Making the Transition to Formal Lessons

What can a mother do to prepare her child for formal lessons? 

"Every scholar of six years old and upwards should study with 'delight' his own, living, books on every subject in a pretty wide curriculum." (School Education)

(1:12 Amy) We are about six weeks into our homeschooling, and it has been going really well! I've been so excited for this, looking forward to it for a long time, and it has been really sweet. How are those going from your perspective?

(1:58 Leah:)It's going really well! My daughter loves it.  She just loves learning, and from my perspective that's the most important thing. She is the ideal student who wants to do more and more. She wants homework!

(3:15  Amy) I didn't want our transition to formal lesson to feel very jarring. I knew it was going to be more for us to do each day.  

(3:44 Leah) I think one of the best things that we did was to have a morning basket, which was a part of our routine for probably two years before. All of my kids, not just my oldest, knew that this was expected of them. But, we already had established a learning culture in our home. That said, we prepared for homeschool when our home was literally torn up! So, we were all out of routine when we began in September. So let that be hope to those of you who are homeschooling with little preparation! 

(5:25 Amy) I knew we were going to be starting formal lessons in January, and it is helpful to know and get things organized. We paired down our mornings because I knew we wouldn't be able to have commitments that got us out of the house so early in the morning. We're not spending more than an hour and a half on formal lessons, but our days feel so full! 

(7:48 Leah) Nature study is the hardest thing for us to include now that we're doing formal lessons. 

(8:40 Amy) The first few weeks, we finished by 11 or 12:00, and we didn't know what to do with the rest of our days. Now I use finishing lessons as our cue to go outside. 

(9:37 Amy) We are following Ambleside Online, and there was a lot that I needed to get ready. I had some decisions to make in order to flesh out the curriculum. I pored over the website because there are so many pieces to a broad and rich education. 

(10:57 Leah) I put together our own homeschool curriculum. I'm a rebel! I wanted to do what I thought was best for my own child, and not what someone else is telling me to do. I do use some materials from Simply Charlotte Mason, and referred to Ambleside Online for free reads. I consulted Home Education and pieced together a curriculum solely from her first volume. My planning method was a little backward. 

(13:40 Amy)  It's nice to hold the curriculum loosely so we can follow interests where it's appropriate. 

(14:27 Amy) Our first day of school, I was a little emotional. 

(16:13 Leah) We were living in Grandma's basement when we started formal lessons! But it went well despite the circumstances. At the end of the day, my daughter wrote me a note and said, "I am so happy that you are my teacher." 

(18:14 Leah) I think the biggest thing that helped prepare us was to work on habits that would eventually help with formal lessons. 

(20:20 Amy) Having the habit of morning time helps with that, too. 

(22:55 Amy) I think that coming into it, it's really important not to let the curriculum choice overshadow the philosophy. 

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