Saturday, May 22, 2010

Home Schooling Part 3~ What

We started our "formal" home schooling this past fall. Why? Simply because Lydia LOVES "school" and we were desperate for a little more structure to our day. Oh, and I suppose I should admit, I've been itching to home school ever since I was pregnant with Lydia! So what do we teach?

We are very basic right now. Our main focus is, and I hope always will be, character training. I highly recommend teaching your child the importance of diligence before you try and tackle any math! Teach them patience (and learn a little yourself!) before coming near a reading book! Teach them to work whole-heartedly before approaching hand writing!

When it came to choosing curriculum, I just went with what I was familiar with. Remember, this is the very beginning of our homeschooling journey and we are just getting started. I promise to write in ten years about my favorite school supplies, but for now this is what we do!

Our school morning starts with Lydia and Bethany saying their verses. As I wrote about here, teaching your children the Word of God is crucial. Teach it! Teach it! Teach it! And as you do, learn it! Learn it! Learn it!

After that we have our Bible time. Right now it is very simple. I read a chapter aloud, pausing for pertinent questions, and then they draw a picture of what we just read. Fabulous questions come out during that time as they try to remember details to draw.

Lydia then goes on to her other subjects while her sisters do other things ( to be addressed on "How" the younger ones are occupied during school!). Right now she is just doing the basics; reading, writing and math.

For reading we have been going through A Beka's  Handbook for Reading.

It is very straight forward. Starting at sort vowels and going all the way through to proficient reading. Lydia is at the beginning stages of long vowels. Would I recommend it? It is very adequate, but requires a very patient and encouraging teacher to just plod through. Will I be looking into more interesting reading programs? Yes.

For hand writing we have been using A Reason For Writing.

I LOVE the Reason For Writing program! I used it growing up and had tons of fun with it. You practice different words through the week and at the end of the work you get to color a cute and fun "border sheet" on which you write your verse. However, I would not recommend the "K" level. All it is doing is teaching individual letters, which of course has some benefit, but isn't worth what it costs! Next time we will move to these books when they are ready to start the later levels.

For math Lydia started with A Beka's Numbers Skills K

For once I can truly say, I LOVE this book! Tons of color and tons of review. She had  blast going through this book! A Beka does progress pretty quickly. I will use it for the younger grades and switch to a different curriculum as they get older. Lydia completed this book rather quickly so my mom picked her up an Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners book which has been really great too.

Like I said, we are very basic right now and are still figuring many things out. But for now, that is "what" we are doing!


Kristi said...

Hi it's blessedwinter from MOMYS. :) You have a beautiful family and I really like your blog! I'm going to bookmark it :) God bless!

Hannah Moorman said...

Hi Grace! It's me again - probably your biggest blog fan from your incredibly single/no kids friend group! :=) I have really enjoyed your blogs about home schooling. I LOVED what you said about character training before (and of course during) reading, math, writing, etc. I wish that all parents understood the importance of training children to be diligent, patient and hard-workers. These are traits that I think used to be a larger part of our society and culture and unfortunately have fallen by the wayside. I know that as a school teacher, classroom issues and dynamics would be far different if those children came to school already being trained in those areas. (I didn't mean for my comment to turn into a novel. Sorry! :) Keep up the great blogging!!!! :=) I hope to apply some of your advice with my own children someday! :=)