We are 8 weeks into our homeschool year. I am new to homeschooling and some days I feel like I am making it up as I go along, but overall I am pleased with our progress. There have been some fantastic things about homeschooling and a few challenges.
The Best Things About Homeschool (So Far)
Watching my children learn and getting to know them better. Roman (3 years old) didn’t know how to hold a pencil at the start and now he can write his name. He is getting better with scissors each time he uses them. It was interesting to figure out that Roman knows the answers to his work, but doesn’t have the motor skills to write them down.
Annabelle is progressing in her reading. She is already sounding out words and beginning to read full sentences.
Taking time off when we want. Last week my daughter needed to go the emergency room at 6 a.m. in the morning. (She is perfectly fine now.) It was so nice not to worry about calling a school, missing lessons, and having to make up what she missed. Her work just simply paused for two days. It made a stressful situation a lot easier to manage.
Setting our own pace. My kids are blowing through their work. I am not pushing or giving them too much. I originally decided to do a one year curriculum over 2 years for my son. He doing very well at his work and he enjoys doing it. So we are going to do Part 2 of his curriculum and possibly start Kindergarten work this Summer when he is 4 years old. I spoke with another homeschool mom who has done something similar with her children.
It doesn’t take much time to actually do school. The curriculum I am using doesn’t need a lot of advanced planning. School work usually takes about an hour. We are always done before lunch. Then in the afternoon we have reading time or outdoor play.
I like the curriculum I chose. I didn’t choose challenging curriculum, because I wanted to start simple. My plan is that once my kindergartener can read, write, and do math then we can start enriching her school work with more Science, History, and Literature.
I was gifted some other workbooks for Preschool and Kindergarten. Unlike the curriculum I chose these workbooks don’t really have a method or learning style behind them. I have learned that there is value in well thought out curriculum.
Annabelle and Roman are learning to play together. It may be that Roman is 3 years old and speaking more. Or it may be that they are both maturing, but I can’t help but think that all the time that they are spending together helps improve their relationaship. I love overhearing the games they play. Of course they fight like normal siblings, but they also crack me up.
The Challenges I Have Encountered in Homeschool
Adding another student. I have mentioned before that I agreed to homeschool and care for my friend’s 4 year old son. I have encountered situations with him that I did not experience when I started homeschool with my own children. Also, I am having trouble making lessons out of the workbooks that I was given to work with him on, so I have decided to order that same curriculum that my 3 year old son is working on.
Incorporating seasonal crafts and sciences. I am not a crafty mom. I don’t get excited about sensory play, painting, or big projects. In the last few weeks I have begun to make Fridays a project day. Thanks to Pinterest I found a list of Children’s seasonal books about Fall that I checked out from my library. We read a book called “Leaf Man” and then made our own leaf men to discuss the season of Fall. Another Friday we learned about the life cycle of pumpkins with a book, YouTube videos, and a cut and paste project. I don’t enjoy planning these days, but I know the kids love it and I feel good enriching their school work.
Doing school with an 18 month old in the room. I usually bring in Zander’s chair with a tray and fill it with animal crackers and books while I do school with the other three children. Occasionally I give him his own paper and crayon to color like the big kids. If I let him down then he wants to be in the action and take scissors, eat crayons, pull the other’s kids work from them. Most of the time I can keep him entertained in his seat long enough to do the kids’ work, but sometimes he is very disruptive and requires more attention.
I am so glad that we decided to homeschool. I hear the elementary school bus pass by at 7:10 a.m. and I am so thankful that I don’t have to have Annabelle dressed and out the door for that bus. We are usually just rolling out of bed at that point. I know homeschool may get more difficult down the road, but for now I am enjoying the ease of Preschool and Kindergarten.
Are you homeschooling? What have been the best and challenging moments for you this year?