With the start of public school, I have been seeing many Facebook posts and emails regarding going back to school, supplies on sale, curriculum discounts. I have had two reactions to this:
1) A complete joy because of the freedom we have in not being tied to that schedule – AND –
2) An extreme pressure toward finding a whole or partial curriculum.
I will preface this with saying, there is absolutely nothing wrong with pre-made curriculums. Coming from a background of ten years teaching in the public schools, I am a fan of certain curriculums and not others. I can see where specific curriculums work better in a private or home setting vs a public school setting, or for one student personality vs another student personality. I get all of this. What I have realized this week is the venture to find a curriculum when the Lord has told you not to is a bit futile!
I also discovered that walking this homeschooling journey is akin to parenting in general. When I had my first child, I thought the internet would be my best friend.
Google to the rescue!!!
Um…no. With all the wealth of information out there, I quickly discovered that there was too much information out there. Breastfeed vs formula, cry-it-out vs never cry, spanking vs not, cloth diaper vs disposable…you name it, the arguments are there. All sides are right, all sides are wrong. I quickly found my head swirling and my eyes shedding many-a-tear because I was worse off after my two hour search!
4 years into parenting and another child later, I finally came to understand. When searching the internet all those times, I would end up searching for an opinion that already matched mine and it made me feel better about what it was that I already had a leading to do anyway! Parenting is being me, with the Lord, training my children up as we go. If I’m really not sure, I’m going to ask the Lord, or another person who is walking this journey with me and slightly ahead of me.
This same thing goes with homeschooling. There are as many ways to homeschool as there are unique and individual families. What is right for one is not automatically right for the next. Some may be and look similar, some may look completely different, but they will all have their own flavor…as they should. So I walk on, being my own flavor with the Lord. I know the Lord has told me it is not time to purchase any curriculum, but to follow the leading of Mason and his interests.
My encouragement to you in your journey, be it life or homeschooling or fill-in-the-blank: If you are following the true desire of your heart, don’t give up. Stand on what you know is right, and walk on. Today you may feel overwhelmed, tired, and stretched, but joy comes in the morning. Each day is His and therefore, each day is yours.
Live it, Love it, Joy in it, Learn.
Measuring in centimeters
- My children love to empty my center desk drawer of all its pens, pencils, erasers, binder clips etc. This time Mason had placed most everything from the drawer on the kitchen table. This included a ruler that had cm on one side. My husband explained how to line an object on the zero and find its length. Mason spent the next 15-20 minutes measuring items from the drawer.
Lego Block Addition and Subtraction, Lego pack
- Several months ago, I came across a free Lego pack by www.walkingbytheway.com. Two of the pages included were addition and subtraction of blocks. We spent most of our time doing the subtraction. You place an amount of Lego bricks on the card, let them count, and then take some away while their eyes are closed. The student then has to tell you how many you took away. We made sure to restate the problem after each time “Six take away two equals four.” This will really help when we are ready to move to writing these type of problems using symbolic form.
Matching Partner Letters (Uppercase to Lowercase), Alphabet Cards by The Learning Leaf
- This was a fun review game. It is the age old game of concentration using Uppercase and Lowercase letters. I made a set of alphabet cards and we placed a 4 x 4 block of cards on the table (8 letters of the alphabet at a time). Mason would turn over two, trying to match the uppercase letter with its partner lowercase letter.
(Click the pic for a free set of printable cards.)
- Madison (age 2) was very interested in the alphabet cards, so I made a tot-pack for her. I made templates with the Upper and Lowercase matches on them. I placed two templates in front of her (4 letters at a time), and she had to match the alphabet card to the correct letter on the templates. An example of Madison’s templates:
(Click the pic for a free download of the tot-pack templates.)
Word Family Practice, Starfall.com
- We did 15-20 minutes on starfall.com working on word family reading, recognition, and spelling. I saw him work on the -an, -at, -en, -it word families, but there may have been more! If you have never used starfall.com, jump over and take a look, it is a wonderful free online tool.