Monday, September 12, 2011

Our Homeschool is Now Open!

Ever since my first child turned two I have been excited about homeschooling.  Before then I didn't really think I could do it.  In fact, I used to joke with my husband saying that he would teach them, and I would be the lunch lady and arts and crafts teacher.  I thought that was all I would be capable to handling, but I didn't want that to be true.

And so I began to do a few things.  I prayed.  I asked other homeschooling parents and children about homeschooling.  I asked my sister-in-law, who I think is really awesome by the way.  She lent me a book called, When You Rise Up; A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling, by R.C. Sproul Jr, and what I read within really made me realize that I could do it!  Even though I had a couple of years until I was actually going to begin to officially teach at home, I had a good start at navigating through the process of getting ready. 

A few homeschooling conferences later, I am really very excited to begin this journey.  I have learned so much and look forward to learning more each year.  I am excited to learn with my children, as well.  I am excited to be able to teach my children Truth and help them apply Truth to their lives.

While I will post much more to come about what has become my approach to our homeschool long-term, I am only going to focus on what we are doing now for this post.

Last week I began preschool with my 4 year old.  She is very excited and very ready to start learning more, and asked me for weeks how much longer she had to wait to start school.  Being that she has known much of what is taught in most preschools for a while (She's pretty smart), we are building on what she already knows and then adding to it.  I am amazed at how well she has already done.  She has been so cute during our school time, which is only about 30 minutes of focused time and then some games and activities to help reinforce what we went over.  In fact, she calls me "Teacher," during school time.  Adorable.

So what are we doing?

For the foundation of our preschool we are using Learn Your Letters... Learn to Serve by Laura Coppinger over at Heavenly Homemakers.  I am really enjoying this curriculum!  Through it she is learning more about the alphabet, but also the beginning of phonics, to pray for people, to memorize scripture, to serve others through activities such as baking banana bread for Bonnie during "B" week.

We are also starting to learn Spanish.  Right now we will be working on basics, but eventually I would like to incorporate the La Clase Divertada curiculum into our homeschooling.  I am really looking forward to learning along with my children.  I love languages!

I have some listening activities and other crafts and fun projects to incorporate with this.  Also I am going to be going further into numbers with her by cooking and baking with her.  I'm going to purchase Teaching Your Kids to Cook, also by Laura Coppinger.  I think I'll learn a thing or two in this department, as well!

I have been wanting to teach my kids more in the kitchen, but most of the time I am in a hurry getting something ready to be eaten soon.  I think this resource will really help me to focus on slowing down and teaching my children.  Plus it will be fun!

In January, I will begin violin as part of her schooling.  I found this really great violin curriculum, The Violin Book, that I am actually using to teach myself to play violin, as well!  It is four to five years worth of curriculum, so it will serve us for a while.  My husband and I love music, and I believe that even if our children decide to pick up another instrument other than violin, this start will be helpful to them.  Another reason I chose violin is pretty practical - a violin is small and easy to store, transport, etc.

All of the resources I mentioned I will preserve to be used again and again for how ever many children the Lord blesses us with as they go through preschool, as well.

We also do quite a bit of reading during the day.  We believe reading aloud will benefit our children greatly.  We read Christian devotionals, Bible stories, age-appropriate literature and story books, and even some coloring books that have words in them.  My daughter always asks me to read what is on the page before she begins coloring. 

As for now we are off to a great start.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a home educator, and I look forward to the many blessings that will follow as a result...

1 comment:

Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

How exciting! I just realized that I was in the exact same place as you years ago. E. was 4, A. was still a baby, and I was pregnant with Q. Small world. :)

You will have to let me know what you think of the Teach your Children to Cook book. I am trying to get better about involving them in the kitchen now that there are so many of them. I am always tempted to shoo them away! I find that it is always a chance for me to bond with Q., though, when I remember to do it.

I wish you were closer. It'd be so fun to have "recess" together. :)