I've officially started the homeschooling journey! While I myself was not home schooled, after my experience teaching at a homeschool co-op in California over 10 years ago, I knew that's what I wanted to do with my own children some day. I actually love the model of part-time at home, part-time at a school; a beautiful blending of both worlds for me. But, believe it or not, I have felt overwhelmed with starting the process. The amount of resources available is overwhelming, which is both a good and bad thing for me. But, after some research and talking with other moms, I've come up with a game plan for this year. I'm sure as we go along, I'll be gathering info for Kindergarten next year, but we have time before we are doing full-time homeschooling. I welcome this year to test the waters!
Maggie is doing another year of Pre-K and I am also hoping to have focused time for Curren to work on ABC's, numbers, sorting, and other various activities, least of which include time to work on sitting still and listening skills, even if it's for 5-10 minutes. For some children, I do not think these skills come naturally when it comes to learning. I can tell that Maggie is a more compliant child and said skills have been easier for her. My sweet boy on the other hand has a much more difficult time with said skills, so I'm welcoming the opportunity this year to use Maggie's schooling time (which we are doing 2-4x a week, I haven't quite figured out if I'm going to expand beyond only Tuesdays and Thursdays) to work with Curren as well.
For Language Arts and Math, I plan to use the Uppercase Letters, Lowercase Letters, and My First Book of Numbers 1-30 from Kumon. I love their approach of teaching how to write the ABC's, the colorful pages and texture (thick, good quality paper), and the simplicity of each lesson, taking no more than a couple of minutes per page. Maggie has already worked through some of these books in the past year, My First Book of Cutting and My First Book of Coloring, both of which I attribute to the fact that she colored very well by age 3 1/2 and can cut well now. In short, I think you can do no wrong with Kumon. And an added bonus is they are reasonably priced.
For Bible, we will be reading The Jesus Storybook Bible continuously, memorizing a verse each week, working through Catechsims, incorporating lessons from Desiring God's The ABC's of God, and also reading through a fantastic ABC book of key players in early church history, The Church History ABC's.
For Science, I plan to use the kit Lindsay (see below) recommends available on Amazon: Primary Science Set and Big Bag of Science. I'm loving the idea of this being a daddy and Maggie activity once a week.
I found Lindsay's post on her schedule and curriculum choices for her homeschool day extremely helpful and plan to utilize much of what she recommends (I didn't list various items on my blog, because she listed them on hers). If you don't follow "Passionate Homemaking" I cannot recommend this wonderful site enough. It's one of my top 3 favorite blogs.
I plan to include poetry, other math actives besides the workbook mentioned above, history, cooking together, service projects, team teaching 1x a month with a couple friends on campus, and 1x a month field trips with said friends.
We are off to a good start with our homeschooling year, wrapping up our time together on Tuesday with a science experiment I have wanted to do with Mags for awhile. It was actually a rather impromptu moment I seized to have her pretend to be a Paleontologist (what she wants to be when she grows up) and excavate the ice (grated, I hid no bones in it, but it was still fun for her). She asked questions, tried a varied of tools to "dig" out the toys, and was very patient with the process. It's fun how sometimes the moment/activities that you think are just "OK," not stellar, turn out to be the highlight of the day!