After returning from a week spent with my dad for his 80th birthday, we will
be starting another year of "school" at the Gleaton household tomorrow.
Three of my kids have graduated from home school, and I have three to go.
My oldest graduated from UNT three weeks ago and just left this afternoon to
live in Rowlett. He starts his first full-time job with the company he did
an internship with in Richardson tomorrow. My second oldest is already
retired from the Army, and he and his wife are expecting baby #2 in just
four weeks! My third oldest is living at home and beginning her second year
at NCTC. We have homeschooled all of our kids all of the time. Although I
tearfully considered other schooling options (more than once!), I realized
that those other options came with their own set of problems and that I
would just be trading one set of problems for another. I figured out I was
better off with the set of problems I had and that, for me anyway, the grass
was not really greener on the other side. I came to the conclusion,
however, that I had to make school something that is enjoyable, doable and
attainable both for me and the kids. That took a lot of prayer and
soul-searching on my part, and thus our "school" will look quite different
from others. That's okay, and I think every family should figure out what
works best for them.
My main goals for school are for the kids to learn and to want to keep on
learning. I also want to provide a well-rounded education. I try to end a
subject just before it gets to be too much. That way, they are ready for
more the next day. We do some subjects together (history, Latin/Greek roots
and literature) and some subjects individually (math, science, government,
spelling, writing, typing, drilling, etc.) Presently the younger two are
doing science and government together also. We do the basic subjects
everyday (history, math, science) and switch off days on the other subjects.
Some are Tues/Thurs and some are Mon/Wed/Fri. The kids each have their own
checklist of which subjects to do each day so it doesn't get confusing and
all gets covered. I watch for signs of frustration or not understanding in
any area. That is where we back off, figure out what went wrong, and start
again. If a math lesson doesn't get finished because it is not understood,
that's okay. There is no point in continuing on until it is understood.
The same goes for other subjects.
What does a typical day look like? It's probably a lot different from
10:00-Everybody up, breakfast, chores, bible. (I've actually been up quite
a while, and accomplished a LOT of my day!)
11:00-Start school together. I read whatever history we are studying aloud,
then we do Latin/Greek roots or Spanish.
About 12:00-I read the science lesson aloud to the younger two, then we do
government or any other subject we might be doing together. The oldest
starts school on his own. If there is a science experiment that day, they
do that on their own.
About 1:00-Lunch. I read whatever our literature is at the time aloud.
Often the literature ties in with the history we are studying.
About 2:00-Everyone completes the rest of their subjects on their own. They
finish at variable times, but are usually done by 4-5:00.
Outside activities and dinner for the rest of the day. At dinner, I often
read missionary-related stuff while the whole family eats. We often have
dinner guests, in which case I don't read. The boys have to be in bed by
midnight. (They are 14, 15 and 17.)
This schedule is crazy late, but it works well with college kids at home.
We also have a boarder that works nights. He is often a part of the family
on his three nights a week off.