Homeschool- Mid year Update
I have been wanting to put this homeschool update out for a few weeks. But it has taken me some time to put my thoughts together. I want to be honest with ya’ll and not pretend that everything is always been perfect for us in our pursuit of education with our boys.
Homeschool can take some trial and error
Its not something that will always come naturally or will always be perfect. I read this everywhere when I started on the path of homeschool. And remember thinking “oh that wont be us.” HA HA. I am happy to say today that our boys love to learn and beg every morning to get to do school. But that hasn’t always been the case. At least not with all of our curriculum. There have been curriculum’s that we have bought and tried and hated… well He has hated… and at first I tried to make him do it all anyway.
Somewhere along the way we both got sick of it… We both hated doing school… The thing that would always get me was, he would still ask to do it… But then drag his way through it… The thing is, he LOVES learning. He is extremely intelligent… I know now I just wasn’t picking curriculums that interested him… He was bored, but thankfully had not lost his natural desire to learn.
Its not all, always going to work
It is so easy to get stuck in the “public school” mentality of education, to get drawn in by all the beautiful curriculum available. I wanted it ALL! I am sure if you are reading this blog post, you have seen much of what is out there! And I am not saying any of it is bad at all! Its just not all, or always right for our homeschool or my son’s learning style. And even when it is a good fit, sometimes the timeline is not, or maybe just part of it is, and another part isn’t.
It took me a little bit to be OK with learning not looking the way I was raised to believe it was supposed to look like. And accept that it can look messy and nothing like “school” at all. We love that they have always been excited to learn new things and I have had to learn to modify our curriculum choices to adapt and nurture their NATURAL THIRST for learning. I have had to learn to be more flexible and look to my sons and their attitudes towards learning as a guide. Telling me what is working and what is not.
So… with all that said…
Am I still using all the homeschool curriculum that we picked out at the beginning of the school year? Yes, and No. We have used parts of everything we got… but we are either not using all of them in their entirety, or following the timeline for ANY of them.
Lets start with taking a look at Joshua (7yo/2nd grade) and the curriculum we started the year with for him:
Masterbooks My Story– He does this on his own time… He will pick it up and do 2 weeks worth of it in one sitting… but then not touch it again for 2 weeks… and that is OK! He is enjoying it and I am glad that it is a resource he has available to him.
All About Reading Level 3– We have done some MAJOR modifications to this curriculum for our uses. I have found that he does not need much of the repetition that it has available. I will usually use the lessons that include teaching the new concept. If he catches on immediately we will move right to the story in the reader. If he seems to be struggling with a concept, I will write out some of the practice sheets words and sentences on a white board and have him read those with me. Reading for us has had to become more about him picking out books he finds interesting and working through the words he struggles with together along the way. Less about following the lessons one after another.
All About Spelling Level 3– We use the spelling lists and he types out his dictations rather then writing them out by hand.
Mathematical Reasoning, Level C– We are still working our way through this slowly… Joshua is not a huge math fan. He can do it and usually understands new concepts easily… but workbook style math does not appeal to him. He does have it available and usually will work through a page or two with me every few days. We do LOTS of other things that include math so this is OK with me that he doesn’t love this approach!
Ok now lets chat about Jackson’s (4yo/pre-K) curriculum picks:
Masterbooks Simply K– Honestly as much as I wanted to love this curriculum… I just can’t… I think for me its just to organized. For this age I am looking for a more fluid/fun and games feel then a school feel. I really only got this since I was concerned Jackson would want something in his level that would be an equivalent to Joshua’s My Story. But unfortunately he never really connected with it… I DO pull bits and pieces out periodically for him… but overall I don’t reach for this much.
Mathematical Reasoning, Beginning 2– He has LOVED this book… He is most of the way through this book and fly’s through it when we sit down and work on it. Although like with Joshua, we don’t use this every day and I’m ok way that… we may decide to purchase the next level for him since he is showing a strong interest in it.
All About Reading Pre-Reading– We are still loving this curriculum, Jackson loves Ziggy and the simple games. He is actually flying through this and usually does more than 2-3 lessons per sitting. The truth is, this level is a bit below what he can do… He is itching to read actual words and does so often outside of structured reading lessons.
New online resources we have started using:
Our boys have shown a strong interest in doing work on their computers. So online options have been what I have focused on in my pursuit of appealing options for them. Some of the things we have found and are currently enjoying are the following.
abcmouse.com The boys love playing the games and taking care of their animals. We love that it is a real full curriculum and they get to learn doing something the enjoy! We are currently using abcmouse.com as the core of our “curriculum” right now.
abcya.com This is another website with lots of learning games… you can create an account to avoid the ads.
Easy Peasy – allinonehomeschool.com– The boys enjoy the games this curriculum suggests so we will usually do a lesson or two from their respective math levels.
The following are resources that both boys use:
Math Games- Oh my gosh we have SOOO MANY!! And we play at least one every day. Here are some of the ones we use regularly (with all the boys, modifying what they are expected to be able to do for each).
We love the flexibility of homeschool, you can mix and match and adapt quickly to your changing needs. As we live life with our 4 boys, we love the ability to change our homeschool to fit whatever the new normal becomes! Sometimes it seems like it changes everyday and that is OK. I LOVE talking to other homeschooling mom’s about their questions and or frustrations so please feel free to comment below or reach out to us!
We are onto the next adventure!