Thursday, August 5, 2010

How Homeschooling is Going

Angie at Bring The Rain recently posted about her homeschool plans for the year and included a linky for other people to post about their homeschooling plans. I haven't updated in a little while, so I thought now was as good a time as any.

If you're new here, I have a homeschooling tag you can click to see what I've written before. I have one child who finished Kindergarten at a Montessori school last year and another who just turned 3 and was doing pre-school at the same Montessori school. There is also a baby on the way (due around Thanksgiving), so I opted to start the school year early because I fully expect it will take time to figure out how to balance the school day with baby care. We have been doing a very laid back and lax schedule for a few weeks now.

When I looked around at homeschool curriculum, I couldn't find anything I just really loved that taught what I wanted to teach in a way that would fit with my child's learning style. So, I'm jumping in on the "pick and choose" bandwagon from the get go. Which is scary. I think every new homeschooling parent is a bit paranoid about forgetting to teach some key element.

Here's what we're using:
You'll notice it's extremely heavy on seat work. That's because my oldest LOVES worksheets. I can't keep the child away from worksheets. She is thrilled to pieces if I hand her a stack of worksheets and tell her to have at it. She loves figuring it out herself and she loves "handing it in" to me when she's done. It's just her thing.

In all honesty, we've probably really sat down to work about 3 days a week since we started. We've also taken a lot of trips recently and I turn that into a learning thing. We always find where we're going on a map (and she's already learned the handy "Never Eat Slimy Worms" acronym to remember her cardinal directions), and we take advantage of the kid's programs at National Parks. More importantly, we just walk around and look at things and do our best to answer any questions that come up, or find the answers.

We don't do every subject everyday. I set out to follow a loose schedule, but what it's really turned into is, "oh, you're on week 3 of geography and week 2 of grammar, so let's do some more grammar". I have been giving my oldest child her worksheets to do independently while I work on phonics with my youngest (we play games, mostly) or to do while we are at speech therapy with the youngest. I'm really liking that I didn't go with one boxed curriculum, because I was able to pick different grade levels for different subjects and that's been nice. I've also recently been clued in to the idea that in addition to letting kids read on their own, you should also read to them at a level above their current ability to expose them to a broader vocabulary. It makes sense to me and I plan to start this very very soon, but haven't decided just what book(s) we'll start with.

There are plenty of other random things we throw in. I try to make just about anything we do educational without making it seem like school work. Since I'm brand new at this, it's going to take a while to build my confidence and I've also really enjoyed reading other family's thoughts on homeschooling to get new ideas and resource suggestions.

Some homeschoolers that have inspired me:
Pioneer Woman
Derfwad Manor

Edited to Add: I also just found out about the Not Back-To-School Blog Hop, which will have a different topic for each week of August and this week was curriculum, so I'm linking up to that and will participate in the other topics each Monday.
Not Back to School Blog Hop


Angela said...

Great blog name! I found you on the blog hop. It looks like you have a good year planned. I've never heard of "Never Eat Slimy Worms" for cardinal directions, but I think my DD will like that. :D

The Hills said...

Thanks for the comment! I needed a mnemonic device for everything when I was a kid, so a lot of things like that are floating around in my head LOL My 5 year old has no trouble with North, East, South, West now and my 3 year old says it all the time too (not that she knows what it stands for, but never eating slimy worms seems like pretty sound advice anyway ;-)

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