Today we conclude our 5th week of homeschooling, the time has flown by! I wanted to write an update of how it is going, what works well and what doesn’t. Over the summer I spent hours reading all the books I could find on the subject, then I found a ton of blogs, each day I was more and more convinced that homeschooling was for us. I set a date to start and as that day approached I became more and more nervous about diving in.
To make myself feel better I spent many more hours preparing all the lessons, we are using Sonlight Core 1. I went through the curriculum book and separated it into 6 week chunks and put those in smaller binders. This definitely made the lesson book less intimidating, I felt I could get handle on it, so to speak. After that I went through the first 6 weeks and read everything we were to cover, I bookmarked the pages in each book, I pulled all the worksheets out of the Horizons Math 1 book and the Explode the Code book. I made a list of Science project supplies we would need, Library books as well. I then setup a file system with a file folder for each week, as I went through everything I would add the supplies, worksheets, etc to the appropriate week.
At the time i was working a lot and was exhausted, a couple of times I questioned whether I was going overboard in preparing, I am happy to say that I was not going overboard. I am so thankful I did all that work back then before school started, it has made it all so easy! Now that we are in our 5th week, this weekend I plan to take several hours to prepare the next 6 weeks. It has worked great!
School has gone really well. Not perfect, but even better than I had expected. My biggest complaint is getting my 1st grader in to school mode. Every morning we go through a 10 minute battle to try to get him to sit at the table and be ready to start the day. He drags his feet during calendar time but after we get through that he snaps out of it and we are ready to get started. It has been a real joy to sit with him and work side-by-side. I go through each lesson with him and then he does his worksheets for math, phonics and a Handwriting Without Tears 1 workbook. We use manipulatives and flash cards a lot for math, flash cards for phonics and spelling too.
We do our reading in the school room or sometimes on my bed. We read from geography books, the Bible, Leading Little Ones to God, 2 science books, and a poetry book. We have read the Velveteen Rabbit and are finishing Charlotte’s Web today. Next week we are to start Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, however that was one we already read during the summer, my son begged me to read it then. I think we may just start another chapter from a “classics” list.
As far as my preschooler goes, well he is four let’s just start by saying that. He loves to do worksheets but there comes a time when he is ready to get up and go play, with I allow. I am not worried about it at this point, because of his age. He works out of 2 math workbooks and a Handwriting without Tears Kindergarden book. He is working on an animal alphabet, a super cute idea from Totally Tots.
The littlest can be a huge distraction after he gets bored with centers, but with my husband home lately it has not been an issue. It works so well with him around. We shall see how that plays out when he goes back to a 9-5.
We have taken 2 field trips, a local historical museum and cultural center and the botanic gardens. We are taking one this afternoon to an outdoor garden, sprawled over several acres with flowers, trees, wildlife, creeks, wooded areas. They offer Explorer Packs, they check a kit out to your family and it has educational material to use as you go through the gardens. They offer subjects like baby frogs and turtle observation, exploring the garden with your 5 senses, observing pollination, and the one we are going to check out, Leaf Lookout. The Leaf Lookout Pack sends you on a scavenger hunt for leaves of all shapes, sizes and colors, ends up in a pumpkin patch!
Here’s to week 6 and beyond! Happy Homeschooling!