Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Virtual Homeschool Co-Op #1 - Structured or Relaxed?
I mentioned the Virtual Homeschool Co-op in this blog back in June, which was the last assignment for last school year. This video series has started up again for this school year and I am going to try participate in each assignment.
The purpose for this virtual co-op is to "collaborate with other homeschool families to broaden the body of community of knowledge", as Just Sew Trish on Youtube put it. :-)
So the first assignment is to answer this: Are you structured or relaxed? In your curriculum, your space and your time. Where would you put yourself on a scale of 0-10, 0 is relaxed, 10 is structured. How does this work in your home and why does it work for you.
That is a mouthful of a question!
I have been thinking about how to answer this question as I paid closer attention to how we roll over here.
1. Curriculum - 8
When it comes to curriculum, I like to have everything planned out with the supplies organized and ready. Having a plan in place is my sanity. If I don't have written down what we need to do every day, then I am all over the place and forgetful of what needs to happen each day. The curriculum itself is a bit on the structured side as well, but we don't have tons of worksheets. I do like to try to keep the worksheets and hands-on activities balanced, that way we're getting the best of both worlds. :-)
2. Space - 6
The space where we do the brunt of our learning is in the dining room. This is the one and only area of our house that is the most organized and tidy, except for the little ledge. I simply cannot have or give my kids a stress-free and complete school day unless our books and supplies are in their places. Now, that's not to say that we always put away everything we pull out after each subject, but we certainly get it all back in its place before we have lunch and then again at the end of the school day. Having the space organized and tidy helps us know where to find our things and where to put back. Clean up is a breeze when our space is structured. Now, if I can apply that principle to the rest of the house....
Moving right along.
3. Time - 2
Ok, time is where I am
a bit relaxed. I do have a routine that we try to stick to, but I am way more flexible with the time. I like for us to be up and ready to go by a certain time, but if the kids got to bed late the night before, or if I didn't sleep well, then I accommodate according to our needs. So some days we are up before 7am and others, not until after 7am (but usually by 8am at the very latest).
I have heard about the whole not spending more than 15-20 minutes on a subject, but we are still working on behavioral issues here (which we really should be past that) but that fact will take us past 20 minutes. When we have written work to do after I teach a lesson I'll turn the timer on so we can go on to the next thing.
After we complete a lesson, I let the kids take a 3-5 minute breather, taking a lap around the back yard or down the hall a few times. If I get a crazy hair to switch the laundry over or put away clean dishes, then of course, I'm letting us take a longer break. Some days I am wanting us to really work diligently on school and worry about the house work afterwards. Some days I'm just more relaxed about it.
Now, being so relaxed with the time certainly has its pros and cons. Being lax in this area gets us behind on our work, whether its the house or the school, then I get overwhelmed b/c of it. Then I throw up my hands b/c I think I don't have time to clean, or no time to blog, or no time to practice music, etc.... When really, if I was more structured in my time, then that wouldn't happen.
So, overall, I rank 5.3 on the structured-relaxed scale.
I knew I was right in the middle. :-D
If you're interested, you can hop over to The Virtual Homeschool Co-op website to see how other homeschool families have answered this question.