homeschool day 11 (my assessment of the first few days)
Many of the folks who have been with this blog for a while know that this year, we decided to homeschool our oldest child. So, during the day, the boys go to the Christian school we love, and she does her schooling at home. Here are my thoughts so far.
* The Schedule
Having to be awake by a certain time, and be completed with work (for the most part), by a certain time has worked for us. Since the boys have to be at school at 8am, and picked up at 3pm, we have a definite timeframe to work with, which works for us. I would define both Rachel and myself as being both lovers of structure, and, simultaneously, fond of playing things by ear.
This schedule has been a perfect fit for that… we have the structure given to us via school hours, but we have some flexibility during those hours to do what we want/need.
* The Curriculum
So, yeah. Pretty good so far! We went with Sonlight for our History/Geography/Language Arts, and it’s great. We both love reading, so the time spent together reading and discussing what we read has been fun. She’s not a huge fan of the grammar component, but we’re coming up with fun ways to work it in. She works independently like a champ, and actually does her best work that way.
For math, we’re using the Teaching Textbooks curriculum. She LOVES it! It’s on DVD, so she watches/listens to the lesson, and then works out the problems in the book. Once she does that, she enters them onto the program, and it grades her. BIG FAN OF THIS!! Math is NOT my first educational love, so I knew that we needed a DVD course for her in order to keep up. And I have not regretted it at all.
We’re using Wordly Wise again for vocabulary. Her classmates in 3rd grade at school are using it, and since they did it last year as well, I figured it would be an easy add-in. She doesn’t like it. She does it, and she does well, but it’s not her favorite.
Science. We decided to use an Apologia curriculum, and so far, it’s moving slowly. It’s interesting, but we only do it about once/twice a week, so it’s just taking longer to sink to the “love’ level with.
Part of the fun these first few weeks has been the flexibility to explore new things. A friend of mine taught Rachel and I how to loom knit hats and scarves! We’ve been able to add in some Rosetta Stone Spanish (which we both want to learn to help out when we travel on mission trips to Mexico). We’ve done PE at the neighborhood pool more than once, and we get to take trips to the library often. We’re going to be starting up the last Monday of every month roller-skating with other homeschool families. It’s just FUN.
* Bottom Line
We went into this year wanting Rachel to have time for more one-on-one attention before we bring Julianne home. She wasn’t “needy” before, but, bottom line is, she is going to be losing her only girl status in a few months. I have no doubts that she will come through the transition splendidly, but why not bolster some of that self-confidence and togetherness before the big changes occur?
She’s loving this, and I am, too.
PS – a deep dark secret… I really actually truly love lesson-planning. 😉