People keep asking me about homeschooling so I’ll talk about about it. I’ve talked about why we’ve chosen to homeschool and then I panicked about trying to do formal preschool and then we found our preschool groove which (no surprise here) was extremely laid back. Traditional school schedules are designed to start school after the harvest, our home school schedule will apparently start school after the tax return harvest. So, we’re about a third of the way through our Kindergarten curriculum for Peanut. We started mid-February and we’ve really buckled down in the last 10 weeks and we’re totally digging it.
We are using Sonlight again. We bought our P3/4 almost two years ago (look what a baby Pickle was!!) and we loved the book selection. (The pose is all Peanut. I suggested they lean on the box. He suggested they cheer.)
The stories were pretty much instant hits in our home and we still read them frequently and it’s not like we had a shabby home library before they came! Peanut is now almost six and still enjoys almost all of the stories, several of them have become family favorites.
We debated (meaning I internally agonized and Andrew looked, thought, and had his opinion within 24 seconds) over using P4/5 and adding in the math/science/etc components or using Core A (meant for 5-7 year olds) and adding in the components.
Core P4/5 has some great books in it (that I wanted us to have) and I think that Boohoo and Pickle would have been able to keep up a little bit more, but I think by the end of the Core that Peanut would have been a little “beyond” the stories. I think that he still would have liked them, but it would been too easy for him. He and I have read the “My Father’s Dragon” triology, “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” and “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”, and “Little House in the Big Woods”. He’s already hearing and enjoying fairly advanced stories for a new 5 year old so we went ahead and chose Core A and just planned on moving through it slowly. (Boohoo will use P4/5 as her Kindergarten curriculum next year though so we’ll still get to have those great books.)
Peanut was about 18 kinds of excited when we had our “Box Day”. Okay, I was too. I’m a book nerd, no apologies. I do want to apologize for the terrible quality of these pictures my technology is having issues. In that second picture he’s going through our invoice with a magnifying glass from the science kit. lol. He cracks me up.
In Metropolis we are required to provide “regular and thorough instruction” in math, science, social studies, language arts, health, art, music, and physical education. We’re compiling a portfolio that will be reviewed twice a year. (Since we haven’t done that yet, I find it totally intimidating!)
Here’s what we do in a week (more or less). We don’t do every subject every day and we don’t (always) get everything done every week.
Math: Singapore Earlybird A & B. I’m not “sold” on Singapore although I know it’s popular and is supposed to be very thorough. We’re in the “B” workbook now and I think seeing how this half goes will be a big determining factor. Unless it’s a flop we will probably continue for another year with Singapore, but a switch to Saxon is definitely a possibility as well.
Language Arts: All About Spelling Level 1 with the readers & Kumon Workbooks for handwriting, and we’re using the Sonlight grade 1 Readers as well and he prefers the “I Can Read It” readers to the All About Spelling ones.
History/Geography: Part of our Sonlight Core and we’re very happy with this. It’s better than I could have imagined and some of the conversations that I’ve had with Peanut have just blown my mind.
Science: Sonlight. We may be trying something else next year though. I’m still contemplating this one. I might move to move of a Well-Trained Mind approach.
Bible: Obviously, this is is not a state requirement. It does come with the Sonlight Core although we are not using their material this year. I like the Bible that they selected and if I was reading it *only* to Peanut than we’d use it, but it’s a little too advanced to use all together. I do anticipate us using it years to come. We use the Charlotte Mason memory box memorizing system and so we don’t follow the verse selections that Sonlight uses either. Peanut will be in Awanas this fall so we’ll start focusing on their verses.
Art, Music, Health, and PE: We don’t have anything specific for these right now, but are piecing it together here and there as we go. I think saying that anyone in the public education system gets a “regular and thorough” instruction in those subjects is stretching the truth especially in elementary school. In bigger high schools (like the one I went to) there were electives that focused on those in high school, but elective is not the same as mandating it….
We have no foreign language requirement and we’re not attempting a foreign language formally, but it is something that is important to us and will fall into line sooner or later.
I’ll talk more later about how we “schedule” our days, but we spend three hours tops on everything and it’s not all at once. We’ve found it really manageable so far. My biggest challenge is managing the little two!