Wednesday, May 13, 2009

As Year One Approaches

As the beginning of year one approaches, many thoughts are going through my mind. May I share?

First, I was wondering how best to start. Should we ease into year one with first focusing on our readings, narrations, phonics, copywork, and math? Then little by little add the beautiful extras? Or should we jump into year one with both feet and include everything? You see, our "kindergarten" was relaxed, not lacking, but relaxed. I have this fear that by jumping in and including everything at the start, might be overwhelming for my son and for me. Am I selling my son short? Possibly. I know children can accomplish and comprehend much more than we give them credit for. Still, with that being said, not sure of the best path. I am leaning towards a gentle beginning.

Another thought going through my mind is how best to approach our readings. By this I mean, how can the readings and narrations be more memorable for my son? I have thought of doing a simple notebook for each of the readings. An example of a notebook would be one for World/British history. As my son narrates, I would write it down exactly as he verbalizes. Afterwards, I would type it up, again exactly as he narrated and paste it into the notebook. My son would then draw a picture of the weekly reading and that would be pasted into the notebook on the opposite page of the narration. I have seen this done on other blogs and it looks simple and beautiful. Most importantly I know my son would love looking at his work in a hardbound book and will help with retention.

Other thoughts are geared towards my 2 1/2 yr old twins. How can I include them or keep them busy? I do not want to "school" them. I want them to play, play, play. We will do some crafty things like painting, coloring, messy art, but for the most part I want them outside enjoying nature. Most of my oldest learning will happen during the twins nap, but I am hoping to do some read alouds together. I still have much praying with this thought. I don't want exclude them. Again, I am probably over thinking this too.

Anyway, year one is only a few weeks away. June 1st in fact. We have decided as a family to school year round and are happy with this decision. I am both excited and nervous.

I pray for guidance, patience, and a loving gentle heart. Thank you for listening while I shared just a few of my many thoughts. Any advice is welcomed.

Many blessings.


Bookworm said...

Hi there!

I have enjoyed reading your blog the past few days.

I would say start the year with the basics and add the beautiful extras when you start getting your "basics" routine set. Your son is still so young. But, I do know what you mean about not wanting to sell him short. They are capable of so much, and as parents we have to discern what they're ready for an when---what's going to truly be beneficial for them (short and long term). We did some amazing things when my oldest son was 5-6 years old. He's 8 1/2 now and doesnt remember so much of it. Yet I have a 6 year old now that seems to learn by osmosis! I tend to think he'll remember more. I dont know.

As homeschool parents we know our children better than anyone else. And we know them very very well. It's such a blessing.

Just this morning I gave my boys their own copy of our new schedule and we discussed a few things about it. Then we prayed and told God that we wanted to please Him with how we use our time. We want to be efficient and productive. The opportunity to homeschool is such an amazing blessing and we want to appreciate this time He's given us and use it wisely. The scripture verse we prayed was Psalm 31:14-15, "I trust in you O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your Hand." It was a wonderful time and I am so happy we did it. It just sort of happened.

I look forward to hearing how you work it all out. I know you'll do what's best.

We too homeschool year round. Always have. It's wonderful for so many reasons!

Thanks for sharing!

phillipsgirl said...

I agree that the gentle start is best. I'm sure he could handle a full-on start, but I don't know if we mother's can!

It is hard to know what to do with the littles. I've gotten into a bad habit of letting mine watch TV while I school my oldest (no more naps, unfortunately!) and I've decided to quit that. They've just been playing lately. They can get annoying and boisterous, but I can send them to their room and they play in there just fine.

We also school year round and I love it! We can take a break whenever we want during the year without feeling pressure. God bless in your journey! Very exciting!