Hey, Stephanie! How are you? We are praying about our daughter's future education. Right now she is attending a private Christian School. I really love the school, but I'm not sure she is going to be challenged all that much. I'm looking into homeschooling her.
What curriculum are you using with your boys? I imagine you are already doing some things with Bubba. With my daughter's late birthday (October) she will start school in 2010, and I prefer that anyway, but I believe she is or will be ready to start K work this year. Preschool has been really good for her also. She has had opportunities to talk in front of the class, and there are many social opportunities for her. She is in a great school. I'm just not sure if she will be challenged where she needs it, though.
Do you mind sharing with me some things you are doing? I've been talking to several homeschooling friends of mine. A lot of people like A beka, and I've heard about Sonlight. I have a friend who uses Five in a Row and does unit studies.
I plan to do some things at home with my daughter part-time while she continues at the private school another year to see what will be best for our family. This will help us to decide if homeschooling is right for us. I know she would love the one-on-one time, having quality time with me. I also know that it will be a lot of hard work planning lessons as well.
So, what are you doing with your boys? Any feedback and tips are welcome! Thanks!
Hey, girl! You would be a great homeschooler!!! You are much more 'naturally' gifted for it than I am. I am constantly relying on the power of God :)!
I looked into buying a curriculum for this year and talked to wise homeschoolers and they said you really don't need a curriculum for kindergarten. We have many resources we can use in our homes for math (counting and sorting by using toys) and science. So, I had already bought Saxon Math, but other than that... I just use a few wonderful books I have found.
1. (a must) Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons
2. God's Word for Little Ones
3. Any workbooks you can find from Sam's. ex. Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for Kindergarten. There are great resources in the kids book section at Sam's.
4. At least 75% of what we do is 'Bible' and so you've already got that book. ;) Just pick a passage and start memorizing. They will blow you away at how much they can remember. And you will learn too!
5.Pattern Blocks (you can order those on-line or get them at a School supply store)
6. My ABC Bible Verses hiding God's Word in little hearts by Susan Hunt
7. Growing Reader's Phonics Bible
8. If you have boys, mine love a book called The Bug Dictionary. It is not Christian but a wonderful book. Another wonderful book my sister-in-law just gave me is The Aquarium Guide.
It is a Christian book from Answers in Genesis. They have a lot of cool stuff at http://www.answersingenesis.org/
Your personality may warrant buying a curriculum to follow if you need structure. I am not a very structured person ( I am praying about that!)so I like having the freedom to be creative and do things at our own pace.
My goal for these early years is to teach them character, Scripture, and how to pray. They are learning many other things and are ahead academically but that is not the goal. I kind of have a very simple Matthew 6:33 approach to homeschooling...
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
Not that I don't value academics, I do! But more than anything, I want my boys to "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" 1 Peter 3:18.
I believe if we honor God's Word by teaching it to our children, He will, in turn, honor and bless our efforts. For example, Reece's reading level increased drastically by memorizing scripture written on a dry-erase board and the black board. "Repeat them [the scriptures]again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again" Deuteronomy 6:7.
I will be using a curriculum next year. I am considering My Father's World but am still researching (if anybody has a favorite curriculum please leave a comment!).
Another thing you might want to look at is http://www.consideringhomeschooling.org/. It has great info and is very encouraging.
Find an older homeschooling mother. She will be a terrific resource. I will help you however I can. You are more than welcome to come to my house and watch what we do. It is a work in progress (that is for sure) and more importantly a work of the Holy Spirit!!
You can do it!(if you feel like homeschooling is where God is leading you). If He asks you to do it, He will equip you with more than you need to do it well. Every morning we ask God to be our teacher and tell Him that He is always welcome in our school and ask his blessing upon it. It has been a tremendous blessing in my life and I am the LAST person in the world who ever thought she would homeschool. Please feel free to ask me any questions and I will try and answer them for you. And, please know that I do not think less of you if you send your children to school. My mom is a public school teacher and has been for years and years. I am not anti-school. I definitely believe homeschooling has to be a calling and a desire of the mother.
"Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord." Psalm 34:11