We made the decision to homeschool awhile ago, but I never really thought about when we would officially start. I figured he would be in public school when he turned 5, so we would start sometime around then. I had decided that after he turned 4 we would probably start that year in August when the regular school year began for everyone else here. We have already worked on letters, numbers, colors, etc just for fun, but nothing intense or structured. I started looking into homeschool curriculums and felt completely overwhelmed with all the choices. I have many friends who homeschool their kids and they have different curriculums they use, but I didn't want to pick something just because someone else was using it. I wanted to get something that would match my teaching style, keep my son engaged, and cover the state standards for what a child should know in each grade of school. A tall order for someone who has zero experience with homeschool curriculum. As an elementary teacher for 5 years before staying home with my kids I'm familiar with curriculum choices, but still felt in over my head without having been to a curriculum fair where I could get my hands on materials. As I was considering all these things a good friend of mine, who also homeschools, offered me a couple of different kindergarten curriculums. This happened just as I had started my research, and was one of the ones I had been looking into. I happily (and gratefully) accepted it! I needed to order the student materials, but had the teacher guide and entire curriculum plan for a year. I still wasn't going to start it right away, but as I looked through it I thought...my son can do this. So, we began our journey into homeschool this week. And he LOVED it. We are taking it slow. If he doesn't feel like doing it one day, then we won't do it that day. Like I said he wouldn't even be starting kindergarten in pubilc school until he was almost 5 1/2 (2 years from now) because of where his birthday falls, so we don't need to be in a hurry. But I have a feeling we won't be taking many days off. He loves to learn, and hasn't complained once about anything we've done. He even gave me a huge hug when I told him he was going to start school and said, "Thank you mom! Thank you for doing school with me!" I know it's only been a week, and we just in the introduction stages but I'm having a great time too. It's nice to have a routine during the day, and get back to teaching. I guess I really have missed it since I've been home. Here are a few pictures of how we spent our week.
Getting ready to start our day of learning!
Getting ready to start our day of learning!
Here we played a game where I showed him capital and lower case letters. If he knew it, he got to keep the card. If he didn't, I got to keep it. That's his pile and my pile. Oh, you only see one pile there? That's because I didn't get any.
Each day we focused on a number that corresponded with a day in the creation story. For example on the 3rd day God made the trees and plants. After he learned about the number he would look for it in the grocery store ads and circle that day's number.
He wanted to cut out all of his numbers by himself. He does pretty well. Still needs a little help on some of the more detailed cutting, but overall not bad!
As part of the letter recognition the curriculum includes this ABC chart. I would tell him a letter and he would cover it with his coin. It's nice to start school out with activities he can be successful doing. He liked this game, especially when we found the first letters of the names of all his friends.
This is a game we played on the last day of school this week. He would pick a card out with a number on it. Then count out that many cheerios. He did great!
He counted all the numbers we learned this week. (We doubled up on numbers a couple days. He wanted to keep going, so we did!)
And for those of you wondering what baby brother has been doing while we're in school. Today I put him in his crib with some books and toys. When we went in to check on him this is what we found. Long week of school for all of us! :)
I'm so thankful I have this opportunity to stay home with my kids and teach them as well. I know it won't always be easy, but I look forward to watching my children learn and grow. I'm already so proud of both my boys. We'll all have lots to learn as we go; from choosing the right curriculum, to sticking with it and not giving up! But I know with God's help we can figure it all out!