Well, I have finally started speaking the words: “Yes, we’re going to home school.”
Our children are only 5, 3, and 1 right now, so they aren’t even technically school age yet. Our main goal right now is to figure out what works for us, and to help our children love to learn.
We did “Getting Ready 1” from All in One Homeschool last year, simply to reinforce letter recognition and sounds. We didn’t make it through the whole alphabet though. (Give me a break! In 2015 we had a new baby, sold our house, and moved into a 900 square foot apartment.) Also, my kids already knew everything in that program. My kids liked it, and it was a great start for us. We even did some of the McGuffey Primer.
I’ve read some home school blogs. I’ve talked to friends who home school. My husband was home schooled, too, so his advice is often helpful.
As far as home school blogs go, I enjoy Sallie Borrink who writes about homeschooling her little spirited-dreamer girl. But my oldest son (who will technically enter the kindergarten year this fall) is not creative. He is totally a numbers/strategy/puzzles/schedule kid. My second son is only 3, and is kinesthetic, bouncy, and physical. He does run on the creative side of the fence, but he’s a boy. I think I enjoy Sallie’s blog so much because I feel like the “Creative Kindergartner” she talks about. When I started reading her blog, I felt freer. I thought, Wow. There are so many different ways to home school. I don’t have to feel shut up in a box of strict schedules. I don’t have to feel like I need to get everything done in one day. I love how she talks about home school in a free and easy way, but also provides practical tools for those of us who are just starting on this journey.
I also love Ellen at Cutting Tiny Bites . Ellen has two girls and the bulk of her crafts and activities are for toddler to preschool age. I sometimes have to tweak her ideas (because I have boys who don’t always enjoy the same things as her girls, and I have a young toddler in the mix, who just wants to chew on things and make necklaces from anything long and stringy.) I have used Ellen’s Free Printable Preschool Planning Page to plan some fun weeks around here lately. I love these papers because I can look through her ideas, but I can also add some super-boy activities. (Side note: when I told my oldest son that we were going to start learning about different things each week, I asked him for ideas. He said, “I want to learn about languages and the world.” Wow, big thinker. This is going to be fun…)
Overall, here’s where I’m at right now: a humble beginning. What I’ve gathered from other home schools is that their beginnings were humble too. Right now, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I know these are exciting times! Times when we get to figure out what works for us, times when we get to learn along with our children.
Right now, in this beginning time, my main goal is to make learning fun. I think that might be a theme that continues through the years because that’s part of the reason I love the idea of home school. There is so much freedom to add and tweak according to learning styles and temperaments. We get to figure out what our kids are passionate about and we get to actually spend time on those things. I have one friend who home schools, and her daughter loves to write. She is 14 and wrote a whole novel last year. What public school leaves time for that?
So, here we are, in our humble beginning, where we read and talk and do crafts. And sometimes we just ride bikes or do puzzles or go to the playground. And sometimes we all just meander around the house getting on each other’s nerves (we are a family after all.) We are building our school into our life.
Here are some photos from our journey so far:
(Most of the following Transportation Theme ideas came from Cutting Tiny Bites Weekly Home Preschool Transportation Theme.)