Monday, September 22, 2008

Homeschool Weekly Reports 2008-2009

I am on the fence about doing the Homeschool Weekly Reports. I don't know if anyone will really read them or will care.

I most certainly do not want them to be a brag-fest.

I am thinking of doing them and keeping it very real. I want it to show what a homeschooling family's life is really like. I don't want it to just be a summary of lesson plans we did and what books we used. I want it to show the unevenness of my family's lives, the challenges, the good stuff and the imperfect stuff. I'd like to show things like juggling illness (head colds etc.) with trying to get homeschooling lessons done, managing medical appointments, getting big projects done in the midst of homeschooling, and dealing with things like big stuff breaking in the house, helping sick or dying relatives or mourning the death of a close relative. I want to show also the learning that happens outside of the lessons I plan out, the self-directed learning and how the places we travel are educational in various ways.

I decided if I do it this year I want to include a couple of photos of stuff that happened that week. It would be good to see real people and places linked to long written descriptions. Not only would it be proof that the stuff is true it would let the pictures tell a story that sometimes is superior to the written description, or tells more than the writer let on in words. An example would be to see the glee in a child's eyes. A blog reader might wonder if our homeschooling lessons are torturing our children but if you can see the happiness it would prove what I was saying in words.

Some people have told me they’d like to homeschool but they think their lives are too imperfect or that they are too imperfect. I want to help people realize that no homeschooling mother is perfect and no homeschool is perfect, even the families who appear to have it all together and who have happy kids and happy parents. Some people think they can only homeschool if a child has a certain kind of personality or if their children were compliant girls, or didn’t have a certain medical condition or didn’t have a certain learning disorder or didn’t have this or that thing. The fact is that all kinds of kids are homeschooled, girls and boys, and kids with ADHD and learning disabilities, and even Autism. We parents all deal with negative things in our lives, we all have stress, we all have various typical real life issues to deal with such as unemployment or other big things, at one time or another. We just do the homeschooling in addition to all of that and try to have successful homeschool and have a good family life. If we can do it then you can do it too. I want to show people that real people do homeschool and that people can homeschool through times of adversity.


dstb said...

If you decide to do your homeschool weekly reports, I will probably read them. However, I think the decision about whether or not to do them really comes down to whether you would find them useful for yourself. Would you like to go back over them and see how the boys have changed? Perhaps you have another mechanism like a scrapbook that satisfies that need. The other thing to consider would be whether it would be something you would enjoy doing or whether it would become a task you feel you have to do because you said you would. Would you still do it for yourself if no one else read them?

I would be interested in reading them because our boys are around the same age. One of the things I have struggled with since starting homeschooling last year is how to foster that self-directed learning you talk about. Yes, the key is the word “self”, but I think that I am still too structured and that impacts how the boys approach things. I want my boys to develop a real and lifelong love of learning. How do I foster that? I am hoping the weekly glimpse into your homeschool life would help me loosen up a bit and help me model for the boys how to pursue things that interest them.

Over the past few weeks, I have been keeping a little journal in Word. One of the things that is missing in that journal are pictures (I have them, I just haven’t added them to the Word document yet). Pictures of the kids actually using the printing press at Old Sturbridge Village or standing on Victory Bridge at the end of their Davis Corn Maze adventure says a lot more than I could ever convey in words. I think pictures would be a great thing to include in your homeschool weekly reports.

You never know who you may reach with your weekly reports. Before I started homeschooling, I wished I could be a fly on the wall in a homeschooler’s house and just see how it all worked. I am sure that there are many people who would find it helpful to see what a real week in a homeschoolers life is like. Perhaps there are people thinking of taking the plunge, but they just need to see how it works. This would be a great way for them to get the idea.

christinemm said...

Hi dtsb-Sarah,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

No I would not do it weekly if I were the only one who would read it. When I did it last year I was inspired to actually do it by the deadline of trying to do it weekly. It made me do it.

Like you I wished in the past I could be a fly on people's walls. You might want to read these two books which will give many night's reading before bed to satisfy that curiosity. The first book is Homeschooling a Patchwork of Days. The second book follows up with the same people a few years later plus adds over 25 new families and that is called Homeschool Open House, both edited by Nancy Lande. I reviewed them on Amazon I think, years ago. I first thought the families were religious then went back and counted, LOL and found the split 50/50 which surprised me. Funny how things impress us then we realize we are wrong when we check facts.

I did participate in it last year and did fall off and taper down. If you want to read any of my entries from last year click on the label for the Weekly Reports, way way down in my sidebar where my labels are listed.

Nice chatting!

Sharla said...

I think you should do it. I had never heard of it until this year but thought I would start and my reports will be very much as you described...our life snapshot each week with pictures and anecdotes and some references to the resources we are using for those who want to know and to great field trips we find or whatever.

Kristi C said...

Thank you. I will read your Home school reports. :o)
~Kris C.

Miekie said...

I think it is a good idea to keep a weekly journal of your homeschooling - I do it myself. I don't know whether others read it or not and I do not really care. I believe in what I am doing and my methods. One day I might reread it, or use some of my thoughts in a book or whatever... What matters is that there is a journal of our work and it does not cost anything or clutter up any space. I blog @

Trivium Academy said...

I will read. I do care. If I can find the words to say, I'll even comment.

:D Jessica

Demas said...

I would definitely read them. I am always so grateful to find a blog that sounds like my life. This is only our 2nd yr HSing and I am still so tentative about "getting it all done". I love to hear how people do it (or more so, that it's OK when they don't.)

keitha said...

I would read them.

Its our first year to homeschool and LOVE IT.