Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mom's Education Matters Too: What I'm Excited to Learn in 2014-15

OK, so you've met my "students" and our class pet: Meet the Students.
You've seen some of the places & spaces where we "do" school: Living and Learning Together.
And you've looked over our list of curriculum and textbooks for the kids: Curriculum 2014-15. (Little homeschool mom secret: I want to learn a lot of the things I've chosen for my kids. Their books are so cool. And who knows? Maybe Algebra is better the second time around. I've heard rumors to that effect.)

But it probably won't surprise you to know there are a few things I'd like to learn this year, too. Here they are in no particular order:

1. How to make blogging more than just a hobby.

Steps I've taken in this area so far: joined a Google Plus community for blog improvement and encouragement; added a few more affiliates (you can find these in my right sidebar) and started researching others; printed off some blog planners and lists; started a Pinterest board on this subject; WRITE EVERYDAY. Well, I already did write every day. But now I'm trying to write something blog related every day, even if it's just a rough draft or a list of ideas.

2. What is needed to do necessary schoolwork every day, add some babysitting, keep the house in relatively good order, keep up with laundry, meals, etc. and still have time left for my own goals. 

Steps I've taken in this area so far: more lists. Lists for the older girls. Lists for myself. Discipline to do at least one load of laundry every day, run the dishwasher every day, and so. Good news: it's going well so far. And my goals {blogging, fiction writing, etc.} are on my list too.

3. What it's like to meet with other homeschool families on a regular basis.

Steps I've taken so far: joined a homeschool co-op. Our first co-op day isn't until September, but we're signed-up, paid up, and excited. (OK, certain of us are more excited than others...) The classes I signed the kids up for are all enrichment (phys ed, art, a hands-on science lab) instead of things we absolutely have to have.

One reason for that is I already had our curriculum picked out and purchased before I knew we were going to do co-op. I didn't want to buy any more curriculum or overburden my kids with too many challenging classes. I want co-op days to be days they're excited about (also, co-op is on a Monday. No one needs too much challenge on a Monday morning, right? Least of all me.)

4. What's the best way for us to make a meal plan every week.

This is kind of related to #2. I'm incredibly blessed that my husband loves to cook. I can cook, but I don't love it the way he does. What that means is we both cook meals throughout the week, but we need to have better communication about who is cooking what, when, and which ingredients they'll be using. Because I do not like going to the pantry only to find one of my necessary ingredients was used up last Monday. (Side goal: gently reminding other family members to list depleted ingredients on the grocery list. Also related: convincing children not to put empty packages BACK IN THE PANTRY.)

Steps taken so far: yes, another list. And talking about what we both want to fix, based on the sale papers BEFORE I go to the store. (Because my husband likes to cook but he does not do the grocery shopping.)

5. What I want to learn next, in whatever books grab my attention. (I'm a "Knowledge Collector", remember?)

For several weeks this summer I was mostly reading about the First World War. That made for fascinating reading but it also burned me out a little bit. I still had a stack of reading, including some books that had been in my stack all summer, but I just wasn't motivated to read them any longer. So yesterday I returned all but a couple of books in my stack.

Which means I'm looking for more books that demand to be read. I'm particularly looking for non-fiction that is NOT war related.
Because, even though I started very young (see above picture) there are still so many things I want to learn.

So, do you have any suggestions for my "must read" stack? And what are you hoping to learn this year?
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