Monday, September 16, 2019

Back to School ~ Year Two of Homeschooling

It is back to school time.  For many, you may have already been going for two or three weeks at this point.  What grades are your kiddos headed into?

My kiddos are 6 1/2 and almost 4, so we are headed into first grade and pre-kindergarten.  We are headed into our second year of homeschooling.

Anyone else out there home school?

We do a mix of work at home and work out and about.  Our adventures are filled with just as much learning as at home.  Now that we have a first grader I am being asked more often what curriculum do we use or what method of homeschooling we do.

You see there are a lot of options out there for curriculum and methods.  It makes it nice to really tailor to where your kiddos are at and their interests.

I have one kiddo who loves to be creative, be outside, read, play, and learn.  He is combining what he is learning in math and reading into his every day.  Other subject areas come out through reading, adventures, and play.  Right now he is really interested in the Mars Rover, so we are adding lots about that topic into our days.

My other kiddo wants to be like brother and have curriculum of his own.  He has a few concrete curriculum activities like Reading Eggs and Mathseeds.  However, he isn't using them weekly like his brother is.  Instead, he does them when he asks.  But we are having a letter of the week focus, as well as a number of the week focus for him.  In the car he has them posted (older brother has sight words posted) so we can play games while we drive or when we wait in the car.  He will also have a worksheet to go with each.  Otherwise, through play and art, books and adventures he is learning.

I get the question every so often, well what about socialization?  Won't they miss that piece?

Socialization doesn't come from going to school.  Sure, they will get it through the earlier years like preschool and prekindergarten.  But once in a school building, school setting it is actually a missing piece.  Remember being a kid and being told you talk to much in class or you aren't here to socialize?  I was, as I have heard it before in classrooms even still today.

Socialization is not about being put into a room with others the same age as you and being taught all day.  It is about knowing how to interact with others of any age throughout the day, having manners, being cooperative, being kind.  It is about being out in the real word with others.

You get socialization through going out to eat, through visiting other people, through classes and camps, through running errands and shopping, through having a meal together as a family, going on adventures and talking with the other people there, through sports, talking to your neighbors, and much more.

This Fall the kids are signed up for swim lessons, art classes, and zoo classes.

Our set curriculum is Reading Eggs on Mondays and Mathseeds on Fridays.  Spelling is either on Monday or Wednesday.  Art, history, geography, health, writing is throughout the month.  We have adventures we go on, call them field trips if you like.  We also have a day for chores to get done.  Some worksheets or workbooks scattered throughout to practice skills.

This year we are adding more faith exploration into our day and week.  We go to a Bible Study Fellowship once a week.  My oldest and I have reading to do and questions to answer.  We are using the weekly verse to carry us through the week.  We are also adding in devotions with our breakfast.

We are using other people's adventures to learn more about certain topics like geography and different cultures.  We have friends visiting Germany and family headed to visit Italy.  For us as well, both those are a part of own lineage as well.

All are excited for a year of fun, adventures, and learning.

I am finding that as more time goes by we are finding more and more people who are going the home school route.  And even though some don't have kids, they have lots of questions about it as it is on their minds and they are thinking that it is the route they want to go.

Whatever you decide, remember you can take learning where ever you go.  Anything can be turned into a learning and growth experience.  It may not always look like learning, but it is in the process that teaches us the most.

No matter your age, keep learning and keep growing.

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