I began feeling this summer that I need to start this school year, even though Abigail will be old enough for kindergarten next year. I wondered how I was going to do it, what I would teach, how I would get them to listen to me...
I was very afraid, because Abigail's natural response to anything I tell her is that she doesn't believe I have the answer. I might be right, I might be wrong... She'll find out herself. Which, in a lot of ways, is a great thing. However, there are some things you just have to trust me on. Like that letters go in a specific order, and must be arranged in lines on a page in order to be words. She didn't take my word for it on that for a long time. How could I homeschool this kind of personality, so different from mine? And yet, I knew that I had to do it.
When August rolled around, I began to ponder about what to do exactly. I had a 2 month old baby, I was in the middle of canning... life is busy! Things just fell into place for me. Phoebe gave me a good 3 weeks of sleeping through the night. I had the mental acuteness to develop a plan and begin writing my curriculum (a favorite part of teaching, I must say). When we started, the girls loved it! Who wouldn't, really? They get 2 hours of my attention, playing games, reading stories, writing letters... And at this age, I am still really cool to them.
The girls still ask me every day what we are learning in school tomorrow, and they look forward to mondays when we are going back to school. It is working out great, and they are learning a lot! I find that every time I know there is a concept I need to teach, but I don't know how to approach it, the answers just come to me as a work with each child individually. I felt that when I taught public school, and I believe all mothers feel that frequently, if not constantly.
While I know that I won't be the coolest person to them forever, and homeschool won't always be as easy as it is now, I know I'm off to a good start. If only there was a way for them to ride the bus AND do homeschool, they would think life was perfect. (They envy all the neighborhood kids who get to ride the bus to school.)
So far, my favorite lessons have been:
- The Chicken Polka
- Painting giraffes
- Bean Collage Butterflies
- Insect Hunt
- Heart anatomy and physiology (the best use I've yet found for all those textbooks I didn't sell back)
- Making a kite (well, that's in a few weeks, but I'm so excited!)