"...from the WHERE?" you ask??!

Yes. The Jacuzzi (tm) tub in my master bathroom that I *dreamed* of owning one day. The day is now and it is in the midst of six children. Most people that I talk to refer to this scenario...

A cruel, cruel twist of fate.

First off... I don't believe in "fate" but it sounded dramatic so I went with it. Anyway, you can see where I'm going with this, right? How would I find the time to *use* the thing if I have several children and all the things that go along with taking care of them?

But really I can use it as...

A method of testing my convictions of homeschooling.

I call my technique "Delight/Self Directed Studies". Basically, I teach them to teach themselves and now I can rate/reward my success based on how often/long I get to enjoy my pool of pure relaxation. Again with the dramatics...

I can confidently say that I rate/reward myself very well. Yup, got the wrinkled toes. Not fingers because I've got them above the water reading or playing Sudoku. And then there is the refreshing glass of ice water sitting on the edge with, maybe, a little bowl of pretzels to munch on. Is it weird to have food at the tub? Don't answer that.

Here are my suggestions for those of you who desire some serious tubbing time...

If you are beginning with small children DO NOT spend your money on curriculum. Instead, if you just *have* to spend the money to feel like your doing something for their education, invest it in living books. The ones that have stood the test of time like...

Lamplighter Books

Vision Forum is a fantastic source for G.A. Henty and Ballantyne for boys and Elsie Dinsmore for girls among others.

Don't forget that there are so many books that are available online FREE because they are public domain. Check out Project Gutenburg

I happen to have found Robinson Curriculum in which has all the suggested books on CD for you to print as you need them. They are all public domain so there are no copyright issues. I have been so pleased with all of the books referenced in this collection.

A high quality library is worth the effort. Otherwise, get a library card and save those pennies.

So really, the number one thing to do with babe is READ READ READ to the sweet thing. And then when junior(ette) starts showing an ability to recognize letters then see if it might be time for a structured reading lesson (I've had four babes start reading around four or five).

WARNING: DO NOT LET THOSE LESSONS BE LONGER THAN 15 TO 20 MINUTES PER DAY. That's all those little brains can take! And if you're reading to them they're really getting *that* many more "lessons" and they (and you) don't even realize it!!

Okay, so I know you're going to ask me, "What reading curriculum do you use?" I use Teach Your Child To Read In One Hundred Easy Lessons. I like to refer to it as the "Be Jesus Book" because you read exactly what is printed in red to your budding reader. Success with FOUR children so far. I started out with another curriculum with my oldest that cost my poor husband $350 only to dread singing the same STUPID song every day and no reading happening. Then through divine guidance I found TYCTRIOHEL for $21.95 at my local B&N. I've seen it lately for under $15 through CBD!? This book gets the job done and does not confuse little minds with conceptual grammar that makes no sense even to the English major out there. It just gets them READING.

This is where you're going to have to figure out what works for you. Because if you don't "get it" as the parent/teacher it will drive you CRAZY and you won't care if junior(ette) *ever* reads.

I just want to encourage you to not jump at the first  fancy looking package with all the cute animals and ditties and colorful art. You probably already have a lot of that in all those books your reading to junior(ette) right now anyway!

After you get them reading and making sure they are reading QUALITY books then pretty soon you will find that junior(ette) can pick up any book to find out lots of things and then one day will go looking for the book with the answer to a question they have and then...

...you realize they can operate semi-independantly and eventually you've worked yourself out of a full-time job of "table time" (YAY!!).

It's a process. It will take some time. Enjoy the process.

I really only skimmed the surface of this topic but this is the gist and will probably conjure up more questions. Whatever you do, keep it simple. Don't attempt to mimic public school methods. Don't get caught up in "early" anything. And don't FREAK out if you think it's not happening soon/fast enough.

If you find the right method that works for your home then you will, too, be Homeschooling From The Hot Tub.