I wanted to give an update and share about how we are preparing for our first “real” year of homeschooling. If you’re curious about why we decided to try homeschooling our children (Judah, age 6 and Cedar, age 4) then start reading here! I’m saying it that way (“real”) only because we are following a combination of the Charlotte Mason method and Classical home-education method, which both emphasize an approach in early childhood that encourages the student to simply be curious and enjoy learning (whether that be a walk outside searching for frogs or reading aloud a classic like Charlotte’s Web), so as to build a solid foundation for later and a more systematic- style of learning. Already, we’ve been unknowingly doing this since they were able to pay attention to a book, so we will continue in this vein and help the curiosity to grow. I’ve always encouraged the asking of “why” (even if it comes at a less-than-desirable time!) because it’s probably my favorite question, too.
So we have decided to join the local chapter of Classical Conversations, which will become the anchor in our weekly schedule. In a nutshell, the community of CC parents and students meet together one day a week to review what we’ve been learning at home the rest of the week, and of course to socialize and encourage each other. There is so much I could say about CC, but I’ll just point you here to get acquainted with what a typical day could look like. Because my boys are only 6 and (almost) 5, we will be doing Foundations, cycle 1. This introduces them to the routines and practices of CC, such as memorization by song and class presentation. I can’t wait to see them make friends and get excited about what they are learning! I mean, that’s the dream, right?
The CC curriculum covers a lot of material, but it is still recommended to supplement with math study of some kind. We started this year with a super quirky little book called Life of Fred (Apples, vol. I) which I found through some other blog recommendations. It is written by a math teacher (complete with hand drawn illustrations) who created the character of Fred -a boy genius- who gets into some funny situations. The story-telling style helps to engage the reader and invites them to problem solve along with Fred. My oldest is 6 and has loved the book so far. We will also be introducing Math Lessons for a Living Education as our main math curriculum and occasionally going back to Fred for something fun and different.
The other component that I’m including is possibly the one that I’m most excited about. Last December we did the Kids Read Truth Advent table cards every day and the boys really got into it; they loved keeping up with the order and laying them all out on the floor to see and read. I’ve done a couple other SRT studies on my own, but this time I decided to purchase this bundle and start my study at the same time that we start the boy’s interactive books. I figured this would be the motivation I’ll need to keep up with my daily readings and prayer journaling and it will give us all the opportunity to begin our day by asking for the Lord’s leadership and blessing. Also, the boys are going to freak out (in the best way!) about those patches!
Lastly, we are considering getting the boys involved in the local soccer association this fall. We haven’t waded into the water of organized sports yet, and I’m honestly a little apprehensive about the time commitment, but Michael’s family has a great tradition of soccer players, so I think it’s time to dive in. I know both boys will love playing and I hope the team dynamic will mature them a bit (ahem) but we shall see. Wish us luck! (or just pray for us, haha)
I’ll keep you posted on anything else we decided to try along the way! If you are homeschooling this year, what are you using? Any new books or methods? I’d love to know!