The concept of the one-room schoolhouse must, as a necessity, be a reality in our home. This year we are homeschooling a 1st grader and a pre-k kid, while trying to keep a busy and quick learning almost 2-year-old. Well, we are homeschooling in between nursing the baby and dealing with tantrums and naps and meals (and, and, and). And there are days that go incredibly well and days where nothing happens of seeming importance.
These are the days when I have to take the long view of the education of our children.
I take a deep breath (or a fresh cup of coffee) and remind myself we have a LOT of days in which to educate and train our little ones. I also remind myself that the older two, for better or worse, are test cases. Hopefully, I have much more figured out once the younger two are walking through the stages we are going through today with the older. I think: “We can make mistakes. We can take breaks. We will have another chance to do these things.”
We finally got started with homeschool a little over a week ago and it is going ___.
Yes, I didn’t include an adverb at the end of that sentence because, I am trying my best to wait 6 weeks to evaluate how it is going! I will let you know when we get through our first 6 weeks!
But I thought I would share the thinking behind our homeschool kindergarten choices for G (5-years-old as of June 2016). I know that every family is different and each child is unique. So, I am just putting out there our choices for our girl. And a little bit of the reasoning behind the choices. You will see the subjects are planning to cover, followed by my goal for the year and the plan for teaching/learning it. Continue Reading
Thinking of others is not something that comes natural to us. We tend to be pretty self-focused. This is proven true by examining little ones. They have to learn empathy. They have to learn to relate to others with kindness and self-lessness. And they have to be taught to be caring.
I can think of almost no other place where this self-focus can be seen in kids than when it comes time to give a gift.
You know the drill:
You walk into Target and you lay out the game plan for your shopping trip: purchase a gift for Johnnny’s birthday.
Immediately upon entering the toy aisle, your little one starts shopping. But not for Johnny.
Suddenly she finds toys she NEEDS! RIGHT NOW!
She forgets the purpose of the shopping trip. So she needs a little refocus.
Once you get her all refocused on the purpose of the trip to Target, she starts to have her own ideas for what Johnny might want. And what Johnny might want looks eerily like what she might want. I assure you, sweet girl, that Johnny does not want a pretty princess dress for his birthday. Continue Reading
You may have read my initial post on the decision-making process we are currently going through to determine if we are going to traditionally school or home school our oldest child. As I stated in that post, this topic and thought process runs deep and there are many things to consider. So here is the next thing I have in mind as I make the decision to home school or to send our daughter to traditional school: In many ways homeschooling is not an option. We are our children’s first (and I would argue, primary) teachers whether we recognize it or not.
My kids are watching me. Every day they are watching me.
I can choose to think this is creepy (and I do), but I cannot change it.
They are observing how I behave, what I say, how I interact with other people, how I spend my time. And they are creating their perspective of the world and how it works based on my behavior. They are doing it with my husband, too. So they are already learning in the school of life that we established the moment we brought them into our home.
Thus My husband and I are, by default, our kids first teachers. Continue Reading
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I can still remember a time I lied to my Dad. It was a flat-out bold-faced lie. And it was (as all lies are) pointless. I was spending the night at his new apartment and he asked me if I had brushed my teeth. I told him I had.
I had not.
And he found out.
It wasn’t hard. He walked into the bathroom and checked to see if my toothbrush was wet.
I can’t really remember the consequence for lying to him other than having to actually brush my teeth. Not so bad.
But the lasting impact of that lie is obvious to me. And it was an indication to me that tooth brushing was a habit I didn’t really care for.
I am trying to make sure our kids don’t dislike tooth-brushing as much as I did. So we are starting early with the habit. And so far, they are the ones who remind us to do this daily habit!
I have found that if I want to start a habit in our home (for myself or my kids), I need to get organized to make it happen. I think of it as organizing with purpose.
And since we are trying to create the healthy habit of tooth-brushing with our kids, I came up with a super simple way to organize their oral hygiene supplies to encourage them to keep up the habit. Continue Reading
If there is anything we as a family collect, it is books. We are all interested in words on pages (even in the age of tablets and e-readers). For me, there is just something so soothing about a row of books, neatly lined up on a shelf. The potential for entertainment in just one book shelf seems almost limitless. The idea of opening a book and being transported to a new place, a new world, a new mindset is just so appealing!
Thankfully, we have passed this love of words on pages to our kids. Our girls love books! We are slowly working our way into a large collection of picture books for our kids. I got to thinking about our collection and realized there are definite patterns: favorite authors, favorite subjects, and well-loved classics we just could not do without. I thought it would be fun to share with you what I consider to be collections of books worthy of “collect them ALL” status. Continue Reading