Thursday, April 2, 2009

First Year of Homeschooling- Summing It Up

Things have been busy around here of late. Computer crashing, season of Lent and Easter, Spring weather, mild sickness, running, and homeschooling.

On the homeschooling front, we are on what one would call a steady course. Our "kindergarten" year will be completed in May. My son has improved greatly over this past year. We are so proud of him. Reading was a huge obstacle for him, but not anymore. He is my little reading machine. Handwriting, WOW! is all I got to say. Stepping back and concentrating on perfect letter formation was the key for him. Math, our focus has been from a "hands on" approach with some worksheets too. We have really enjoyed our read aloud books this year. We have read many. We are currently reading Saint George and the Dragon, The Tales of King Arthur and His Knights, and The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit. My son is very interested in knights if you could not already tell. We have also spent as much time outside as possible. My husband and I really want our kids to enjoy the outdoors. We want them to be kids. Much learning is done through play. Our oldest has had very little exposure to the computer. What exposure he has is educational. This is an decision we have made and are happy with it. There will be plenty of time for computers later. There has been lots of art, lots of creativity with Lego's, army men and such.
Anyway, this is a quick sum up of our first year of homeschooling. It was not as easy as I first thought, but not as hard as others said. I learned quickly that if something is not working for your child, it is okay to stop and try something else. We tweaked a lot this year, we delayed things for next year when we found our child was not quite ready, we skipped things when it was obvious he already knew, we homeschool. It is rewarding to watch your child grow and learn right before your own eyes and not through reports of others. With such individualized one on one teaching, what parent could ask for more?

Did my oldest learn all that "they" say he should in kindergarten? I looked at what a child should know at the completion of kindergarten in our state. The answer is a big YES! But, let me make myself clear, we are not using what "they" say should be taught as our guide. We do not want to sell our children short. We feel as parents, it is our right to choose what is best for our children. We will choose the style and the pace. Believe me, our children will have learned beyond what any school could teach by the time they graduate. Enough of that, I think you get my point.

We plan to school year round, so our year one will start in June. I am in the planning stages of our year one, but the end is in site. So, far we are pleased with what we have selected for year one. We are a Charlotte Mason style homeschool family. We are using a combination of Ambleside online, Simple Charlotte Mason, and readings from Charlotte Mason herself as our guide. Looking forward to year one, but don't want time to go by too fast either. Trying to hold on to these precious years as much as possible. Many blessings.


Rebecca Martin said...

What does your math journal look like? Where do you find time to plan? What have you used for handwriting? It is such a drag for me, and I am having a hard time setting obtainable goals. I know I am a stranger, but I am still curious about these things.

michelle said...

Sounds like you have had a great year, so far!

phillipsgirl said...

Homeschooling is so exciting to me! I'm glad to hear how things are going for you. Keep up the good work! We're actually starting Year 2 AO and still a few months from finishing Year 1 Math (we're using Right Start). So my daughter is probably in different grades though we say she's in first grade. We have to take a test yearly here in Florida, so I'm anxious to see where she stands! Especially not having taken many tests. (well, I should say we could do a portfolio examination, but we did that last year and I want to see how she would do on a test.)

Jenny in Ca said...

congratulations on your first year! It sounds like you have accomplished wonderful things, I think just getting a child to love to learn is a big, big, goal.

looking forward to hearing about your year 1 adventures,