Friday, May 7, 2010

Homeschooling - Year One Down!

My husband and I are part of that crazy fringe group known as homeschoolers.  We love it.

August 24, 2009 we started our first year of homeschooling.  Our son was only 3, but he was extremely driven and curious about the world.  A very quick learner, with an ABUNDANCE of energy, I found it very challenging to shape and lead this little man.  We knew we had to teach him to use his many wiles for good, and not evil.  You think I jest.

Here is our "School Photo" for the year.  Look at that smile. :)

We wanted a good foundation of the basics.  So, we laid out our goals, and some tools we thought would work and began our new journey.

The Alphabet, Counting, Colors, Shapes, as well as Healthy life habits, manners, hygiene and chores were all included in our plans.

It was a learning experience for all of us.

The tools I found most useful....

Managers of Their Homes: This helped me list out EVERYTHING I wanted to do, and see that it was INDEED possible!  BY using a schedule I really could do the housework, the schooling, AND watch a tv show..AND TAKE A NAP!  Wow.  What a joy to read and to live.  Look, I even have time to keep up this blog.

Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills, Preschool: Isaiah LOVES this book.  And... so do I.  Everything a preschooler should be learning, all in one book.

Leap Frog Learning Videos: Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, Code Word Factory, Math Circus and Lets Go To School. My son learned his ABC's by sight, in 1 week watching Letter Factory.  I was able to get these through Netflix, LOVED THEM and immediately got my own copies.  They have a new one out too, Math Adventures to the Moon.  I am looking forward to checking it out!

I added to this frequent walks to the park, bus rides to the library, play dates and a trip to the zoo and a field trip at Petco.  These outings were memorable, educational and enjoyed by all.

Now that gardening season has started (YEAH!) I just don't have the time every day to devote to so much schooling.  So we are taking a Garden Break.  We'll start summer school in June using Summer Bridge Activities: Preschool to Kindergarten.  And then we'll have a Harvest Break before we start in the fall.

For our records my husband and I discussed different methods of testing Isaiah.  We decided to make a video of him presenting what he has learned.  The program on my computer has been glitchy and not working.... but as I type this blog I have JUST NOW remembered that my camera records videos quite well.  Soooooooo... maybe I will do that today!

For those considering homeschooling... try it.  You and your children will love it.

For those not considering homeschooling, I beg you to think about it.  The benefits to your children, and to your family are incalculable.  It does not take much searching nationwide or even in my own town's paper, to find MANY reasons my children should not be in public school.  Drugs, violence, poor test scores, and even more insidious, VERY POOR association are detrimental to young learning minds.

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