Homeschool Basics

First Day of School – Kindergarten and Preschool

It has been 2.5 months since I’ve blogged.  I didn’t mean to take such a long break, but with it being summer, I didn’t really have a whole lot to talk about dealing with school.  I have considered writing more about our life and school, but haven’t decided yet.

It’s been a difficult and a bit overwhelming few weeks, but I was able to gather, plan, and clean to prepare for the first day of homeschool. It went well, but there is going to be a major learning curve, on my part, when it comes to teaching two kids different material, at the same time.  Especially when I have one who want my full attention.

We started out with the pledge and our morning binders that I created.  They both have the same pages so we were able to work on that together. We then moved on to Tanner’s math worksheets and Wesley’s preschool Reading the Alphabet curriculum.  Tanner needs a little more time to learn how to do work more independently (since he’s always had my undivided attention with school), but it was really great to see him work diligently on his math while I worked with Wesley.  When he completed math, I gave him some cutting practice worksheets that he loved.  It kept him occupied while I finished with Wesley’s work.  Once that was done I had Wesley go play while I focused on Tanner’s Language Arts/reading.

School Day Poem

All in all, it was a good start to the school year.  I have a lot to learn, still.  Especially once CC starts up next week!

 

 

Framework

Why do we homeschool?

I can vividly remember the moment when I first seriously considered homeschooling my children.  I actually only had one child at the time.  Tanner was around a year old.  There were so many emotions filling my brain.  I was scared to go back to work, and leave my baby with someone I didn’t know.  I was looking to the future trying to figure out how we would handle certain situations.  Who would take our kids to their after school activities if I was working 12-13 hour shifts at the hospital and Nick was flying, or deployed?  Who would take care of the kids if they were sick, in those same situations?  As a nurse, I couldn’t just leave patients at the hospital to go get a sick kid from school.  Especially if we were short staffed.  My husband is in the Air Force.  We do not live near family, so asking parents to help just isn’t in the equation, either.  These were the reasons my Nick and I agreed that I would stay home with the kids until they were at least school aged.

While I was enjoying my time at home with Tanner, I started looking online for ideas of things to do with him during the day.  Fun activities that could help him learn his shapes and colors.  That’s when I found Carisa’s blog, 1+1+1=1, and learned all about tot-school.  I spent every nap time reading about tot-school; how to set it up, materials to use, and how long to spend working with your little one. The most important thing was to make sure it was all play based.  There is absolutely no need to do anything structured at such a young age.  I waited until Tanner was 1.5-2 years old to start.  It was during that time, as I was watching my son learn and grasp certain concepts, that I fell deeply in love with teaching him.  Maybe I could actually do this!

Toddler working on fine motor skills

Toddler with color sorting puzzle

That was the beginning reason for me.  I just loved being able to witness his learning, and tailoring activities better to how he learned.  It wasn’t until he got a little older, when we had Wesley, and moved to Florida that my reasons started changing.  I did not like the schools in our area, and I didn’t like how the public school system was changing into something unrecognizable, compared to back when I was in school. I could go into detail here, but if you are reading my blog and are considering homeschooling your own kids, I’m sure you have an idea of what I’m talking about.

A small, but very important reason why we homeschool is because we move a lot.  It would save us a lot of hassle pulling the boys out of school and reenrolling them into a new school every few years.  Who knows what they could miss in between moves, as well.

I also want my boys to grow up with a strong Christian background, and I love the fact that I can incorporate that into their everyday learning.  I can honestly say this is a calling from God.  There were several months where Nick and I were on the fence about homeschooling.  I had the fears that I wouldn’t be able to do it and that I would fail my children.  But I can remember three very distinct moments, where it was like God shook me and said, “You need to do this!”.  Once I realized this is what He wants me to do, my fears started melting away.  Of course, I still have quite a few fears, and worries, but I’m working on them.  I believe it’s absolutely normal to have those feelings.

Please understand that I know there are people out there who would trade anything to be able to stay home with their kids and do this, but can’t for any number of reasons.  I promise I don’t take this blessing lightly.  I thank God and my husband often for this opportunity.

Framework

The Boundless Homeschool and the purpose of this blog

When I hear, or read, the word boundless, the first thing that comes to my mind is the phrase, “anything is possible”.  The actual definition is, ‘having no boundaries’.  Endless, limitless, immeasurable…the list goes on.  That is exactly what I hope to teach my boys as I homeschool them; learning is infinite.  As their teacher, and especially as their mother, I want to support endless opportunities for my boys to learn about and engage the world around them.

That is my goal.  But I have an issue.  I’m not one of those established homeschool mom bloggers out there with years of experience and advise to share.  I only have a few years of tot-school and preschool experience.  That is exactly why I am starting this blog.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent researching and learning about homeschool.  I’ve been researching for years.  As I’ve been reading, blogs especially, it’s really hard to find where people shared their ‘newbie’ experiences.  What they did on their first day, or their feelings and thoughts as they were experiencing it.  Sometimes I was able to dig through a blog long enough to find the beginnings, but at that point much of the advice that was shared was outdated, and not relevant anymore.

So, here I am.  My oldest son is starting his first legal (read: notifying the county our family is homeschooling) year this fall, kindergarten.  My youngest is doing preschool work.  I am going to share with you what I know…but mostly, what I LEARN.  This blog will be for those of you who are just starting out on your homeschool journey, as well.  We can work together, and create a little community.  Homeschooling is hard, if I can help anyone in any little way, I will be thrilled.  I have big plans for this blog.  So stay tuned.