It’s funny how life is. You think and think about if you should choose to go one way for your family’s life, and God paves the way that you are indeed going the right way. The start of something new – our homeschool journey begins.
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Lets get one thing out there before I start this blog post…we are not homeschooling because we are scared, think we are better than teachers, or that we think we can even do a better job, we are homeschooling because we can, know our children better than anyone else, and have the ability (honor) to be able to. I know a lot of parents don’t get the opportunity and we don’t take that privilege for granted. Whew, now let’s get started. Truth be told, and people who know me personally know I’ve thought about this for a long long time. Covid was the push to take my choice to fruition. Also having them home for months has taught me that I can in fact teach them. I always had this block in my mind that I wasn’t qualified.
So many choices. I’ve researched for months (years if we’re being completely honest), but I kept coming back to The Good and the Beautiful. I had seen many families rave about how they loved it and how it flowed with their family nicely. We started by taking the level assessment to see where they were and decided on Level 2 for Ella (she starts 2nd grade this year) and Level 3 for Jackson (he starts 4th grade this year). For us, we’d rather go over topics that they have already learned and continue on then buy a level that is too advanced. So let’s say Jackson flies through this level…so what? It’s not a hard thing to let him finish it out and then go on to the next. I’m not worrying about if they excel like crazy this year. This is a new balance for all of us.
I decided to stick with the same company for all of our courses because it’s so well put together. Handwriting for both, History 1 for both (this will be done together as a family), Science will also been done family style and we are starting with Mammals & Marine Biology, Ella will be doing Level 2 Math, and Jackson will be on Level 3. I’ve chosen Creative Arts & Crafts for an Elective family style, but I’m going to focus on other things for their electives.
Ella has found a new interest in Gymnastics and Jackson is still finding his thing, but hockey is still on the top of his list, so my hope is that those classes open back up before the start of our homeschool year.
I know this all seems overwhelming and all…how in the earth are you going to accomplish all those things, but in all reality, doing things this way will be a chance for us to focus on making learning fun. The curriculum is laid out so amazingly that it even gives you an idea of how long a typical lesson will take.
For example: for us we will do daily math, literature, handwriting and reading, but will only do science twice a week as well as history. My tentative schedule:
This schedule will change a million times before it’s all over with, but I needed a starting point. As you can see, we’ll alternate our science and history lessons, but lets say the kids are really into a particular science lesson and are begging to do some more the following day…ummmm, kids begging to learn? Yeah, we’ll skip history that day and continue on with what they are thrilled with.
That’s the whole point. I’m going to go with the flow and follow their lead. We read a story about a particular animal in our mammals curriculum and they are dying to see one in person…we pack up our school work and take an impromptu trip to see specific animal. Kids don’t feel like reading today? How about we go to a local forrest and have school outside today? Let’s go! All this to say that I’m literally learning how they learn as we go along.
My plan is for every Friday to be a field trip day and every 3rd Friday we will serve our community is some way. That may be volunteering at a local shelter to pick up poop, pick up trash at a local park, or serve food at a shelter. Side note: If anyone has any connections to serving in our community, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I have many screenshots on my phone of places we have wanted to visit, and since Covid hit, we haven’t been able to go. We are ready. Here are some ideas we have come up with:
NC Museum of Natural Sciences: this place is amazing. Yes, we’ve been when we first moved here and let me tell you…it is worth the time. Bonus: it’s free.
Flour Power: This is the coolest concept-cooking classes for kids. They have weekly classes, day classes, and even evening parent night out classes.
Marbles Kid Museum: I heard a rumor that this place may be going out of business (stupid Covid), but I sure hope not because this is on our bucket list.
“The Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park connects art, nature, and people to encourage creative experiences and human interactions. It features temporary and permanent public art installations by international artists, environmentally sustainable landscapes, colorful and contemporary gardens, miles of recreational trails, and a terraced pond” Source: here
Arts Together: “Arts Together is the only nonprofit in the City of Raleigh with year-round arts education programs that encompass visual art, dance and drama in an integrated format for toddlers through adults.” Source: here
Durant Nature Preserve: “The park was designated as a Nature Preserve in 2010 with the goal of protecting and preserving the area’s significant natural resources and providing nature-based recreation and environmental education experiences.” Source: here
North Carolina Museum Of History: I’m sure I’ll be more thrilled with this field trip than the little people, but I don’t care lol. Exposure!
And so many more…
There are tons of co-ops here in the area, but I just haven’t found the one yet. I’m still hopeful that one will be it and wouldn’t it be lovely to meet with other parents/kids weekly?
what about your oldest?
For those who don’t know our personally, we have 4 kids. Kailyn is 20 (she just graduated with her Bachelor’s in Physcology in May and is currently looking for employment), Ryder is 14 and will begin his sophomore year of high school this fall, Jackson is 9 starting 4th grade, and Ella is 7 starting 2nd. Ryder has decided that he would like to continue with traditional school unless the virus prohibits any at school time. Meaning if it goes strictly to online learning…he wants to homeschool. Honestly, I don’t blame him. Picture of the crew here.
reaching for new heights
This is all new to me, but then I think…I’ve been teaching them all along. I can do this. And the story continues…