Hello everyone. This is my first post. I have been checking out the boards for some time to learn from you all and I would like to have your advice on the following.
How do you find the time to do it all and still have fun learning and yet have a life? Being in support groups, sports activities, going on field trips, manage the home, work, pursuing your own interests and still stay on schedule with homeschooling.
I have 4 wonderful children: ds10, ds 7, ds 3, and a dd1 . I have been enjoying our homeschooling experience for the past 4 years and will be starting my 5th year soon. I follow the WTM book about 85% to 90% which is good for me. My husband and I are very pleased that we are giving our children a classical/liberal arts education.
Where I struggle is how to do it all?
We only attend church on Sunday, swimming lessons seasonally, french class during the normal ps year once a week and that is it. The evenings and weekends are where we spend time as a family and do things together. Despite being home this much, I am finding that our homeschooling is slowly stretching into an all day activity which I am not too thrilled about as I had a desire to keep it under 4 hours to allow for other creative endeavors and activities. I really want to do a great job in educating my children and really like how the WTM outlines how to do every subject, but I find that if I do all they suggest, then we will be learning all day with no ability to do anything else. My husband desires that our children not fall behind on anything and stay on grade level, so I don't allow too much interest-led learning which can be boring. I am a very organized individual and like to have everything running smoothly. I have trained my oldest two children to help clean our home with me and even started teaching them how to cook.
Some things I would like to include are:
1-have a 2 hour break like SWB and JW suggest in their book, but I don't know how to fit it in. 2-have my children in a few activities during the week just for fun and interaction with others, but I don't know how to fit it in.
3-continue having our evenings and weekends free as a family
4- I would like to have time to pursue my own interests, but I don't know where to fit it in. JW said in the WTM book that as a homeschooling mother, I would have to put aside my interests for a long time in order to homeschool well. I am willing to do this as I find I am enjoying learning along with my children and am looking forward to the grade 5 year as I will be doing alot more reading to keep up with my ds and his more independent studies.
5- get everything else done: house cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc
What could I drop that is not important in their home education? How much interaction does a child need with friends? How long should a person spend on subjects like Saxon math, grammar, writing, science, history, etc in grade 5? How do you make some of the subjects fun while using the WTM resources and yet not get off of schedule because of interest-led learning or the child takes too long to complete their work? How much independence do I allow my grade 5 child in his home education? Do you have any ideas for my children to do that we could do in our home that would allow for social interaction with others their age and is fun?