Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Which way to go? Choosing Curriculum

At the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the first things that I get asked when I tell someone that I am going to be homeschooling our children for the first time this year is "Where do you find books?  Are there books?".   The look of concern is sweet.

Little did I know when entering this new world HOW MANY BOOKS THERE ARE!  It is truly overwhelming!

I finally had to come to the point that there is no "bad" curriculum for our kids.  There may be some that we won't like as much but it won't set my kids backwards.

I also came to the decision that if it doesn't work for us then we will try something different....maybe even midyear.  MAYBE even a couple of weeks in.

We are three days in and yes we are all adjusting.  There are moments that I am loving  -  like when we sit on our couch and read from one of our books - and there are moments I am not  - like when one of the kids tells me that they don't want to do their assignment.

I still feel like I am guessing at things.  Taking stabs in that proverbial darkness.  Seeing what is working for us.....

But no matter what.... I know that this is the journey that God has us on.  It isn't a decision that was made flippantly by my husband and I.  It was a slow moving of the Holy Spirit telling us step by step...."This is what I want you to do for your family".

So we are obeying.

I am still excited about our Curriculum choices.  Here they are:  remember J is in 3rd and M is in 1st.

Math = Math-U-See  It is all about mastery of skills, uses a DVD to teach the kids and has blocks to work with.  So far they seem to like this one.  I like that it has blocks which is helpful for Maggie to be able to see Math with her eyes.  J and M are on their own levels.  J is on Multiplication (Gamma) and M is on addition (Alpha)

Science - Answers in Gensis  We are doing the Life Sciences and the kids chose to start with the Human Body.  We are doing this one together.

Bible - Is another Answers in Genesis book.  We are doing this one together as well.

History - The Mystery of History  I am loving this one already - there is a LOT to it but I think that we going to enjoy it.

Language Arts  Total Language Plus  is what J is using.  I think that he is enjoying it.  The concept is that the child reads a book and from that book they learn spelling, vocabulary, grammar and reading/writing skills.  I think that he is starting to like it a lot.

For M - I am using a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  I have an old thrown out 1st grade curriculum from a public school that I am using some of the workbooks from.  She read all of the reading books from it last school year.  So we are using books that we have here at the house and from the library to supplement.  I figure it is 1st grade....I should know this stuff anyway, shouldn't I?

We will also be a part of the local homeschool coop that meets 2 times a month.

So that is what we are doing.

I don't feel very confident in what I am doing.  But I feel pretty confident in what God is doing!  It is nice to know that you are following God's lead.  FAITH means living BIG! :)

Linked up to Women Living Well

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Let the madness begin!

No, I haven't changed my mind.  wink

In fact we started yesterday.

Can I tell you that it didn't go as smoothly as I hoped?  There were some rough patches.  Like I didn't make sure that the area was clutter free.  There was still a "fort" in one part of the room.  So we had to pause school and get things cleaned up.  We are still learning as we go what is working for us and what we want to do differently.

Jared is having a hard time with being challenged in his school work.  He is so used to FLYING thru it all in a short period of time and having free time in the classroom.  So, actually having something that isn't what he considers to be "review" is new for him.

Maggie is enjoying doing her work.  She doesn't like doing History, Science or Bible right now and I think that part of it is that it is much harder for her to listen to me reading about subjects that are just harder for her to HEAR.  They use different words than are normally used in the house and it just takes so much more effort for her to follow along.  So it sometimes takes me stopping and making sure she is understanding or using other words or letting her follow along in the book - and many times all of those things at the same time.

Yes, we are starting about 2 weeks ahead of the public schools around us.  Why?  Because I still live in a land of day long MRIs and appointments that take us to Riley or other places - of course they aren't as frequent.  And because I want to know that if we want to take 4 weeks off at Christmas we could.  Not that I am thinking that we will, ... but we could ... if we wanted to.  (smile)

Both of the kids are great readers.  They are devouring books and that is fun to see!  Adding to our personal library is so much fun and the kids enjoy seeing what I find at garage sales! (smile)

Overall tho, I am enjoying it.  I feel tired at the end of the afternoon, tho.  I am being a much more hands on mom but in a different way.  I feel like we are becoming more intentional and purposeful.  Those will be words that I write a whole separate post about in the near future.  This journey that God has our family on is adventurous and difficult and the benefits will hopefully be hearts for Jesus.