Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homeschooling (a.k.a. Flying by the Seat of my Pants)

This year, I am homeschooling my five year old for the Kindergarten year.  Last year, we did a very laid back year of preschool, but this year, we're stepping up our game a little more and gearing for a very enriching year.    We will be participating in our Catholic community's home school coop on Wednesdays and then on Mondays, we will be participating in a mentoring program called Aquinas Learning. You can learn more about this amazing new homeschool program here. It follows the classical curriculum model with a Catholic twist.  I am very excited about this new program which will encompass every subject except for reading and math.   I will let you know how this program looks when I get it figured out!!

For math this year, we are going to do RightStart Math. I just got the huge kit in the mail and Liam was so excited about it! He ripped open the package and was amazing at all the hands on activities! He's soooo KINDERGARTEN! lol.

Then for reading, we are going to continue our lessons in 100 Easy Lessons and then probably move on to The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (see side book) and the many little readers I have laying around like the Bob books.

I finished buying a million reading books from Amazon and such, so I will continue my daily task of reading picture books and stories until my voice gets hoarse.  (We just received The Holy Twins and just loved it!)

Just for fun, Liam is also memorizing the Psalms. It was a spur of the moment decision that we started back in April.  He's so good at memorizing, so we decided to capitalize on this gift and have him memorize something worthwhile  The classical curriculum we're going to start in a couple weeks will give a lot of great knowledge to memorize too (like science, history, Latin, parts of speech, etc. ).  So far, he's memorized up to Psalm 18. He enjoys it and gets a special treat every time he has another one down.  It will probably take him three years to memorize them all, at which time we will likely start over again and delve deeper into the meaning of the psalms.  The whole experience has been very enriching for all of us.

My decision to homeschool is a very personal one that I will not get into in this space.  I'm well aware of all the misunderstanding that surrounds homeschooling, but just know that.  Just know, I'm not going to mess up my kids for life and although this will incur more work on my part, it is going to be worth it in the end (so don't try to talk me out of this!)  :)

Lastly, I am not doing this because I have a degree in elementary education and have years of teaching experience.  That fact does not make me any more qualified and I see it as almost irrelevant to what I am doing now.  To be a successful homeschooling family, all one needs are caring parents willing to learn.  I see myself in the same position, if not further behind as most of my other friends who are homeschooling with other bachelor's degrees under their belts.  In fact, now I wish I had received an English literature or History major- that would be really useful right now! 

Wish me luck!


melody said...

My prayers are coming your way for a very blessed year. I've been homeschooling since the beginning and all I have to say is this: the more we embrace the Cross, the closer we are to Easter. This is my faith, this is my homeschool! It seems to get simultaneously more challenging and more rewarding for me. Every moment is a moment of grace. Incidentally, my 13-year has passed me up in many academic subjects. A specific degree may have helped me in one of those areas... but then again, maybe not. I consider it a success when my kids surpass me. :) There are so many resources out there now. My kids have so many amazing mentors. Home-based education certainly does not mean that the kids learn only what mom knows. Thank God! LOL!

May God richly bless your inaugural year and increase the graces of your vocation!

Allison said...

I love the idea of memorizing Psalms!

Heidi said...

Yay for beginnings! Yes, their ability to memorize at this age is amazing, isn't it? My mind seems to have become a sieve these days! Maybe we can have a recital someday. :-). Give the kids good practice in public speaking.

Mandy said...

Sarah, I have an English AND History degree and don't feel it helped me in ANY WAY when it comes to teaching Sam! I feel like I need a degree in handling hyperactive rowdy boys before I could teach him! After much discerning we're sending Sam to school, but I am very open to homeschooling if it doesn't work out. You're right, choosing a schooling style for your kids is very, very personal. I know you'll do a fantastic job. I am very familiar with Aquinas and several of my friends do it also. God bless you as your school year begins!

Renee said...

I miss the days when mine were young. Now all I have left is a high school junior and 2 middle schoolers.

noreen said...

That's wonderful news Sarah! Liam will thrive with you as his teacher! That's impressive that he is memorizing the Psalms. It will help him all through out his life. I will pray for a blessed first year of homeschooling for you and Liam!

Homeschool for Two said...

Hi! I found you though Ginny's blog. I have the elementary degree and years of teaching, too, and you are right, it is almost irrelevant. Totally different ball game! I hope you love your time with your kids. It's been an amazing experience for our family and my nay-sayer friends and family have been equally impressed. It's a wonderful time to homeschool, with all of the resources and support available to us in this day and age. Enjoy!