Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A New Homeschool Adventure

Well as proper Prather fashion we are embarking on a new adventure - Homeschooling! I never thought I would be a stay at home mom and I definitely didn't think that I would ever be a homeschooling mom! But - we are excited to give it a go this year with Owen and Eliana. I figure they are 4 and 2 and I can't mess them up too much ;) In all seriousness, we have had Eliana in some sort of "schooling" since she was 2 1/2 when she attended the Montessori in California Missouri. She went a few days a week and really loved it. She learned so much and has had a wonderful learning curiosity about her since. When we moved here we were very overwhelmed with all the options for her and didn't know what to choose. We ended up choosing a part time Christian pre-school. Eliana loved the preschool and learned all of her letters and some great bible stories. But at the end of the day there was just something missing. Last winter we decided that I could give her what she was learning there, and we were blessed with other stay at home mom friends so she was having lots of play dates and getting good social interaction (much needed when she is an extreme extrovert like her mom)!  Plus we thought if she was ok being out of pre-school it would be a way to save money for adoption. Since then we  went on the hunt again for a pre school for her. I had a list of what we wanted for her and for us as a family, and while we have a lot of options we just didn't find one that we loved (within our budget). At first I was getting discouraged, but then I allowed myself to consider home schooling. I went back and forth on what would be best for her because she enjoys having her independent time but I also want to challenge her where she is. Keeping all that in mind and after a lot of prayer we decided to go for homeschooling!

There are fortunately a lot of home-school groups here in the area and even some different coop groups. With the help of some friends we trust we decided to go with a classical christian conversation model. We will meet once a week in a classroom setting and school from home the other days. At first I was a little nervous about all of this (well I still am) but am growing more and more excited. I am most excited because no one knows my kids better then we do! We know where they are in their learning capabilities, what their strengths are, and what their weaknesses are. We know the best way to teach them and know how to hold their attention. We also know what we want to instill in them, and what character we want to grow in them. So we're off... tomorrow will be our "first day" at home school. We plan to do school for 3 hours a day. I feel that is plenty of time for a 4 and 2 year old. We have made a list of the basic ideas of what we want them to learn -

  Bible - memorize verses, old testament stories, sin and salvation, worship, prayer
  Math - Counting to 100, basic adding and subtracting, tell time, understand date, money
  Handwriting - write legibly, write basic words, and full alphabet and numbers
  Reading - read very simple stories and words
  Science - weather, (and other fun science stuff)
  Geography - continents, states, countries, bodies of water
  History - Will basically follow the classical conversation info in this department ;)
  Personal - etiquette, fruits of the spirit, home making skills, hygiene
  Computer - a little navigation and possibly typing skills

  Letters - sounds
  Personal Hygiene
  Worship and Prayer
  Oh and Todd says Potty Training (I think that goes in Hygiene)

These lists may seem silly or far fetched, we don't really know. We just sat down as a couple, talked about our kids, and talked about what we thought they could and should learn over the next year based on where they are now... So who knows what will happen! But we are excited to share it with you all!

We are even blessed enough to have an area in our basement that will be our home school area. I have been able to set it up a little and hope to expand on it more. I know our family is a family that thrives on daily structure (most the time) so I want our homeschooling to be very similar to school structure! Here is sneak peek at what we have so far -

sidenote - yep that's still our Dossier checklist taking up half the chalkboard wall but it will be gone soon! Our homestudy list is gone ;) only two items remain so I felt good erasing it!

All in all I am very excited to start our new adventure tomorrow - and on that note I am off to bed!!! 

Prayers and Blessings - Dawn



Lauren @ mercy(INK) said...

This is AWESOME!!! Love hearing what you're up to! I'm doing the Back to School series at mercyink over the next two weeks... let me know if you want to write something about homeschooling, schooling preschoolers, etc--- could be similar to this and link back to CinG & this one--- let me know! :)

Leather Armchair said...

such a inspiration work, you are doing..! homeschooling is very much necessary for the grooming of children. it makes them independent, daring and creative. so, you are really doing a good job. keep it up..!