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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Team-Teaching on the Home Front

When we decided to homeschool, my husband Peter and I planned to split the work more or less evenly. Since we're both self-employed, the idea made sense. And since I'm a "morning person" and he's an "evening person," we figured that he'd teach mornings while I worked and I'd teach afternoons while he worked.

The best made plans of mice and men ...

It sounded good. But within the first two weeks of Sara's school year we said "yes" to having two neighbor children come over at about 7:15 - so they could take the bus with Sara and avoid early care at school. This is actually a great plus: Sara is connecting with a same-age, same-gender neighbor, and Tom is actually becoming comfortable with peers (albeit younger peers).

But. It meant that my early morning work was really very hard to put into place. Accompanied by the fact that it's really a lot of fun (and good exercise) to go to the bottom of the steep hill with the kids and then climb up again. AND the fact that on beautiful days it's really a LOT more fun to walk to the harbor than it is to get to work.

Then, it became clear that video work (my husband's business) does not work around our schedules. Nor, of course, do all of my writing clients!


What we have learned, though, is that it's not as tough to work around one another as I thought. I'm good at "big picture" thinking, so have been putting together overall curricula; creating math worksheets and printing out printables; setting up field trips, and so forth. But Peter is great in the moment - and can help Tommy move forward on some of his ideas like "making a robot" (they made it out of cardboard and junk), engineer complicated marble mazes, and come up with innovative teaching techniques.

My idea - at least for now - is to plan each week as we go along. I do the more formal teaching (for the most part) - and Peter takes over for "science," "art," and "gym." Sometimes we switch - and then it's up to me to have specific ideas and work in place. So far, it's working out well, but it's hard to know what will happen if Peter (or I) suddenly become extremely busy.

I can only assume that we'll get very tired!

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