8.10.2011

Simply Schooling


Like the rest of the Country, Pope Academy is gearing up for our new school year.

I love the way we set up our school room!  

The only thing I'm still needing is a short table and chairs and we will be ready to roll.

And a slipcover for our loveseat that Aunt Amber gave us!

At the end of last Spring, I had my plan all lined up.

I had decided I would go ahead and order her Kindergarten Curriculum and we would start, 2 years early, her Kindergarten Year.

I was so excited for her to be ahead.

I imagined her joining the ranks of homeschooled children who are able to graduate years before their peers.

Finishing Med School by the time she's 22.

And it was all going to start this Fall.

But at some point over the Summer, I finally heard my heart screaming at me to SLOW DOWN!


We are choosing to homeschool for a list of a million different reasons.

Sure our local public schools aren't exactly the greatest.

Yes, I'm more then capable of teaching her.

Wanting to ground her in the beliefs that are important to us? 

That's on the list too.

But towards the very tip top of that list?

I want to homeschool her because I personally think kids aren't allowed to be kids for long enough.

Sitting at a desk for 7+ hours a day, being herded around, made to wait for all the kids to understand.  And doing that 5 days a week.

It just sounds miserable to me.  

I know that a lot of families don't have any other options, but we do.

I want Josie to play and learn about what interests her.  I want her to run and be outside as much as possible.  I want to go on field trips and learn about the World and how to act around other people, by being IN the actual real world.  Not reading about it while surrounded by 30 other 4 year olds.

So when I sat down this month to nail down our first 6 months of lessons, I constantly had to check my heart to be sure our goals were in line with what God was showing me to be the most important.

And it was hard.

It's hard to listen to what other homeschool moms are doing.  How advanced their kids are.  

Reading by 4 when Josie can only recite letter sounds.

Math skills that nearly blow mine out of the water.

Entire days planned out with lessons.

I want to be a Homeschool Super Mom too, but as Andrew kindly reminds me, it's not like this is the only year I'm homeschooling.

There will come a day when she's ready for super duper lessons.  

But right now she's 4 and my job is to ensure that she gets to be 4.


So here's our plan.

We are going to go back to the Old Schoolhouse Basics.

From September to December, we have 4 daily subjects.

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Extras

When I was writing my lessons plans, I wrote at the top of the pages, "Read Everyday.  Write Something Everyday.  Do Some Basic Math.  AND HAVE FUN!"

I'm actually so excited about this year now!

This much more basic mindset towards school freed up my mind to know that we are really going to enjoy our time together.

And that is SO important!  I want us to make awesome memories together and for Josie to LOVE school time.

I'm also desperately trying to break the whole "What grade is she in?" mentality.

With homeschooling, there are no grade levels.

We learn each step until we get it and then we move on.  It doesn't matter if you're supposed to learn multiplication in 4th grade.  If you've learned all the proceeding steps and your kid is only 7, go for it!

So if you've made it this far, here's our 1st Semester Plan.

READING - Josie knows all her letter sounds and is trying to sound words out but it just isn't clicking yet.  I'm using a few different medias to cover reading.  We are going to try Usborne's Very First Reading Set.  I've found a ton of great activities for learning Sight Words and Blends.  Josie is also really into spelling words right now.  So we are doing lots and lots of sounding things out too.

WRITING - I'm super excited about this one!  Josie can write all her letters but needs practice with placement and size!  One letter can take up nearly the whole page!  So we are keeping this simple, every week we will pick a "Pen Pal" and work everyday on composing a letter to mail to them.  She's really hoping to get her own mail so if you're picked as a Pen Pal, you'll make her day if you write back!

MATH - I am not a fan of math so it's no surprise to me that I really haven't covered much on numbers with Josie.  We are starting with the very basics.  Like counting to 20 without skipping 8 and 15 every. single. time!  Once she gets the counting down pat we will move on to writing the numbers and then simple addition and subtraction.  I have plans to work on learning money values and telling time but I think it will be Spring before we get there.

EXTRAS - This is our "Fun" category.  Every school day we will have a bonus activity.  Art, baking, field trips, Preschool Packs, games, and science will all fall into this time.

I also signed her up for a local Co-op that we will get to go to every Monday.  There she will get to do more math and science, gym class, art, and recess.  A couple friends from Ballet are also going so I know she will have so much fun!

And she gets to play SOCCER!!!

She's been asking to play for 2 years and we finally decided she could give it a try.  We are holding off on ballet until after Christmas so this will give her an outside activity and some great exercise (and hopefully early bedtimes and good naps!)

So that's our plan!  If we are able to get all that covered, I'm thinking about starting a curriculum in the Winter.  But honestly, if this works for us, we may just keep right on building our own curriculum!

I hope you'll join us on our adventure this school year!

5 comments:

Mommyblogger said...

My daughter who is 12 has been in public school her whole life. When she was young I didn't even realize there was such a thing as homeschool. I've never known anyone in this small town that has been homeschooled. It is so intriguing to me and I can't wait to see what you all do. I have a son who is 1 and have thought several times since he's been born that I may want to go that route with him!

kimmer said...

Great plan! I love it! Stamp of major approval from Maemae!!!

Nora said...

How do I apply at Pope Academy?

Beth said...

You will be so so glad you didn't do a Kindergarten curriculum with her!!! What you wrote sounds wonderful!!! I haven't even figured out what I am doing with my 4, and 3 year olds yet?! Maybe borrowing some of your ideas:)

Linda Z said...

It's so easy to get prideful and competitive about any schooling situation, isn't it? But it sound like you are coming up with what works for you and Josie, and that's what's important. I've got one in a homeschool co-op and one in public school and they are both doing absolutely great just where God has put them! :)