For the past year I have been researching, reading, PRAYING (lots of praying), and talking with moms who homeschool. I have had an overwhelming feeling that I am being led to homeschool my children. My oldest is now 4 so I am feeling a little more pressure to decide what we will do next year; but I’m 99.9999% certain that we will homeschool. This feeling has been on my heart for several reasons (that I may or may not cover in this post) and I am trying to work through what is best for my family. I never thought I’d be a stay at home mom so I REALLY never thought I’d homeschool. I actually had many misconceptions about homeschooling; and I’m so glad that whether or not I homeschool I have a new-found respect for moms (and dads) that teach their children at home.
I have so many emotions thinking about homeschooling but overall I’m so excited to embark on this journey. We recently moved to a new home, The home has the exact layout and size that we were looking for. However, it is not in the greatest school district. At first I was very concerned about this because in my mind I kept looking for houses in areas with great schools just in case we would be sending our girls to public school. I kept asking God for a sign and this house/location was HIS answer; I believe that whole-heartedly. With this new conviction that we are supposed to be a homeschooling family I was going to start to determine how homeschooling would be possible for our family. I am taking this year as a trial run to see how my daughter would take to me teaching her and providing a more structured (and I use that term loosely) time for learning. I originally thought I’d start around August or September but my daughter would ask every day if we would do our school work; so I just decided to start this month since she was so excited.
I started by writing out the goals I would like her to achieve or at least be working on achieving by the time she is 5. I won’t list all the goals I listed but the top three goals include: 1. learning character traits/implementing them. 2. beginning to read/learning sight words 3. writing her letters/numbers/personal information (name/address, etc). And also picking out some areas that she tends to ask about.
Then I used those goals to determine what I would use to teach her.
- I will use the handwriting and K Primer workbooks from the curriculum series The Good and The Beautiful
- I will use a Math workbook (kindergarten level)
- We will also read aloud from the Bible and books with emphasis in character training.
- My daughter is very interested in geography and science so I have a few preschool/pre kindergarten level workbooks that dive into these subjects (which consist of stories, crafts (cutting/gluing) while learning).
We are 3 weeks into our 4k homeschool time and I couldn’t be happier with how things are going. I’ve made some small adjustments to what we do each day but my daughter wakes up asking when we are going to start; so I must be doing something right by her. We started just doing 3 days a week but on the other 2 days she would beg to do something so now I just spread things out and we do something Monday-Friday. If we don’t get to everything I have planned out for the week that’s fine; or if we do more great! She is 4 and I’m going off her interest and attention span. While I want to have structured school time I also believe learning takes place all day every day.
Here is a rough outline of our week:
- Daily 4- write name/update daily calendar/talk about the weather/gratitude journal
- Letter tracing-2 letters per week/2 days a week
- Number tracing-2 numbers per week/2 days a week
- Math worksheet -2 days a week
- Bible-minimum 2 days a week (usually daily)
- Read Aloud-daily
- Character Training -daily (usually mixed in with read aloud time)
- Geography worksheet-1 day a week
- Science story-1 day a week
- Art/crafts-1 day a week
- Sight word review -3 words a week/daily review
Wow, typing that out seems like such a lot of work for a 4-year-old; but she loves it and it has only been taking about 30/40 minutes. I would never want to overload her or push her too far but I also don’t want to hold her back when she is enjoying everything we are doing. I’m so proud of her enthusiasm to learn. Some of her excitement may stem from the fact that our school time is dedicated time each day for her and I to spend together as my youngest daughter is taking her first nap. I’ve heard other moms say that the time they spend with their children is a primary reason they continue to homeschool. I can see that even though I spend every day with her, our time doing school work is so special. Watching her learn something new or mastering a skill is such a wonderful moment to witness as a mother. I can’t wait to see what this year brings.