Whether we’re going to enroll George in a Charter School home study program or go full-on homeschooling, we would need this little nook in our house anyway, so yesterday we took it on! Scott helped me clear away the breakfast tables, chairs and boxes, I did some sweeping, mopping and then all that was left was to design it with what we had around the house! Thank you Montessori (teaching style/method), I had small chairs, table and shelves thanks to you! The breakfast area was the brightest and warmest area of our home, so I thought it would be a good pick.
The whole reason we got into this great frenzie and cleaning/organizing craze is #1… Scott and I made a New Year’s resolution together to clean and organize the house (eh-hem, still a mess, but we’re working on it!), and #2, I found my dream curriculum called My Father’s World!!! It’s a combination of Charlotte Mason, Classical Education and Unit Studies. These terms will probably mean nothing to most people, but they’re teaching styles, and these 3 are incredible and my three favorite combined into one! Not only that, it’s heavily Christian based, which means George will learn good morals and get a solid foundation of the Bible. I don’t care for their Bible translation choice, but we will just use NKJ version anyway. George is also advancing in math so I thought we’d better get our jig going on math as well. He burst out at the dinner table the other night that 10 +10 = 20, and can count to 20, and he has been doing basic math addition and subtraction with real world math as well. A real example of real world math that happened the other day was Emilie bringing an extra plate to the table, telling George the matter and asking what 5 - 1 equals. He answered it quickly with a grin that it was four. Todo math app was an awesome tool to get him this far and has made math really fun and easy for him. Todo math will grow with him through 2nd grade too.
We’ll be starting My Father’s World program called Voyage of Discovery, and starting Singapore Math ahead of time and see how George does with it (it generally starts at second grade with My Father’s World) My Father’s World uses real world math for preschool through 1st grade, but George really has a basic understanding of math, so I’m pioneering on and making a jump. If George isn’t ready, we’ll just save it for later.
With reading, I’ve been holding back on George since learning to read requires writing with the phonogram program we have, and he’s just starting to get his pen/pencil finger. We’ve been working on our phonograms though, and he knows all the basic 32 sounds of letters A-Z.
For socializing, I’ve been very worried. We’re sort of secluded up here socially with weak play groups and not very many kids in our neighborhood. Sort of the same situation I was faced with as a kid growing up on a boat. The biggest and only socialization it seems is school. So it’s either 8 straight hours of socialization at school… or none? I’m not in favor of either extreme. Many homeschoolers in the city are not faced with such extremes, and get very diversified socialization with homeschooling, but I have to be a little more thoughtful about it up here since there don’t seem to be any groups close by. It’s a hard task, but I’m working on a way figuring out how we can get him some good friends. I can’t believe how hard it is! You set up a playgroup, and you’d think all the mom’s would flock where we live, but no, they fall out of the playgroup like water in a colander! Even the preschool up here closed down! Well, never fear, we’ll think of a solution. Because socialization has to be apart of our homeschooling too.
The biggest thing about homeschooling though for me, is to have it be stress-free and to adapt a no-rush lifestyle. I never learned math when someone was trying to hurry me along, have you? I seriously think one reason Americans die so young (besides gang gun shootings in Obama’s home town.) is that we’re so freaking stressed and rush to get everything finished! I think learning and life must to be enjoyable and at non-rushed pace for both the child and the parent. As I’ve I slowed down, taken time and realized the dishes can wait a little bit longer and things don’t have get done right away as “fast as I think they do,” I’ve been able to be here in the moment more for my kids and have started to feel peace in my life. In fact, the curriculum My Father’s World helped me to discover this. They’re manual said a school week for kindergarten was 6 days, and no, you weren’t expected to work over the weekend. It was so you wouldn’t have to be tied to a strict work/school week. They said to be flexible is important! Start on Tuesday, end on Tuesday. Next week you start a new unit on Wednesday and you end on Wednesday. If you missed a day, you just take off where you left off and don’t freak that you’re behind! You wouldn’t believe how much stress that took off me! Just the other day, my hubby told me he honestly didn’t think I would stick with homeschooling, and I honestly got worried! I started thinking, how can I make this as easy as possible for myself. Well, My Father’s World curriculum! Thank you very much! I’ve been such a rigid person my whole life, having to cover from A-Z, no tailoring, no “exceptions” and it’s been really stressful on myself! Starting to teach nursery at church and also Young Women’s and other classes have gradually led me to this realization that I’m having right now... it’s the ability and need to let go. It’s good to plan, but it’s so important to be flexible! “Make plans, but be flexible!” a father once said. Life changes so much, so we must be able to adapt. Just as a plane’s wings are able to bend in the air and sudden wind changes, so must we be flexible and adaptable too, or else we might break!
I’m so thankful for all the life lessons I am learning, and thankful for the growing within myself that is happening before my eyes. God doesn’t want us to be stagnant, but to grow and learn and thrive! We were never made to stay the same and stay in the same situation forever, but to learn how to grow and adapt to the changes of life. Isn’t life and learning exciting?