Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thoughts On Homeschooling

Today, we began Week 1 of our homeschooling year.  I'm not very creative with making "the first day" of school special, we just simply, begin.  As usual, it did not go the way I envisioned it in my mind, but we did it.

For our family, homeschooling is not a religious conviction, rebellious action, or political statement.  I was a teacher at the private school level for about 6 years, so I am very comfortable teaching.  We tried public school for 1 year, and, at the time, it did not work for one of my children.  My husband and I simply feel that our children will do better learning at home, and at our Catholic Montessori center nearby.  Socialization???  What does that mean?  Do they have friends?  Do they ever leave the house?  Are they street smart?  Are they afraid of the outside world?  My answer to the socialization question is that it is simply a non-issue where we live.  We are blessed to live in an area with a gazillion awesome families and friends.  We never feel alone. 

Let's begin with mathematics...

These are our math books for the year.  I absolutely LOVE this curriculum! 

This is my most favorite math manipulative used in Right Start.  See the beads entered?  The child "sees" that 6 is 5 and 1!  This AL Abacus is fantastic.  So far we have done addition, subtraction, and multiplication on this nifty little tool.  We look for patterns and even learn to understand trading.  I wish I learned mathematics with an abacus!

Now here is my second favorite tool for teaching mathematics.  A simple dry erase board.  I don't have a big chalk board in our homeschooling room, so this does the trick.  My kids really enjoy using it too.  Writing math facts is not a chore with this little bugger!

This picture reminds me that I need to do something about the lack of proper lighting.  :-)

Now for language arts! 
Frontline Phonics (not pictured) - Preschool learning to read
Sound Beginnings - K through 1st Grade reading, writing, & spelling
Writing With Ease - 2nd through 4th Grade writing & grammar
The Writing Road to Reading - 2nd on up spelling & phonics

For history, I use Laura Berquist's recommendations in her Mother of Divine Grace curriculum.  As much as I would LOVE to do Latin this year, I need to be realistic.  All my children are attending Montessori school part time, so I plan to only focus on math and language this year.  Latin can come another year.  All the other subjects will be covered at Montessori.

I always enjoy talking about different homeschooling programs others use.  I could go on and on talking about books and programs.  It's that teacher in me, I suppose.  Now if I can just work on having a bit more patience with my kids, all will be peachy.  I tend to expect too much from them.

So as we end our first official day of school, I pray for patience and understanding.  If I need to slow down, I pray for the grace to do it, and not be a slave to my own schedule.  Our little Happy Apple School is not picture perfect, but I am okay with that.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck to you as a new year begins. Your far more patient that you give yourself credit for, check out this blog for more homeschooling inspiration, I think you'll really like Anna!

    Have a lovely day!