Tag Archives: curriculum

It’s official – homeschooling mom-teacher of three

our homeschoolers

After MUCH debate, and several conversations with each child and each other, Hubby and I made a monumental decision this weekend.  We are homeschooling all three children now.

I’m terrified and excited.  I know it will be good for us, both as a family and individually.  This is one step closer to our dream life.  I always wanted to be a teacher, and now I’ll be teaching my children, each in the way that they learn best.  I’ve done the research, I’ve paid careful attention.  I can do this!  We can do this!!

But I have concerns, too.  What if I can’t do as good of a job with the littles?  What if I find I don’t have the patience?  The fortitude?  The whatever-it-takes to get it done?  What if we really need me to go back to work?  I’m finding there’s a lot more nerves there than I thought there would be.  A lot more questions than answers.  But I’m also confident that it’s the right choice.  With Hubby working out of town, the responsibilities to get the kiddos where they each need to be falls on me.  I’ve already taught Kyle how to read, and Kody is well on his way.  Kyle will continue to have more doctor’s appointments than most kiddos his age, due to his allergies.  And with Daddy being out of town, it’s tougher to stick to a school schedule.  Taking all of those things into consideration, we decided that the uncertainty is worth the plunge.

If I am low on patience, then I’ll schedule more mommy-time when I can get it.  I’ll spend more time visiting family, and getting out and about to museums, the zoo, and other activities that will keep the littles occupied and still be learning activities.  I’ll also be better able to participate in some of the homeschool days activities.  If we get desperate for a second income, then I’ll find something on the night shift.  (I prefer that anyways).  I’ll still continue with my freelancing, and my other businesses to create income when and how I can that way (Avon, anyone? Barefoot Books? There’s another one in the works, but until it’s a done deal, I won’t advertise it.)  I’ve learned a lot about blogging in the last few months, and will be putting some of what I’ve learned to use there, too.  I have a book and a couple of short stories in the works.  We’ll be working together as a family to submit those and learn about the publishing process (rejection letters can be learned from, too).  We will adopt even more frugal attitudes and involve the whole family in those activities (I made laundry soap a couple of weeks ago.  We were lacking the buckets to put it in, but I’ll be trying again soon… I’m also looking to take some “refresher course” on sewing… with my mom if she’ll do it (LOL) or a course from someone local… if you know anyone in/near Victoria, please drop me a line in the comments).

Tomorrow I’ll officially withdraw the littles from school and send off our letter to the administration.  I’ll have their curriculum completed by then, a la The Well Trained Mind.

Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!  What have I gotten myself into????  LOL!!!  {Breathe, Kim… it’s going to be okay!}

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Curriculum reviewed

Yesterday I reviewed Chris’s curriculum in depth, and planned out the next few weeks (once he gets back from his visit at his mom’s this week).  As expected, we have decided that we’ll loosely base our school year on our inherited ABEKA/Switched-On Schoolhouse curriculum.  It’s a very (very) thorough program, a bit too much like the traditional school for my tastes, but that means that he’ll cover everything he needs to know to get him through the 8th grade, which eases my mind.  I’ll fill in some of the holes from 7th grade as needed, and we’ll add in field trips and more hands-on learning activities to help him along the way.  I’m nervous and excited at the same time.  🙂  He seems to be anxious to get started, and yet dragging his feet at the same time, so I think we’re in the same boat.  😀

My husband and I made the decision that the twins will start Kindergarten this year at the local public school.  Kody doesn’t want to go, and keeps asking why he can’t homeschool (which is tugging at us, of course).  Kyle on the other hand, (the one who we are worried about going to school because of his allergies and consistently getting sick), desperately wants to go.  (Insert rolling eyes here).  😀  It’s hard… there’s a part of me that wants to homeschool them, because I feel so strongly about them getting the best education they can get at home… yet there’s this other part of me that feels that it is a  good idea to start them off at public school and see how they do.  It starts in two days, so we’ll see how this first week goes.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream to one who’s never seen it

After watching the 1981 film made of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, courtesy of the Victoria Public Library, Chris and I had a chat about the movie.  Now, let me preface this with this:  I caught him trying to avoid watching at several junctures and offered this alternative to the movie:  us reading the play out loud together.

Me:  What did you like about the movie?

Him:  Nothing.

Me:  Seriously, even a movie that you hate, you can always pick one thing about it that you liked.  Pick something.

Him:  The credits.

Me:  Remember school?  Want to go back?  (said with a grin)

Him:  um… no.  Okay… um, I kinda liked that it was like a fairy tale.  With like, fairies and stuff.  I would have liked it better if there was a real swordfight instead of that stupid one at the end.  I like stuff like that, armor and swords, and other stuff.

Me:  Well, good.  It wasn’t in this one, but it is in some of the other plays.  I’ll have to look for some.  (Pretty sure I saw rolling eyes at this point, but I ignore them.)  I’d also like to go to the Rennaisance Festival this fall.  I’ll talk to your Dad about it, because they have fencing and jousting.

Him:  Real jousting?  Like on horses and everything?

Me:  Yes, on horses and everything.  I LOVE the RenFest.

Him:  Cool!  I’d like THAT.  So… is my test done?  Can I go play?

Me:  sigh… yeah, I guess so.

OK, so it was a little rough.  I probably should have introduced him to Shakespeare with Romeo & Juliet, maybe the Leonardo DeCaprio version.  🙂  In fact, that may be my next one, if he hasn’t learned by then to sleep with his eyes open.  He’s convinced that he’s too young for Shakespeare.  I had to point out that my class performed this play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) in the sixth grade.  Not said:  I was 11 in 16th grade (twelve by the the end), not 13.  But… what interested an eleven year old girl is not the same as a 13 year old boy.  Another sigh.  🙂

Okay, so maybe the next classic will be Homer’s The Odyssey.  That might be a better one.  In the meantime, I have determined that he has NO idea how to read or listen to and understand Shakespeare’s speech.  So that’s something we’ll have to remedy.  I know it’s hard.  Even as a voracious reader, it’s hard to learn.  I do recognize that because I have read it so much through the years, it’s much easier to get now.  There were times I laughed out loud, and he’d look at me like I lost my mind.  I’d have to pause the movie and go back through the words to help him understand what was going on.  OK, so to him, it was 2 hours of his life wasted.  To me, it was a start.  I have a book for writing on Life in Rennaisance England.  Maybe we’ll have a day of our own, make costumes and try to talk like that all day.  Make it a little fun.  🙂  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’ve exposed him to Shakespeare, and we’ll go from there.

Afterward, he designed this with his legos.  🙂  Creativity abounds.  And he pointed out that he made some adjustments to the back, paying attention to the fact that it needed a reinforcing column.

In other news, my LabPaq arrived today!!!!  Chris and I were acting like it was Christmas Day… unpacking the box, checking out the scales, petri dishes, microscope, talking about what kind of science experiments we can do.  It was fun!!!  Definitely more interest in Science than Literature.  🙂  I can’t wait for next semester so I can get started on the experiments!!!

I’ve also spent the entire day today with Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year, How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool through High School.  As originally planned, I’ll be picking up our goal curriculum (8th grade ABEKA) in about a month.  In the meantime, I’m studying (and yes, taking notes) from this book… 6th grade through 8th.  Just as a reminder, he was failing/barely passing several classes in the sixth grade, but he should have been in 7th grade this year.  So my goal is to bring him up through 8th grade by the end of next year, just in case circumstances become that he has to re-enroll in school (public or private).  This is always in the back of my mind, so I have to be careful to be sure that we’ll cover everything necessary to at least keep him at a 7th grade level, hopefully an 8th grade, at any given time.  Anytime there’s a potential for a custody dispute, I’ve learned, plan for the “worst case scenario”.  So, anyways, I’m combining the three years (one to review what he should have learned, 7th grade and 8th grade to combine what we hope he learns by the end of next  year).  It’s been a busy day.  I’ve barely made it through my note-taking on 6th grade.  I still have 7th and 8th to incorporate.  Then I plan to take the book “A Classical Trained Mind” and incorporate it into these same years.  That will be my “ultimate” curriculum for the year.  🙂

When I’m done completing his “ultimate” curriculum, I’ll go through the same steps to create an “ultimate curriculum” for Kody & Kyle (luckily, they are going to use the same one), in case I can convince my husband to allow me to homeschool them through Kindergarden, and in case circumstances allow me to homeschool them through it (namely, he gets a job that pays well enough to allow it, and my writing income picks up enough to help with what the difference would be if I was working, minus daycare).  🙂

So, that was our day.  How was yours?  Have any tips for this homeschooling mom newbie?  🙂  I can certainly use them!!!!

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