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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

.Because You Asked - Homeschooling Part Two.

Here is the second part of "Because you asked" - home school addition. Thanks for the great questions! My inbox was inundated! {grin} To see part one click here.

1.What materials are you using in your home school with your 4 year old?

This year I am using Hands on Homeschooling. I really struggled to know what to use our first year. I chose this curriculum because it was so hands on and involved cooking and chores and a lot of movement type activities. It was perfect for Cadi from September to about November. Lately I have been noticing that she has kind of surpassed the curriculum. The activities seem to be below her, but she still seems to enjoy them. I just feel as if she is not being challenged as much as she was in the beginning. I still use most of the activities and the lessons, but I am adding stuff as well. I also purchased the Idea Book that went along with this curriculum. The Idea Book has been amazing. It is well worth the money. I really like it because it is not age specific, and I will be able to use the ideas for years with Cadi and Scotty. I completely recommend that book, even if you are not going to home school. It has wonderful, creative ideas and activities to do with your children, plus practical ideas for moms. I also use Abeka K4 Phonics. I am very familiar with Abeka, and while I do not agree with nor use all of the worksheets (busy work in my mind), I think their methodology is spot-on and works! Cadi has just started reading three letter words with short vowels, and that blows my mind! I use the bare bones of Abeka, and then we do our own fun stuff with the curriculum. Cadi loves it and so do I. We have really majored on the phonics lately. Reading is so very important to me, and I really want my children to have an excellent foundation and to truly love reading. I plan to continue with Abeka until second grade,and then reevaluate from there. I am NOT a fan of their {boring} basal readers, and I do plan on incorporating real books when the time comes. Our library is a wonderful resource. I am looking into Five in a Row for next year. It is a unit study that is literature based. The basic concept is that each week, the student will study a book - usually a classic, and all subjects revolve around that book - even Bible and their memory verse! My best friend shared it with me, and I am beyond excited to research it out. From what I have looked at so far, I am in love. Like I said I will continue Abeka next year, and I will start Saxon Math with Cadi.


2. How do you stay organized? I am not an organized person, and feel as if I would be doing my children a huge injustice if I tried to home school them.

Let me just say that I am not an organized person either. No - my house is not a mess, but if you look in my closets and cupboards their is little to no order. I was not created with an organized mind, I thrive on organization and long for it, and am good at keeping something organized, I just cannot figure out how to do it most of the time. All that to say, organizing is a big key to home schooling, though. I was nervous about this, and I prayed about it before starting. My best friend, Bethany, whether she knows it or not was hugely instrumental to my success in organizing school. She was created with an organizing mind. I truly believe it is a spiritual gift even. One piece of advice she gave me was storage containers - baskets, bins, containers, etc. I took this to heart and spent a whole day organizing top to bottom.

This is our homeschooling base. Almost everything is kept here and handy for when I need it. This dresser was getting thrown out and just given to us, I like the rustic-ness of it in my living room.

Here is a peek inside of one of the drawers. (These photos were from this fall.)

We also have a cupboard organized with home school stuff.

On the weekends, I organize everything I need for the coming week. I make any manipulatives/ visual aids/ games that I will need on the weekend as well. I use a system similar to what I used when I taught school. I have five filed folders labeled Monday - Friday, I put the corresponding lesson plans, activities, stickers, books,cards, etc in each folder. I put other supplies I might need (cotton balls, paper bags etc.) in a crate. That way everything is all set for me, and I just have to pull it out for that day. This has worked well for me.

I think the biggest thing is to find what works for you and be committed to sticking to it, yet at the same time if it isn't working try something else, until you find your system.

3. My husband is not on board with homeschooling, but I feel God tugging at my heart.

Oh, this is a toughy. Definitely be bathing this situation in prayer. I fortunately was blessed and my husband and I came to the decision to home school at the same time. As Christian women, we definitely need to be submissive to our husbands, but at the same time I think it is fine and good to have a conversation with him telling him exactly why you feel led to home school - try to have a non-emotional conversation. Then after that, it is something that will really need to be left in God's hands. If home schooling is really what God has in His plans for your family, He will change your husbands heart, and if not, He will change your heart.

4. Do you worry about your children not getting enough socialization?

No, I really don't. My children attend church with us each week. Cadi is involved in the mid week children's program at church as well. Both of my children are exposed to other children on a regular basis. Cadi has NO problems with socialization, lol. She could carry on a conversation with a tree. Scotty seems to have a much shyer personality than Cadi, and we will just need to give him opportunity to grow and develop his social skills. I definitely do not think that has to happen at a formal school.

5. What do your parents and your husband's parents think about home schooling? I know our parents would disapprove!

Jim's parents are very supportive. They home schooled their children through most of their formative education. They did things a bit differently than we do, but at the same time have offered us nothing but their support. Honestly, I was nervous about what my parents would think. I was reluctant to tell them, and actually it was not until just recently that they knew of our plans to continue homeschooling past these first few years. My parents are very supportive of our local Christian school, but they have been extremely supportive of our decision as well. They may not completely understand, but nonetheless they support us.

6. Isn't home schooling a huge expense?

Just like anything in life that you value, home schooling is an investment. Our first year has not been too expensive, but then again, we are just starting off. I think, like anything else, it has to be budgeted for. If it is something that God is leading you to do, you will be committed to making it work, and God will bless that.

7. What does a typical day look like? When do you clean your house? Do you have any free time?

A typical day (not everyday, though!) looks like this:
6:30 - Quiet time and prayer with Jim
7:00 - Children up, everyone dressed
7:30 - Family Breakfast
8:00 - Children play, I start laundry and a little housework. Some days I catch up on reading blogs with my cup of coffee {wink}
9:00 - 11:30ish - Scotty naps and Cadi and I do school
11:30-12:30 - a little more housework
12:30 - lunch
1:00-2:00 ish - I play with my children and we read stories
2:00 - 4:00 ish - (some days this happens a bit earlier) the children nap, I exercise, finish housework, and have my free time
4:00-5:00 - Cadi wathes one show, I prep and make dinner, Scotty usually plays in the kitchen at my feet
5:30 or 6:00ish - Family Dinner
6:00-7:00 Family time - play, bath, devos
7:00 - children in bed
7:00 on - is time with my husband


If you still have more questions - feel free to ask - either in comments or in my email. If I only get a few, I will respond individually. If I have enough to do another post, I will. Thanks for making this so fun!


Bethany said...

I read those words Saxton Math and died!!! I did there higher up Math books when I was homeschooled and hated hated hated them! They repeat the problems and I hated doing them again and again. However, I am thankful for it now!! Just thought I would let you know ;-)

Susana said...

Thanks for posting your curriclum! I love seeing what others use and getting ideas from them as well.

Have you decided on a 5K program for next year? Just curious. I have a mix I'm planning to use that is literature based because we've loved Itty Bitty Bookworm so much.

Tiffany said...

I liked your post about homeschooling. I also wanted to stop by and say thanks for stopping at my blog. Also a BIG thank you for commenting!

Heather said...

I enjoyed reading this! I plan on (with my husband's support) homeschooling my little boy. I am very interested in the that Hands on Homeschooling program for the earlier years. I do plan on using what my mom used when she schooled my younger brothers for a few years- Sonlight curriculum. That program used a lot of reading and I enjoyed the books my brothers had to read, too. You seem very organized with the homeschooling. I myself am not an organized person and find it overwhelming, so this is something I am nervous about, but you have given me encouragement by sharing your story!
Oh, your house seems more organized than mine! ;-) I don't have baseboards in a few rooms, either. And at least you have curtains up and your house really is beautifully decorated-I love your style!

The (Un)Experienced Mom said...

I give you credit for homeschooling!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Southern Gal said...

Wow. You should really have a great year homeschooling with all your organization. I'm horrible at it and it makes my life much more complicated. At least now I only have one left at home to school!

Kimberly said...

Have a wonderful year with your kiddos! I homeschooled for one year when my girls were grades 1 and 3... it was a great year and it helped our family realize that I'm much better as a taxi driver than as a teacher! And now that they're grades 5 and 7, the taxi-mom is in more demand than ever!
Blessings, Kimberly

Taking Heart said...

Great photos as always. I don't homeschool... but I'd like to scare the pants off of my boys sometimes and offer it up... lol. I know my daughter would be game, but the boys are social butterflies and they just love their school!

Hope you have a great rest of the week! Love your Amazing Grace song, one of my favorites!

Mel Fraase said...

Great info! If we had not moved out of the city before the kids started school, I had vowed to homeschool. We would not have been able to afford the christian schools, and the public ones scared me! Now our tiny town has a lovely school (each grade is about 20 kids). Parents are encouraged to be very involved and the teachers actually CARE!! Oh, and they use Saxon math and reading, I love it!

Mandi said...

I really enjoyed this! You make me want to really consider homeschooling. I've always planned on doing k4-kindergarten with my kids (well, Ava for now)...getting great ideas from you!

Laura said...

I don't homeschool, and my kids are probably much the better for it (insanely no patience type of person), but I wanted to pop over and say thank you so much for coming to my blog and for the comment. It made my day!

Kristin said...

I am always on the look-out for new blogs to read, but at the same time I am very picky. (I don't want to spend my time unwisely.) I found your blog after you left a comment on mine so I came over for a peek. You seem like a mama after my own heart, so I will be back! :-)

We homeschool, too, and it is quite an adventure.

Melanie said...

I enjoyed reading about your homeschooling. Thank you for your complement on my daughters photo.

Far Above Rubies said...

Tiffany, your blog is lovely. Thank you for passing by Far Above Rubies.

I always appreciate visitors. xox

God bless you!!


Lisa said...

Hi Tiffany,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Also, you might want to check out the curriculum, Little Hearts For His Glory, by Heart of Dakota Publishing. It is bible-based, Charlotte Mason-esque curriculum. I am doing the pre-K version (Little Hands to Heaven) with my 4 yr old this year and we both love it. You can check it out here:

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