Adventures in Homeschooling September 2012

September 1st, 2012 in homeschool, Learning, Life

This is not going to become a homeschooling blog. I am trying out homeschooling this year, I feel confident in our decision to try homeschooling for a year. I do not know if it will be the right thing to continue to do after this year. This is a trial year and I am very excited to try it out and really do hope it is something that does go well and we continue on with. I have been experiencing an odd type of mom guilt with not sending the girls to a “real” school, and nervous about it as well. Nervous that I will need to become an even more patient mom, nervous that the girls will get along, nervous about the two babies–just nervous. But even if everyone ends up loving homeschooling and we decide to continue to do it after this year, it still won’t become a homeschooling blog. Why? Because I will be busy doing it, preparing for it, I don’t want to sit and write in detail about it! It is really going to be a main part of who I am, what my time is spent on, and I want to use my leftover time to work on ME. After this baby pops out and we are moved into Costa Rica, I need to work on some personal goals big time.

Although, I do think I will write about it once a month just to document our journey. And I am sure if we do a really fun project, art project, science experiment, that I will share it. Because you don’t have to be a homeschooling mom to once and awhile do fun projects with your kids like that. Lots of my friends will do them during the winter months or when their kids are out of school. Lots of you guys do that, it’s fun!

Adventuring in Homeschooling September 2012

Monday is our first day of homeschooling–I have mom guilt times one million. Watching everyone start school, talk about all the preparations, seeing the neighbor kids the girl’s ages become even better friends…listen I feel so much guilt. And the strained judgemental smiles from people around me when they ask me about us moving to another country, homeschooling, etc. are getting old. Even though I fully know that it could all be in my head. I also am incredibly thankful that the family we have that live in Utah (Tyler’s sister, my parents & siblings) are supportive–genuinely excited for the changes coming up in our lives. I did go out and buy the girl’s a back to school outfit and had them pose for a Back to School Picture, check out my kindergartener & 1st Grader:

The process of learning about homeschooling; all the different methods, all the different curriculums, theories, opinions, etc. WOW! It was so overwhelming! I did email about six women that I knew (and respected, trusted in this area) that homeschooled to ask what they did with their children. For certain subjects almost all of them would say the same things (certain textbooks to get, theories to follow, styles of homeschooling to go with) and then they did differ a bit as well on other subjects. The other thing that helped me was spending time to really research the main methods (seems like there were 8-10), even ones that I didn’t think I would be interested in–in the slightest. Because one of them (unschooling) I completely did not understand and actually have worked a lot of that theory into certain aspects of our homeschooling. They have books just on this: explaining the methods, theories, going over the curriculums you can buy. After I went through a couple of those books–one of them even had me take quizzes on my personality style, my children’s personality styles, what was important to us…I felt like I finally could make some decisions on how to go about planning our first year. I was a mesh of different methods; I don’t really want to say which ones or name any of the books/curriculum that I purchased. Because I don’t know if I made the right decisions yet—I need to see how we do with it for a couple of months, and then I would love to share.

One of my next steps was setting goals. I found it helpful to ask Tyler what he would love for the girls to learn during the year, ask THEM what they wanted to learn, think about it myself, and also find out what the public schools taught during the kindergarten and 1st grade years. With all of that combined I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish during the entire year, then divided it into months, and then made two months worth of weekly/daily plans. I have prepared for September and October weekly and daily agendas that coincide with the monthly goals which of course will get us through our yearly goals of what we want to learn during the 2012/2013 school year. I did so much at once because the new baby is coming and I have a lot going on for the next two months with moving. After this I hope to only do prep a month at a time and have a full day to sit and work on the monthly preparations while Tyler takes over with the kids.

I do feel extremely lucky that I have girls only one grade apart. Of course there are things I will work on just with Abby, just with Cameron, things Abby will “re-learn”, things that Cameron will have to learn just a bit faster to catch up, etc. They will be on different levels for somethings but not too much!

The plan is our days will go like this, Monday-Thursday:

By 8am: Everyone fed, all the way awake, scriptures read, family prayers said. (for the whole summer we have been able to do this easily)

By 9am: Chores done, dressed and ready for the day. (also so far this summer we have done this by 9am and it has gone well)

9am to 11am: Structured Homeschooling Time (well a 1st grade and kindergarten level structure–I plan on having fun songs, poems, switching subjects after not too long…to keep their attention span)

One Hour or An House & a Half in the Afternoon: Interactive/Hands On Homeschooling Time When we live in Costa Rica this is the portion Tyler will take over. Being out in nature to explore plants, working on a scientific theories out in the backyard, watching a documentary on farms and then going out to a farm to learn even more, etc. Things like that!

What will the rest of the day be like? I hope…being outside, quiet time, play time, exercise, playing with other kids, service projects, spending time as a family, attending classes, being a kiddo, letting them just BE and explore!

JUST Fridays: One or two quizzes and a weekly review,  no more than one hour of working on a fun school project, and a field trip that goes along with the things we have learned that a week.

I want to be really flexible when we move to Costa Rica and find the girl’s dance classes, art classes, sports, etc. fast. Flexible meaning in moving around homeschooling times if needs be so they can attend a class and get good socialization. I will always have a set schedule (I thrive on them) but am willing to move them around to accommodate classes and being around others. I also hope to find some other homeschooling moms out there! But for September & October that is how it will go.

September Goals & Curriculum: 

September
English rhyming, sight words, handwriting, vocab/spelling, Cameron:lowercase, Abby:neater handwriting, reading all different forms, writing all different forms, learning how a story is formed
Math Cameron:writing 0-20, Abby: neater numbers, shapes, putting shapes together, sorting, measuring, patterns, money, addition and subtraction, math word problems
Science Season Fall, Mountain Animals, Farmers & Food, Human Body Nutrition, Experiments with Scientific Theories (why leaves change), Data, Graphs, Abby teach us about Weather, Cameron teach us about dinos (from their science camps)
History/
Social Studies
Little House in the Big Woods, Pioneers, Ulysses Grant, Oceans & Continents, Current Events, do reports and presentations
Other learn to present, show and tell, pioneer music, work on months, weeks, days, Art Projects, Pioneer Cooking, writing on their Blog, typing exercises, fun fall songs, fun fall poems, memorizing, all about me/getting to know you fun packet
Church Pioneer Stories from the church, D&C

I think every month I’ll do an update and document how our goals/curriculum went, how our month went, what I have learned, how it is going, what is driving me nutso, what is marvelous. It will be interesting to document this adventure! But like I said, just about once a month, this isn’t turning into a homeschooling blog.

P.S. This is our little set up that I will have to move to my parent’s house and then move just that main fun poster with us to Costa Rica.

Ahhh….wish this crazy lady good luck!

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