Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What 'My Eureka' Looks Like

Ok, so I'm not exactly sure what it looks like to live the daily life of a family who grows and learns together, but I have a pretty good idea and I'm starting to figure out what it will look like for us.

The details will change over time. I've come to realize that I prefer 'templates' over 'recipes' for pretty much anything in life.  Which is good if you are informed, creative, adventurous and flexible. Phew!  That sounds like a lot of work.  But I do much better if I put the work in advance and reap the benefits long-term.  My poor husband just doesn't understand why I make things so difficult.  But, alas, it's my learning style and I must cater to it-or never learn.

The basic subjects to cover (I think):
Reading, Writing, Literature, History, Math, Science, Foreign Language, Arts (painting), Business, Religion, Government, Geography, Music & Dance, Instruments.

I'll add to that over time I'm sure.  But I want to work on a 'liberal education' first, getting the basics, before zooming in on details (like business, psychology, anthropology, etc.).

I have those titles written down in my notebook and I am going to find 2 or 3 books for each subject and work my way through them.  I do better if I work in 'blocks', so I'll study one subject for a few weeks before moving on to the next. I know I will like some more then others, but I want a good, solid foundation in all of them.  And I know, as I read, I will find more books that I want to read on each subject, so I will record those under each heading.  And I will circle back around.

I intend to do the same for the kids.  Keeping books under each heading for them to choose to read themselves and have me read to them.

I also intend to start teaching myself to play guitar. For some reason I'm really nervous about it.  But I'm excited also.  I had started about 10 years ago, but let it go. We have 6 or 7 'teach yourself to play guitar' books, and 3 nice guitars. So it's just a matter of committing myself to it and following through.  I want to take it slow and learn it well. Lucky for me, I took piano lessons for 8 years as a kid, so I have some decent musical theory already committed to memory.  I hope to brush up on my piano skills as I learn guitar also (we have a nice, electric keyboard my husband bought me for Christmas 8 years ago and I never use). I want my kids to learn to play instruments.  And the best way for me to do that, is to lead by example. So I hope by them watching me learn to play, they'll desire the same someday.  And have the tools to do it!

I am going to post the schedule I have for now.  I have decided to figure out what I want to fit into the day and approximately how it should look, and then work into it over time, changing things as necessary.  We tend to stick to changes if they are made carefully and slowly rather then abruptly.  But it's always best if I have the end in mind.

Some notes: I do not think children should be woken up early in general, so I do not wake my children up.  But they are generally up between 7 and 8 on their own.  Also, my husband works 2nd shift (4pm to midnight) so our schedule is different from most people, as our 'family meal' is lunch.
I also intend to do Reports for the books, videos and activities that we learn from.  My husband has made a neat document for each that we have printed out and put into binders. The kids have, so far, enjoyed them.  I'd like to come up with some prize for every 10 reports they do on a certain subject.  Or something along those lines.  

6:00-I wake up, take a walk/bike ride and read Bible/exercise
8:00-Breakfast (each child helps me one or two mornings a week)
8:30-Clean up/dishes
8:45-Get dressed, oil pull, pick up rooms
9:00-Read a classic, each taking turns picking out a book from top shelves
9:30-9:40 Go over math/phonics 
9:40-12-Free time [study my classics and prepare lunch]
12:00-12:20 Family Worship (details still unclear-but hopefully a few songs, say a passage of Scripture until memorized and daddy read a verse and expound on it and read a few stories from Eggermeiers)
12:20-12:30-set Table and help with lunch
12:30-1-Eat Lunch as family, talk about worship, book, etc.
1-1:30-daddy read a classic to us
1:30-2-clean rooms [clean kitchen]
2-3:00- 1/2 hour each on computer [read classics]
3-3:30-Read more of classic we read in AM
3:30-6 Free play/bike ride/park [read classics when home]
6-6:30-Supper
6:30-7:45-Free Play [study guitar and read classics]
7:45-8-Brush teeth, put on PJs, clean up toys
8-8:30-read any books the kids pick out
8:30-10 [read classics]

This is a 'template' for how a typical day can go, fitting in all the habits, chores, character development and books.  There is plenty of open/free play for them, which also gives me time to pursue my own education.  Lucky for me, I've been reading every hour I could find for the last 5 years, so that should make it easier for me.  I know the hardest will be to read things I'm not terribly interested in.  Most of my reading has been about spiritual, nutritional and educational things, which I'm passionate and hungry to learn about.  Hopefully that will come.

I realize it won't be easy, but I also believe the pay-off will be astronomically huge-on earth and in heaven.

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