I know that many of you have had to try virtual/remote learning over the past year. Some have liked it and some have not. We were homeschoolers before the pandemic and continue to do so through our latest crisis.
Before Shyanne’s diagnosis we had just rearranged a couple of rooms in the house with the school room being swapped with the den. Things were just starting to get organized when we were hit with her unexpected leukemia diagnosis. To say our lives were turned upside down was an understatement.
Now, not even a month later, I can say I have a better perspective on things. I’ve definitely had plenty of time to think… something I didn’t always have at home. This week I’ve been working on our new homeschooling schedule and trying to get some rough drafts of schedules started to make things easier on whoever is at home with the kiddos.
Before we left for the hospital, I stayed up all night making copies and putting together ‘work packets’ for everyone. It was a bit of work but it helped to keep things going pretty smoothly. They should be finished up with the school year this week or the beginning of next week.
Hopefully we’ll be home then and we can spend some quality time together and do some fun things. I’ve missed my family so much while we’ve been away and that has motivated me to go back to year round schooling form now.
I figure I’ll put together enough work for 4-5 week blocks and then when we come home they can have a break from school and then resume when we go back for treatments. They’ll have school around 4-5 weeks and then be off a week or so and repeat. I’m hoping this will keep everyone on track while we work through this unexpected diagnosis.
This new schedule should also give us some quality time together to squeeze in some fun stuff while we are home. I know we will basically be in ‘quarantine mode’ for the next several months but hey, we’ve had plenty of practice over the past year, right?
I really wanted to finish up the Little House On The Prairie series I started but it’s going to be a while before I can do that… maybe I could bring some of the stuff with me on our next go round and work on it then? —- that’s an idea!!!
Being in the hospital while the kids are doing there schoolwork has presented its own challenges. Thankfully we have big sister and Mr. Awesome there to help with most issues. We have also utilized FaceTime a few times when needed.
Before I left I had tried to dig out all of the resources they would need to finish out the year. On occasion I have had to have someone FaceTime and walk around with the phone so I can help locate things… it’s been interesting to say the least.
Just yesterday I had big sister video the bookshelves because I wanted to double check some book titles before I ordered anything.
I’ve never really bought a box curriculum but it seemed to be the way I wanted to go right now. However, the prices on those things can be quite outrageous!!! I had enough money to cover three grades worth of curriculum but then I couldn’t find them all in the same kinds of packages. If I did find something similar then one would be missing lesson plans of teaching guides and I know whatever I put together needs to be easy to use.
I checked out Rainbow Resources, Lakeshore Learning, Timberdoodle, and a couple of others including some free sites. I’m all about the free sites but right now it would be too much work and I’m trying to keep everything offline as much as I can.
I really liked a couple of the packages I found on Rainbow Resources but then Timberdoodle had some pretty awesome packages. RR’s packages were more reasonably priced than TD’s but there were some parts of TD’s packages that I already had.
I didn’t buy a package but went through the packages on TD and bought the items that I was missing and ended up spending way less. We have most of the Elite package materials at home or on the way now so I’ll just have to get them set up. I did buy their lesson planner this time around so I could get a better idea of how they put their lessons together.
For the older kids I decided to use some virtual textbooks that I have at home already. Many years ago I bought an entire k-12 four course curriculum with teacher guides and we have used them from time to time when we needed to work offline.
I also checked into a couple of online k-12 programs but the prices were just too high. We have also used the free Discovery K12 in the past but it has a lot of reading that I don’t think my kiddos would actually do without me there to supervise. It may be something I check into if our other idea doesn’t work out for the older kiddos.
I’m excited to see the new curriculum and I hate that I won’t be there to use it but I know I’ll put it away for little miss when she gets older. I can also review the lessons when I am home to see if there were any interesting things I want to discuss/explore further with them.
I may also dig out the Teaching CDs for the guitar and ukuleles because the kids are so very interested in them and I don’t think I had found anything for music studies. I’ll be switching out our fine art posters for art appreciation and probably have them recreate the pictures for each period… I also got a step by step drawing book for them to use.
I’m glad that the younger ones will work pretty independently… they just need someone to help with reading the directions and such. It’s the older ones that want to procrastinate and not get their work done. I guess we’ll get it all figured out when I get home though.
If any of my readers have ever been in this kind of homeschooling situation and have some tips I’d love to see them in the comments.
It’s late now and I feel like I’m just rambling away so I’m going to try to get some sleep. I had intended on trying to find the washer and dryer but I’m drained as she has been so very clingy today. I’m just glad her counts seem to be recovering so that maybe we can go home soon!
Thank you all so much for your support!