I’m long overdue for a homeschooling post – after all I am a homeschooling mom and that is a huge part of my life. But I’ve been pretty exhausted from it all and just didn’t want to think or talk about homeschooling this summer. I always order our books in April so it’s not like I have to make plans – that’s already done. But at some point, I do get past it and start looking forward to the new year. That started a couple weeks ago for me.
We usually begin school the last week of August (like the local schools) and this year I had planned on August 29th being our first day. However, I’ve been noticing more and more behavior issues with the children, especially Nathan, as the boredom of the summer “non-routine” gets to them. After a lot of thought & prayer, I decided it would be best to start school this week.
Naturally homeschooling is a lot of work for me, but I’ve been ready to pull my hair out with the kids lately so I knew it would be the change of pace we all needed.
I didn’t tell the children we were starting until last night – I wasn’t 100% sure myself until then. When I did tell them, their reactions were so funny. Emily was very excited and jumped up and down and shouted “Yay! I start preschool!” While Nathan looked a little glum and said “Ok, Mom.” He was very good about it, but he definitely did not share his sister’s excitement. I find it humorous that, as he is getting older, each year his excitement dims just a little. He is learning that school is not all fun, but a lot of work too. That’s something that all kids learn.
We use A Beka Book for curriculum, which is what I was taught with. (If you’re new to my blog, I’ll tell you that I was homeschooled myself from grade 2 all the way through 12th by my wonderful mom.) A Beka is an excellent traditional Christian curriculum and I love how comprehensive it is. I like that the teacher’s guides tell me exactly what to say and how to teach something to my child. That’s not to say I follow it verbatim – I take from it what I will and what works for my individual child. I noticed that many of their suggestions were too repetitive for Nathan, but he’s a fast learner. Emily will probably do better with a lot of repeating. And that’s one of the best parts of homeschooling – how much you can customize it to the individual child.
This year, Nathan is in third grade and Emily is K-4 or preschool/kindergarten. (I’m doing a combination with her.)
I wrote up a complete schedule for myself last night and decided I would do my best to follow it. Of course, keeping in mind that with little ones things can and do change and I had to keep a flexible approach.
We began with Bible reading. For my bigger two, we are reading the “Read-N-Grow Picture Bible.”
This is an amazing children’s Bible that is perfect for elementary-aged children. It has detailed stories and more than just the typical David-and-Goliath story, but it has so many pictures it makes it very interesting for children.
We had this when I was a child and I am so blessed that my wonderful aunt thought to give me a copy for my own children before it went out of print. If you can find it, this is truly a gem!
For my younger two, we are reading the classic “The Beginner’s Bible”
I love the cute pictures:
Once that was finished, we said our Pledge of Allegiance and our school day began. For now, I’m having Emily play with the little boys, while I start Nathan’s subjects. Nathan is in third grade and A Beka really steps it up a level this year. There is smaller print, less graphics, and more quizzes and tests. Nathan is ready though and so am I!
We start with Bible verse memorization and the books of the Bible (Nathan is working on the New Testament. Then we work on reading, language, and cursive writing.
We stopped for recess while I tucked Luke in for a nap and it was Emily’s turn for K-4:
Emily learned about the letter “I” today, among other things.
Joshua even colored a picture with bears. He was very excited to do this! Here’s a few more pictures from our day:
And Luke kept busy today too (more on that later!)
And freshly made oatmeal raisin cookies to celebrate later!
They all did really well and I am so pleased with my sweet children. And I am happy to say that my schedule worked very well and it’s been a fantastic day. None of the first day “Oh my goodness, I can’t do this!” jitters that I’ve had in the past. Just quiet calm and go-with-the-flow. It was definitely the right decision to start school early – we all needed the extra structure badly!
I have a couple fun family posts I am working on – there’s been a lot of things happening with us and it’s time for some updates! I also have some awesome giveaways this week and next, including sponsors like Boon, Kidorable, and Zoobies! Stay tuned!
For my homeschooling friends, when do you plan on starting school? Or have you already or do you school all summer long?