Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feelings of Guilt

Today started as any normal day and ended up taking a huge detour from my to-do list. C didn't wake up today until 3pm, so I had pretty much all day to get stuff done. It has been frustrating me that I cannot do proper centers with H and B. Having taught Kindergarten for five years in a brick and mortar school, I find myself feeling guilty that my kids are going to miss out on the 'traditional' kindergarten experience. I know the benefits of homeschooling FAR outweigh any experience they may have going to 'regular' school. However, I still find myself always trying to find that balance. The problem is finding a way to keep C out of the centers he's not ready for and the fact that my husband wants school stuff to stay in the school room. Don't get me wrong, I'm eternally grateful that I have a room designated just for school. But it's just not big enough to set up play centers. So, I have come up with a system that I think will work. It will require me to set up each morning and put it all back in the school room each afternoon, but I think it's worth it.

Legos went in the playpen to keep C out and away from them. On the table in the background (in front of the fish tank) I put our field guides for easy access to H for whenever she wants to bird-watch.

Playdoh at the table.

 Blocks in the corner. By the end of the day they had brought out their My Little Ponies and Polly Pockets to build castles and stables.

Art in the other corner.

Puzzles on the tool chest. As you can see H had to try them all out and revisited each center at least twice. B was content to just build with Legos most of the day.

Other play centers will be rotated in as they lose interest in the current ones. I have an art easel/chalkboard to add and bins that I have turned into sand/water tables.
Work centers will remain in the school room where I can keep an eye on them and help if needed.

So even though I didn't even touch my to-do list and my kitchen is full of dirty dishes, I feel as though I accomplished a lot today and have eased the feelings of guilt that loom over my school day.


  1. I love centers/learning stations! What I discovered worked for us was to have 5 centers, but only do 1 per day. We would do 'school' then the activity (center) of the day. It helped with the chaos of trying to keep up, and got rid of the guilt of feeling like I was not getting it all done. =)
    btw...your house is much too clean to prove you have several little people in your house ;^)
    just kidding of course, & I do love the pics! Thanks for sharing your ideas! Playpen! wish I had thought of that long ago!

  2. Wish I could give you a big spoonful of Guilt-be-Gone! I used to visit a lot of schools with my business and remember some feelings of short-changing my children. Then I realized that the one thing all the schools had in common when I spoke with the directors was their striving for a "family" atmosphere and the teachers seeking to put "real life" into the classroom.

    One school that cost $15,000 a year per student even made the boast that "an older student could be seen helping a younger student blow his nose." Hah, got that at home :)