Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Adventure Begins!

Sort of...

Today isn't the first day of school, you can probably gather that by the date of the post. We are, however, very young in our homeschool journey. My oldest is about halfway finished with K4. John is the first to be homeschooled of our kids. Well, I say that but Ethan, who has just turned 3 is being taught also, as his patience and attention span allows. Lydia, who is 10 months old and loves to get into everything, enjoys our Bible curriculum...until her morning nap gets in the way!

I can pretty quickly summarize the year in once sentence: It's been wonderful! We have certainly had our ups and downs. We've been from thrilled to defeated and back again, stopping at all points between. Homeschool is nothing like I'd imagined. It's far more rewarding and far more difficult than I would have ever thought.

We use A Beka Book for our text books in Bible (partly), phonics, writing and numbers. For our Bible curriculum, I sort of use the teacher curriculum as a guide. I was not about to spend 200 dollars to get the entire Bible kit!! We use the activity book and the teacher curriculum, and do well with that. A Beka is very challenging, but certainly achievable for any child. Many of my friends who have homeschooled or taught in Christian private school have made me a believer in A Beka. I'm certianly not saying that I'll always and forever use A Beka, but it will take a lot of convincing to change me.

On to the children...
John began reading sentences last week. The first sentence was "Tom can run." He didn't really put it all together that time, that the sentence was a thought. The second sentence though, "Get the jug." was no problem. You could just see the light turn on! So, thinking on my feet, I got the milk jug out of the refrigerator and asked him to read it again. "Get the jug." I asked, "Can you do that?" Sure enough, he picks it up and hands it to me. I was thrilled.

Numbers is easy-breezy for John and Ethan both. We are so far ahead in this curriculum that I think we'll be finished by March. When we went to The Campus Bookstore (on the PCC campus) I thumbed through the numbers teacher curriculum and knew it would be easy for the kids, but I never thought they would know it ALL! Even at the end when addition is introduced is no problem. Still, we will actually do and finish the book. The challenge is keeping them interested.

I usually try to incorporate something fun into the mix also. Typically it's in the form of a craft. Some of them are the cheap and easy kind. Some are elaborate and complicated. The last one was complicated. At Hobby Lobby, you can buy these craft kits. Very often they will be marked down, even up to 75% off if you look. So last time we were in Pensacola, I picked up these doorknob hangers. John picked up a snowman and Ethan decided on a gingerbread man. They were made of foam. The kind that you usually see in foam letters and numbers for crafts. I noticed that they were adhesive backed, which is right up our alley! Unfortunately, I didn't notice that the joints of the snowman and gingerbread man had to be threaded with a plastic string! John could have probably handled it, but Ethan is definiately not coordinated enough yet. Well, anyone who has mulitple children close in age knows how hard it is to do a craft together. Everyone wants Momma's attention and patience is completely nixed. I thought getting out the hot glue gun would be great. The kids wouldn't mind if the arms and legs on the doorknob hangers didn't move...especially since they didn't know they were supposed to (haha). I should have listened to the motherly voice in the back of my mind saying, "Ethan is too young to be around this hot glue. He's going to get burned." And naturally, he did. Then the baby wakes up from all of Ethan's screaming and carrying on. John, being the sweet child that he is, is trying to see about Ethan. Ethan, being the drama king that he is, pushes John away. It was a moment of pandemonium, for sure.

It seems that my first post for this blog is rather long. Of course, I am trying to capture the past 3 1/2 or so in one post. I hope the others aren't so in depth.

0 edifying expressions: