The (Sort-of) Close of A Successful First Year of Homeschooling
By SunshineyDay on June 05, 2012
Well, June has rolled around again. I guess that means I've finished my first rookie year of homeschooling my boys. It doesn't feel like a huge achievement, and there's no big hurrah...just a continuation of what we've been doing all along. See, while most public schooled children are getting out of school right now, we are starting to ramp up again.
Phoenix is hot in the summer time. But, that goes without saying. So, in the interest of keeping myself sane, I just dont take the summer off for school. If we are going to be indoors, we might as well be doing school. This is also my husband's busy season and we don't see him much right now. It doesn't make a lick of sense to take our break now. Still, it feels weird to have finished a year and just now be amping back up into a fuller day of school. I ran out of pages in my planner, but not things to do in my kids' school day. We will break again in winter for vacation and Christmas time; field trip season, and lots of outdoor playtime.
Last year was good. I tried Reading Eggs online and we fell in love with it. We can stick with that for like 5 more years if we so choose to. For now, it's great and has practically taught my four year old to read all by itself. http://readingeggs.com/
We did Five in a Row on and off (FIAR). I must admit, my favorite school days were centered around FIAR. We didn't do all of the stories, but as we read more and more of them, I realized that there were stories I missed out on as a kid that are really great. The kids loved The Story About Ping, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (and we loved making apple pie together too!), Night of the Moonjellies (which was talked about for weeks to come!), Cranberry Thanksgiving (which I adored and want to buy!), and Katy and the Big Snow (which the Toolman fell in love with due to his heavy machinery obsession).
I also found a Scholastic book with units centered around literature just like FIAR is: !00 Skill Building Lessons Using Favorite Books; We read Yoko and made sushi rolls at home, The Purple Coat and measured eachother for "fittings", and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and talked about how to be a peacekeeper and how to help someone who is having a bad day.
We worked through the Weaver Interlock program, which I loved and disliked at the same time. It was great studying the Bible with my kids, memorizing scripture, and learning about Creation. I could have done without feeling so tied down to my curriculum though. I'm not sure why, but I just liked it less. Those days felt slightly more hectic, with my kids being ready to get up and take off sooner. I like the idea of studying creation for Pre-K or K though. It just feels right.
I also got a lot of resources for free or cheap from http://teacherexpress.scholastic.com/ which is the Scholastic website. They have rotating worksheets monthly that are free, and then they have dollar days where you get a whole book for a buck. You have to print it, but you can't beat one dollar.
Last but not least, I had a membership to Treasures4Teachers in Tempe...where I outfitted my "classroom" for a song. The ladies down there are so sweet and the deals are so awesome that I almost feel like I am stealing. Really. http://www.treasures4teachers.org/
The Homeschool convention is coming up! I can't wait to go hear the speakers, look at curriculum, and best of all, spend two days with my sweet husband in downtown Phoenix. It's going to be amazing. I'm sure this next year will be great; now I have my feet wet and I know it's not "too scary". We are also getting ready to start on our next adventure: becoming foster parents. We are finally in the home stretch to getting our license after 7+months. I'm going to try to blog more often. Between having new kids in the home, homeschooling my birth children, and keeping up with my husband's crazy schedule (12+hours per day, 6 days a week in the summertime)...it's going to be a ride. Hang on, folks. :)
On another note:
I've been invited to try Time4Learning's online education program in exchange for an honest review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so come back and read about my experience! For more information, try their lesson demos or find out how to write your own curriculum review.
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