Sunday, July 14, 2013

Homeschooling, Week One

     Before I get down to the nitty gritty, let me first give you bit of insight into the title of this blog.  I had never imagined that I would be homeschooling.  Not even a little bit.  Even last Spring, when we knew that our son would be starting Middle School and my daughter would be a kindergartner, we thought about MOVING.  We laid out a plan as to when we would put our house up for sale and start looking around in the area we wanted the kids to be.  Homeschooling wasn't even a blip on my radar.

     I'm not even sure when exactly that changed.  We had the opportunity to enroll our daughter in a Classical Conversations class mid-year and the only reason why we chose to do so was because we felt that the preschool (which I referred to as play school) wasn't going to really prepare her for a Kindergarten schedule.  So, I guess after that God started to shine a light on things before me.

     My daughter, at 5, is not potty trained and is still in a diaper due to Cauda Equina Syndrome with Neurogenic Bladder.  In mommy terms:  she was born with a tethered spinal cord and there was nerve damage affecting her bladder.  We have to use a catheter every 4 hours (except overnight) to empty her bladder.  It also affects her bowels.  Either way, we didn't feel comfortable sending her to school this way.

     As the days passed and the decision about education for both of our kids approached, God made a clear path for both of my kids.  Our son got into a school we prayed about and the decision to homeschool our daughter was pressed strongly upon me.  We forged ahead and purchased the Sonlight curriculum.  It's been sitting in a box since April.  That is, until a couple of weeks ago when my daughter said she wanted to start homeschooling after Fourth of July.

     Hence, this is a wrap up of the first week.  I hope to share my experiences every week, along with the progress that she makes.  I'll also be sharing about our time with the Classical Conversations group which begins in September.

     The first day of Kindergarten began July 9, 2013.  Although the curriculum is geared toward my 5-year old my son can participate because I am able to adjust the work to his level.  Plus, I procured a couple of workbooks for him knowing that I'd start homeschooling before he begins school in September.

     Our day looks like this:

  • We open with prayer and Bible study
  • Reading (lots of reading) and discussion
  • Language Arts (plenty of copy work, handwriting practice and creative expression)
  • Recess (which means I get to either workout or fold laundry or do lunch/dinner prep or read)
  • After recess is our Math time
  • Lunch
  • Science and Art
  • We close with a book of their choice for me to read
     Our days wrap up between 2:00 and 2:30, though this first week they opted for a little break before choosing a book for me to read and they also wanted their dad to read one of their books in the evening, so it technically ended later.  That's the benefit, though, of homeschooling, it's on my time and when it works for us.  While my daughter chose to start early and it ended her summer break sooner, I rather like it since it means come the holidays, we can take a longer "break".  I put that in quotes because I may not be officially homeschooling during the break but there will still be plenty of reading and opportunities to teach.

     All in all this was a great first week of school.  We're planning on taking it to the library, beach and park.  I've told my daughter that once a month we can have a homeschool lunch date, where I bring the remaining part of her school day with us to a restaurant of her choice and we finish up the day with a nice meal.  I mentioned that when Winter arrives and we're stuck indoors that we can bring it to a cozy coffee shop where she can indulge in hot chocolate and I can sip tea.  I know most of the time we'll be at home, but I like having the different options.

     So does she.

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