Sunday, February 1, 2009

Let the Homeschooling Begin

We are starting our homeschooling adventure this week. We are really just spending the next few months laying some foundations with the boys. I have decided to use the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling. If you want to know more you can devour this site. For the early years (Up to age 6) the FOCUS is on 4 things - read alouds, habit training, outside play and Bible. She believes that these things lay the foundation for a love of learning. As the children are ready up to age 6 you add on teaching them to read, basic math and such. These are not to be forced on the child before the age of 6. The more I have read about her style of teaching the more I am convinced that it is the right one for us. My boys love being outdoors and they have so much energy that sitting still for long periods of time at this age just doesn't seem profitable for me or them. I have really struggled with worrying that they will be behind if I don't start now with all the academics. But over the last month, God has really given me a peace about this approach. I feel sure that Jake will be ready this summer or fall to start learning to read. One of the things that CM stresses are short lessons (15-20min) with young children. We are to train them to have FULL attentiveness in that amount of time rather than dwadling for 30 min or more per lesson. She also says to expose the children to a variety of things rather than the same thing every day (Like don't do math every day). So on our drive out to Denver I came up with a schedule and decided to spend the month thinking over it and deciding if it was what I wanted. I am glad to say that for the most part it stuck - with only a few tweeks this week. So for the month of Feb here's what we will be up to:
Daily - Catchism Questions, Read Aloud time at least 2x/day, we will be learning the calendar, Scripture Memory, and about 2.5 hours outside or free playing/day, and family devotions at night. oh and for the time being both boys are still napping.
-Messy Monday's - we are going to be doing lots of art. Focus on the process and not the product. I want to expose them to various types of creative outlets. This site is one of my favorite resources.
-Training Tuesdays - we will focus on various character training aspects. I am usuing Luke 2:52 as my guide - Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. I won't do all of these every month. This month we are revisiting First Time Obedience, Speech (poo-poo and such - when is it ok to use it), and Listening Skills. I will post more later about how I did these training days.
-Work Wednesday - This day I will focus on practical life skills that I want to teach the boys. This month Jake will be learning how to wash dishes, sort their laundry, pick up boys room and school room (we rearranged since Christmas stuff). Brady will be learning how to wipe down the kitchen table, countertops and stove, how to fold towels, and to pick up boys room and school room.
-Teaching Thursdays - This is the one day a week that we will sit and work on academics. We are reviewing Upper and lower case letters and sounds with Jake. He will also do copywork to practice writing his letters. Brady will be learning the letters.
-Fun Friday - This day will usually be an outing for us - the park or such. Or if the weather is nice we will go exploring in the woods behind our house. Just to get out and have fun with the kids.
I am excited to see how we all do with this schedule. We basically do the same thing every day except for 2 -35 min sessions (15 min with each child when seperate and time for transition) each day where I work in the things that differ above. I am committed to it for this month and if it doesn't work we will try again. For those of you that have read this far I assume you are interested so I will keep you posted.


Momof3 said...

Amy, this looks great! It is so fun to see our different personalities manifested in how we are teaching our children. I have to say that as much as I am afraid of failing at schooling them, I am more afraid of losing them which makes me try harder to teach them at home! It really is fun (most days) and I can't imagine how it would be otherwise. We will pray for you as you start this adventure! We love you all!

Donna said...

This post is so exciting to me- I could talk about teaching and training children all day. I know all about Charlotte Mason and LOVE her stuff- nature journals, outside time, etc. I love your schedule- I hope it works well for you. And you are right to have a peace- my friends that have like 6kids say that sometimes they don't start academics with their younger ones until 6 or 7 and they catch right up to the ones they started at 3 or 4- when they are ready they just fly through the material. And boys can't be cooped up! I'm so glad you are back to blogging- I was wondering where you went. And I can't wait to see house pics! Enjoy your wide open spaces- I think any mom with boys knows how much you are enjoying that!

Lindsey said...

very exciting amy. i can't wait to hear how it all goes. i'm so proud of you for trying this!