Sunday, August 5, 2007

Homeschool Open House

Tiany is hosting the Homeschool Open House on her blog. You ought to check it out. Here's what our homeschool might look like in the coming year.

Welcome to our Backyard! The Bookworm King and I currently have three blessings living in our house, and one, our eldest, who lives with Jesus. We started reading about homeschooling when I was pregnant with our first, and we got serious with the research during our first experience with our local school district - which comes early when your oldest son is born medically fragile and developmentally delayed. It didn't take us long to discover that we didn't want anything to do with the public school system.

We actually started homeschooling during the past school year. #2 enjoyed My Father's World Kindergarten, and he learned a lot. He mastered reading CVC words and is continuing to progress with his reading. He completed Singapore Early Bird Math 2A and 2B. He CAN form all the letters of the alphabet correctly, but handwriting is very difficult for him. He enjoyed some lapbooking a la Hands of a Child, and we made an ABC book to go with MFW K. Overall, it was a good time.

This fall, we will be starting a K-5 year. He's working though Horizons Kindergarten Math, Explode the Code 1, 2 and 3, and Language Arts for Little Ones (finish volume two and start volume three). He'll be reading the Nora Gaydos readers and readers from Sonlight's LA 1.

For a unit study, we'll be taking a trip around the world, starting at our front door with a two week study of our great state of Oklahoma and then moving around the US by region before we really embark on a tour of the globe. We'll be reading on the region/country of the week and taking a look at a biography and a science topic having to do with that area. I hope it's fun. The goal is to expose him to basic geography and different customs and cultures and peoples and languages and foods. Overall, it's meant to be an introduction to all the people God created - last year we looked at world God created, this year we'll continue by looking at many of the different peoples that inhabit His creation. I've written the reading schedule based on Galloping the Globe, but we are not going to be using many of the suggested materials because they are, quite simply, over the head of a five-year-old. We will be using the Marvels of Creation series by Buddy Davis (informative books about animals from a creation-science view) and Children Just Like Me, but the other resources on my schedule come from either the book-lists in Galloping the Globe and Cantering the Country, Five in a Row, and Homeschool Share, Sonlight Core C (formerly Core K), or Winter Promise Animal Worlds or My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures.

Now, why would I do nutty thing like write my own reading list and schedule? That is pretty simple, actually. Three of these four programs are WAY beyond the abilities and desires of my kiddo, and in five years when we've made one time-traveling trip through history, I will probably return to geography as we add in two more students and then we will do either the MFW program or the Winter Promise programs. For now, I'm taking what will fit in with our lives and his abilities and moving on. We aren't looking for the details on this journey - just the basics and some exposure. And a program for a very curious five-year-old to circumvent the globe just doesn't exist yet.

Our days are very busy - with a five year old and two under two and a house to keep and meals to prepare, I am on the go from very early to semi-late every day. The only things that are seriously scheduled are rising times, bedtimes, and naptimes. Our routine looks somewhat like this:
5:00 am: the Queen rises, feeds the baby, meets with God, and heads over to the Y, drinking a breakfast smoothie on the way.
6:30 am: the King and the little bookworms get up, dress, empty the dishwasher, and make their breakfast (usually cheese omelets and something carb-y (toast or something from the freezer).
7:30 am: Breakfast. The Queen returns. The King gets his backpack, lunch, and gym bag packed and checks his email before heading out. (He'll be working out at lunch.)
8:00 am: The King leaves for work. The Queen takes over with the kids and starts laundry and the chores of the day.
9:00-11:00 am: Feeding baby. Naps for #3 and #4. Schoolwork for #2 (Language Arts and Math). Household chores
11:00 am - 2:00 pm: Any errands, outdoor play, playdates, field trips, or other travelling must be done at this time. If we are going to move to Gramma's house for the afternoon, we need to do it now. If there is nowhere to go, we just hang out, but with only three hours a day in which leaving the house is pleasant, there is usually somewhere to go.
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Feeding baby. Naps for #3 and #4. Schoolwork (unit study) and quiet time for #2 and I. I've also learned to cook dinner at this time.
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm: This is where things are REALLY crazy - Dinner needs to be finished. #2 is tired. #3 just got up and is VERY whiny. #4 woke up and is screaming hungry. Thank God for Clifford, who routinely cheers up #3 so that things don't totally fall apart.
6:00 pm: The King returns (Hallelujah! Didn't think I could hold things together a second longer) and we eat dinner.
7:00 pm: Showers and storytime for boys.
8:00 pm: Bedtime for kids
10:30 pm: Bedtime for the Queen
??:?? am: Bedtime for the King (this is improving - last week he was typically in bed by midnight).

And that, my friends, is what we think will be going on in our house for the next school year. We'll see how it goes and make changes as necessary.

If you'd like to know what's happening in other homeschools in the blogosphere, check out the links at Tiany's Open House.


Anonymous said...

I'm homeschooling for the first time with a wee one this year. It could be interesting! I'll be popping in on your blog once in awhile to see how it's going at your house! :)


Melissa Markham said...

Your unit study sounds great! I think it is very important for us to teach Geography. I hated it as a kid, but I have learned a lot with my own children. I have friends in other countries that tell us Americans get a bad rap because we don't know geography. And I have run into Americans who don't know where Virginia is for example...come on, you should at least have an idea where the 50 states are! There are a lot of great geography games too! We like 50 States, Carmen Sandiego, and National Geographic.

Have a great year!

Renee said...

Please let me know if you would like a care package from the east coast when you get to our part of the country! Good to keep in touch with you through your blog!

Holly said...

Hey...I love how you refer to yourself as the Queen. My kids also get totally undone around 4pm...why is that? You would think after taking a nap they would feel better. I am literally RELIEVED when hubby gets home at 6...loved reading about your family! Blessings! ~Holly

Anonymous said...


Enjoyed reading your post! I lived in Oklahoma for 4 years. We moved right before my oldest was schooling age. It was there that I began seriously looking into home schooling! Have a great year!


Keri said...

I'd love a copy of your reading plan. I've been trying to figure out a plan to combine galloping the globe & sonlight K with some extras as well to begin in August with my kindergartner. Thanks so much!

ThoughtfulMom said...

Keri, I'd love to share, but you left me no way to contact you. Your blogger profile is closed to the public.