Monthly Archives: May 2015

First Exposure to Homeschooling

I first heard of homeschooling as I was growing up. I participated in Suzuki violin lessons and came across a couple families who were homeschooling. (These were pioneer homeschooling families in the ’80s!). Then, when I was a teenager, my cousin started homeschooling her 4 girls using Sonlight curriculum. I thought everything that they were doing was pretty neat. I’d always been a reader and my cousin was getting to read all these great books with her girls! That was when the seed was planted– I started thinking about the possibility of homeschooling my own children.

During college and after working with youth ministry for a while, I met several students who had been homeschooled and overall I was impressed with the depth and quality of their faith. For the most part, these students were intelligent, articulate, and confident. They got along well and conversed with people of all ages and abilities and seemed to be the well-rounded adjusted young adults that I hoped my children would turn into.

After Jonathan was born in 2009, I started reading and learning more about homeschooling. We read, and read, and read together and pursued various early learning activities. Grace joined us in 2010 and Kaitlyn in 2013. Now I’m getting ready to begin teaching 1st grade and Kindergarten next Fall!

Homeschooling Year in Review

We are wrapping up our first official year of homeschooling. Jonathan was officially in Kindergarten this year and Grace enjoyed tagging along on with her brother on most things.

This year:

– Jonathan completed Level 1 of All About Reading and is almost (75%) done with Level 2. He is motivated, so I expect him to be done before the summer.
– Jonathan and Grace completed Kindergarten Handwriting Without Tears
– Jonathan made diligent progress in Singapore Math- 1st Grade Book A. He has mastered the concepts of addition and subtraction, we are working on memorizing the addition and subtraction facts. I worry that we haven’t finished the book, but the program is mastery-based, so we are trying to ensure that he knows these facts before we move on to higher concepts. It’s also a first grade book, so I probably shouldn’t worry too much.

– For social studies, we have learned world geography. We have covered the basics of map reading, and then virtually traveled and identified all the countries of Asia, Europe, and are completing Africa. We’ve read folk tales and nonfiction works about each country and watched a series of movies which have shown daily life for a child in different countries. This summer we will be studying Latin and South America.

– For science we have been doing zoology- we have studied bugs, birds, and ocean creatures with 106 Days of Creation Studies. We are currently doing mammals and will cover reptiles and amphibians this summer.

– Grace has been developing her reading skills, reading basic CVC words this year. We are currently working through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She is motivated to learn to read but lacks some confidence.
– Grace is almost done with Singapore EarlyBird (Kindergarten) Math Book A. We have covered counting, patterns, shapes, and nonstandard measurement. She has done really well with this program!

– Kaitlyn has done a good job of learning to walk and talk. She loves baby dolls and animals of every kind.

We have studied the Pentateuch this year in our devotions. Both Jonathan and Grace completed their books in a local AWANA program. We also participated in swimming, gymnastics, and soccer. Jonathan did a semester of scouting with the Trail Life scouting program.

It’s been an exhausting year and sometimes it feels as though progress has been slow. But when I write it all down, we have accomplished a lot!

I want to get back into blogging, so I hope to be updating more regularly with the kids’ progress in school. Both to keep grandparents and family informed, as well as to have a record for myself of the progress we made.

– Amanda