Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Homeschooling Life...3 months in...

We have been homeschooling in a structured manner (opposed to parenting with learning opportunities) for 3 months now...let me let you in on a big secret...I do not have all the answers.

We constantly revamp the plan.
On a daily basis we fine tune and tweak to see what works.
Informally we will talk and encourage each other.

We started out thinking we'd have a "school" schedule like an institutional school does: Subjects determined by time and day of the week.  Boy were we setting ourselves up with that one.  Instead, we started having W. choose from a list of things he could work on, with a few subjects/projects (math, calendar, phonics, and cleanup) required each day.  We'd go through about a weeks worth of content in a day.  Most of that is due to the curriculum being very repetitious and most of it was about sounds and letters, which we had already learned a lot about naturalistically over the years.  After W. received 5 stickers (one sticker per subject studied) he was able to "play" for the rest of  the day.  Play often was cooking, puzzles, art, shopping or outside play.  I started to think of it as we school in the morning and unschool in the afternoon.

We have almost completed our math and phonics for Kindergarten using the Saxon Curriculum.  While I think it is a great curriculum (lots of review, consistency for predictability, concrete rules for how to do things...) it lacks in imagination and creativity.  We also do not have a science or social studies curriculum...just a plan on what we want to cover this year in those subjects (aka: the curriculum map.)

So here is the newest plan.
1) Finish the Phonics and Math Curriculums
3) Incorporate #2 into the social studies and science we have been ignoring until now (except the incidental learning we encourage.)
4) Celebrate! it's the holiday season...lets make some crafts, explore the world around us, and learn all about the why of celebrations.

In other words: We will use the math and phonics we have learned so far to scaffold learning towards what we have been previously leaving out of our curriculum.

Therefore, I am proposing this above plan for the next 2 months (Mid November to Mid January)  At that time, I think we will re-assess and maybe go into building up our reading and math skills while continuing our journey of discovery.


  1. Have you checked out starfall.com? It is a great interactive beginning reading program (free) for little ones. It is one of my favorites.

  2. It's one of our favorites...W. loves playing the games, but claims the songs are scary. I recommend it a lot to my speech and language kiddo's families due to the high risk of reading problems when you have phonological processing issues.

  3. City sister are you a speech pathologist? Just asking. My son is in speech and I always am amazed at the knowledge SLPs have.

  4. yes I am...I specialize in birth to 3 and emergent language...It's a fun field for the linguist in me.

  5. Our little guy has been in speech since we brought him from his orphanage at 21mths. He is almost 3 and our SLP has really helped him along. Still a long road, but growth is what we celebrate. Can I email you a question?


Thanks for visiting with us girls...put your feet up and stay for a while.