least 5 books together
(*A while ago I wrote this post about our reading lessons. Things went well for a while and then got, well, rather cranky again. I want to try and start over. From the beginning. We'll see how it goes. She picks up on so much through all the writing she does right now that it may be better to call it quits and not make her hate reading until she's really ready. So we'll see.)
This all in addition to, of course, playing outside and enjoying all the fun that summer has to offer. Maybe my preschool plans for this summer sound really uptight, but, really, I've just learned that Olivia and I both thrive on structure and routine. We're both much happier when we get to do a bit of real work every day instead of just laying around doing nothing. So, while I'm sure there will be days where we'll skip the school stuff all together and just go play with our friends, I think we really will stick to our schedule most days. After all, this kid of mine still asks to do her "preschool things" (i.e. workbooks, etc.) every. single. day. Lest you think I'm torturing her. Basically, I'm pretty sure she's going to feel like she's in heaven. Planned activities?! With Mom!? This just might be her dream come true.
We'll see if I make it through the summer.