Tuesday, August 7---How do you homeschool?Scheduling, classical education, unschooling, getting the kids to help with chores, how to be "mom" and "teacher" at the same time, special needs, teaching an advanced child, how to teach the tough subjects, teaching high school, teaching with babies and preschoolers in the house, budgeting for homeschool supplies, notebooking, etc., etc., etc...
Wow - let's see - since I taught school I kind of formulate my curriculum based on what each of my kids each need. So our curriculum is not from all one company - it is wide and varied!! I lean toward Charlotte Mason ideas (for those of you homeschoolers - you will probably know what that means!!) and using LOTS of literature!!! Hmmm, wonder where that comes from?!?! I also do a lot of letting the boys help each other - correct each others' spelling, give each other flashcard tests, pre-read writing assignments with each other before I ever read them, etc. I also have each of them do some reading/working with Chloe each day - she loves it and it gives me some time for more one-on-one for each of them. Since adding Chloe, I have had the fun challenge of keeping a little one busy during the school time. We have found some great curriculum to use with her - one of my favorites is Little Hands to Heaven by Carrie Austin. This one is set up day-by-day and tells you exactly what to do - learning letters, numbers, etc. Another great one is an all online curriculum called Brightly Beaming. This is another one that has worked well for us and it is set up by a theme each week - then adds letter, numbers, etc. I like their focus on nursery rhymes too - I think that's important and lots of curriculum forget that!
Wednesday, August 8---Getting out there...Extra-curricular activities, community involvement, volunteering, sports teams, music lessons, making sure your kids have opportunities to be social, co-ops, etc., etc., etc...All of our boys take piano lessons, and we have started guitar with our oldest as well. Our piano teacher is wonderful and involves the kids in duet contests and solo contests. We meet with a couple of other families each week and do some science units, writing projects, etc. This year we are going to be doing an Iowa Unit Study together - I am excited about that and think it will be fun to do together. Another wonderful thing that we have here is a larger group that meets twice a month - they "hire" teachers and do PE, Music, Art and Science together. I like that larger group setting, but yet it's only for a few hours on a weekday - my boys enjoy this as well. All of our boys play hockey too - if you've read our blog for any length of time, you are WELL AWARE of this fact!! They love hockey, but WOW - it does consume our winter months!! It is great exercise though and a wonderful way to learn team sports, etc. Our library also offers programming for homeschoolers - a science class taught by our county naturalist once a month, etc. We try to do all of those things that we can - our kids are very social and LOVE to be with their buddies!!!
(So there you go - I squeezed two days into one here!!)