Saturday, September 15, 2012

This Week in Homeschool

Thalia:  "It seems like I have less homework this year, but I also have less time."

The "less homework" is due to shorter, more intense classes.  The "less time" is because we spend so much time in the car.  Which brings us to the Big Question of the Week -- how can we better utilize the time we spend getting places?

(The Small Question of the Week was whether Annabeth needed to do the long division section of Lial's Basic College Math given that she liked and understood the RightStart way of doing long division.  That one was solved by doing the section test to see if she really was proficient.)

We have somewhere to go Every Single Day.  Not all of us go someplace everyday, but someone always has to be somewhere, and it's usually at least 20 minutes away.  That adds up by the time you get there and get back home.

Plus we end up with these odds and ends of time -- "we're going to leave in about 10 minutes" translates into "well, sheesh, it really probably isn't worth trying to wash the dishes/grade the math/get out the vacuum in that amount of time".  (Although, really, is it ever worth getting out the vacuum?  It's pretty much in permanent last place on my list.)

We kicked around the idea of doing audiobooks in the car.  One issue with that is the passenger list varies so much.  At any given time there might be 1, 2 or 3 people along for the ride.  And during the course of a trip, 1 or 2 passengers might be dropped off or picked up.

Maybe load books on the iPod so we can plug it into the car's sound system, and then click to different books according to who's in the car.... Seems awfully fussy, doesn't it?

Annabeth is always a passenger, so she simply takes along her homework to work on in the car.  Thalia does a lot of the driving, and I do the rest.

I"m really grateful that we live in an area that has so many opportunities. Also, it's great that we can take advantage of so many of them -- we have a car, we have access to relatively inexpensive fuel, we can pay for all of these classes.    And, really, the amount of running around we're doing this semester is about on par with what I've seen other families mess with for years at a time.  But I'm just thinking that we could somehow do it all better.

And I will say that I'm doing fairly well in the times I'm waiting for someone to be done with something.  During ballet I might walk to Dick Blick; during voice I can head over to Ben Franklin (at least for another couple of weeks).  I started reading a novel the other morning while waiting for my tires to be rotated; I finished it during all the various classes I was waiting around on.  I got all my co-op science planning done while kids were in backstage class. And it occurs to me that these would be wonderful times to do some handwork -- I just remembered a sweater I started knitting 2 years ago.  Maybe it's time to finish some of this stuff.

So, any words of wisdom out there?  Any websites or blog posts on the subject I should be reading and pondering?

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1 comment:

M. A. R. said...

My daughter has outside classes almost every day of the week also and I actually cherish that time. I use it to read magazines or my current book, run errands, make phone calls, or just talk to my husband without little ears around...saves my sanity but on the flip side we hardly have any time at home these days to get our homeschooling done!