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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

So, here we are at the several-weeks-into-the-school-year point, and things are going well. I KNOW! Wonderful, in’nt it?

The older boys have finally stepped over to the dark side. They actually believe that they can do the work set before them. On top of that, when I assign a task, they actually do it!

I’m talking reading articles and stories, summarizing them verbally, completing math assignments, helping little brothers with their phonics lessons…we even have done two art lessons together. Oh, and today we listened to some silly symphonies and they danced wildly around the living room with sticks, pretending to be conductors. It’s entirely possible that they’re [gasp] enjoying themselves on a regular basis.

The younger boys are still a bit unsure of themselves from time to time, but I’ve focused on a very regular routine with them. We do a couple of things right after breakfast (we still work at the dining table, so they’re already in place) and then they’re done until lunch, when the process repeats. For “morning school” we do printing, half of math, grammar (3 times a week), and phonics. Math ends with a wild version of the Hokey Pokey since we’re learning left and right, and phonics is often supervised by older brothers. They have the choice of working with me or brothers. “Afternoon school” is when we finish math, do either history or science, and read stories together.

They’ve been fairly confident from day to day. Captain Earthquake has been experimenting with pouting and temper at the drop of a hat, but he was receptive when I taught him to take deep breaths when angry. Today he made it past one breath and started laughing.

Usually by this time in the school year I’m ready to rip my hair out after days of trying to convince boys that yes they can read, yes they can understand the story, yes they can learn. So far, so good. Will things break down in the future? They might. I don’t know. For today, things are good.

We’ll just coast along on that.

Earnest Parenting: advice for homeschooling parents.