I’m starting this blog off the same way I’m starting the homeschool year: with nothing fancy. I have big plans for the visual elements of this blog, just as I have big plans for the home education of my children. But I also want to document it, good and bad, so I couldn’t wait until it looked the way I wanted before writing my first post.
I also couldn’t wait for a Saturday to myself, so this morning I packed the kids in the car and headed to our local homeschool curriculum consignment store, Homeschool Potpourri, to see if I could gather any of my dream homeschooling supplies at a discount. The kids did NOT stay in the play area but they did get excited about various books and learning tools, so I considered it a successful outing. Plus, we hit the jackpot! Our home preschool journey has included Before Five in a Row, alphabet art, Bible Study Fellowship, and fun activities found on Pinterest. We did school maybe two times per week… sometimes not at all because parenting, support raising and being a BSF discussion leader were all too much for this mama. We read aloud every day and I am very good about keeping and reading high quality literature in the mix with Thomas the Tank Engine (for Austin) and Fancy Nancy (for Susanna). We learn and practice our social and engagement skills often. So, they might not be super smart but they are generally well-behaved (not mention well-adjusted since one of the things we did multiple mornings a week was chiropractic).
We read all the BFIAR books, and we did lessons and activities around most of them. I will continue to use it this year with Austin and Susanna can tag along again if she wants.
But, Susanna turns 5 in June so we are going to start a kindergarten routine. When we head to language school, her more “formal” (if that’s what we can even call it) schooling might be put on hold while she goes to preschool with Austin at the college. This is ok with me – I am not concerned about her losing skills or opportunities to learn. In Texas, she’ll be learning Spanish, how to deal with transition, and that “home is where her parents are.” These are hard lessons for anyone to learn, and we will pick back up with numbers and phonics and reading when we graduate and head to Spain.
For our Kindergarten curriculum, I picked up an ancient version of Five in a Row Volume 1 at Homeschool Potpourri, plus a (falling apart) copy of the one book that is out of print from the bibliography, Night of the Moonjellies. This was a big score because out of print books cost a lot of money! I also got my own beloved copy of Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life, two Frances books, Virginia Lee-Burton’s The Little House, a Thomas the Tank Engine counting book (mostly because Austin had been totally left out of my purchases), and the wooden letters for the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. I plan to incorporate HWT workbooks and Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2 for kindergarten writing and math skills.
We’re not using a traditional phonics program. My plan for teaching Susanna to read is to read out loud a lot. We will learn our letters as we learn to write them (she is way more interested in that right now) and as I see her skills developing, I’ll supplement the needed phonics work. But I think she can learn to read by reading. I don’t think she needs (at this point) to have the dots between the letters and their sounds connected to reading whole words. I believe her brain will do it on its own.