As I transitioned into teaching my kids at home, I was the new student trying to get the lay of the land. The landscape was vast, dotted with an immense amount of information. Feeling overwhelmed with the task of teaching my kids was not a possibility, it was a reality. It seemed a mountain range lay before me. I had to choose one to climb. Even when I settled on a specific mountain (curriculum) to climb (Classical Conversations), I found a valley lay beneath it, filled almost to brimming with books to match every detail of the curriculum.
I saw match-ups for science for each week, nine to ten books a week…and crafts, and worksheets. Then I saw match-ups for history, 4-5 chapter books a week, and crafts, and worksheets. It seemed I could reserve two-thirds of the library and still only be “covering” two subjects with my kids.
Isn’t this whole Classical Conversations supposed to be done with a stick and some sand?
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
A little while back I got a reader question about teaching little ones to love the alphabet. I have often shared our girls’ love of the alphabet and this reader wanted to know how I got them to love it. And I really did some soul searching and thinking about it and came up with the number one resource for sharing the alphabet with our girls. It is a book. And it is a book we started reading to G (our oldest) before she was a year old. And W started hearing it from the time she was cognizant of other people’s voices (probably in the womb). G now knows most of it by heart and W is well on her way to remembering most of it, too. This ONE alphabet book is the one I would recommend to parents to introduce and get their kids excited about the alphabet from an early age.
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
Oh, how I wish I had Matthew McConaughey’s easy way and ever-so-cool outlook on life! He actually got up after winning an award this season (probably more than once) and said that phrase that typifies his persona and gets him mocked constantly. The cool as a cucumber way he says it just makes me smile.
But in real life, in this homemaker’s heart, things have not been so cool lately. I haven’t been able to go with the flow and ride the waves like a surfer. I feel like I have been drowning in certain areas, struggling in others, and barely making it in general. I get all motivated to “start fresh” and “get things done” and then I seem to fall flat in a matter of minutes or hours.