Posts Tagged With: home school

Beginning Our Home School Journey

A few people have asked to let them know how we like our curriculum. And just so family and friends can see, I’ve decided to periodically  post about our home school journey!

Let me first say that I know I just started. I have been extremely enthusiastic and passionate about our choice to home school. I have planned, browsed the web, and picked the brains of moms who are doing it, specifically those who are doing a good job and don’t seem mega-stressed about it all the time! I had our curriculum bought by March, planned out and filed by April. I got ready early! And I know it’s just my first year. I know it won’t always be so fun.

But for now, pardon my enthusiasm over our school experience. It is fun! And we are loving it!

I chose to use My Father’s World. It is a Bible-based, hands-on approach to learning. Kindergarten begins with Creation, then everything continues from there. It combines Science and Bible, as they learn to read. For instance, “S” is the first letter we will focus on. “S” stands for “Sun” and the child will learn, “Jesus is the light of the world.” So, you teach them that Jesus is the Light, while teaching them the sound for “s”. All the letters stand for an element of nature. It is my Father’s world! And that is the basis of every lesson.

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We just finished our first two weeks. Every day we read the Creation account straight from the Bible, then the boys colored a number that corresponded with the day of Creation we were on. It made a chart that we had on the wall.

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After that, we started learning ABCs for a few minutes. At this point, it just helps the student get familiar with all the letters. We sang the ABC song while pointing to leach letter, and went over flashcards, adding a few letters each day. (Pictured below: Top row – 100s chart, and August calendar. Bottom row – basket 1: ABC cards, basket 2: straws for counting to 100, basket 3: empty so far, ABC chart)

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After the ABC part was finished for the day, the boys made a page (for a Creation book) that also went with the day we were on. It was so cute! When we got to Day 3 (land and plants), Timothy just scribbled a few plants on his page and was finished. But Jackson went through a very tedious process of deciding what kinds of fruit he wanted on his page. After a few tries, he finally decided he wanted me to make him some pineapples for his page, because that’s his favorite fruit. His book has much more “love” in it!

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We finished the Creation unit by going to the park. We made a chart showing things that God made, and things that man made. It was fun! I love the “hands-on” approach of this curriculum! After we made the chart, we played!

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And that sums up our first two weeks!

Upside:

  • We had a lot of fun learning together!
  • It brought quite a bit of order to our house. I am determined to do a good job with school, and make sure it gets done! So, we would all get up, get dressed, have breakfast together, then clean up a little before school. After school was finished, it would just be lunch time! I love the order and scheduling it adds to our day.
  • Jackson is really starting to learn a lot of his letters. When we started, he could only recognize 2 or 3 letters, but now gets about 7 right, without singing along with his ABC chart!

Downside:

  • I am tired.
  • It is hard with a toddler.
  • I can tell there will be rough days! After the first week, Jackson had trouble sitting still during flashcard time! So, we improvised and did only half at a time.

 

We had a great two weeks, and I’m excited to start into phonics next week!

Categories: Family Events, Home Schooling | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Ready for School…. {Early}

Jackson turned 5 in December, so this coming fall is the beginning of his education. We are going to home school, and I am SO excited! I have been researching and looking, surfing, and asking home-schoolin’ mamas. And I wanted to share what we are going to start with, and why.

It has been a big decision to make. I know that with two other young children, it can be difficult. So I don’t want to start off with something that we are going to be stressed to complete. Especially when al 3 are in school. I just can’t sit down and teach for hours every day. All the video programs are great! But they are often too expensive, and only for 1 year. I wanted something I can use for each child, and keep costs down.

First of all, I am going to use My Father’s World for the basic curriculum. I have two friends who use this. It is hands-on learning, but not too involved and complicated for the teacher.

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Why: I love that it is a successful program, taught simply. There is a list in the appendix, listing extra books on each subject covered. You can order them from the local library. It’s very nice that they don’t require you to buy everything from them. Starting in grade 3, they have combined grades. So, every child learns the same lesson, but has different reading assignments and activities based on age. They have reasonable prices, also. But the biggest reason is that they teach everything from a Biblical perspective. Love that!

{I also want to add that I found a used teacher’s manual on amazon for only $5!}

My Father’s World is complete for Kindergarten, but they recommend you supplement some Math toward the end of the year. So, I am going to go ahead and start the year with Math u See. I am completely sold on this curriculum! A sweet friend gave me the primer level, so I am set to start! It is technically the preschool level, but they learn to recognize and write all their numbers, skip-count, add, and a start subtraction.

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Why: Math U See has hands-on learning, using manipulative blocks to help the child “see” how it works. I am not good at Math, and have always been scared of teaching my own children Math at the high school level. But this curriculum goes all the way up to Calculus, and comes with instructional DVDs, where the teacher teaches the lesson. Then they have a workbook. They go at their own pace, so if they have the concept mastered after only 2 pages, they move on to the next lesson. It’s also very inexpensive and all you need for the next student is a $20 workbook.

I am also going to introduce some classical music, and start a very simple piano program with Jackson. I am so very excited to teach him.

Another great resource that I have used a lot is this great site with reviews of all home school curriculum. Listen to thousands of mom tell why a program worked for them… or not.

I know each day will be different, and some will be very hard! But I also know we’re going to have a LOT of fun!

Categories: Home Schooling | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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