Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Full Body School

Those three words sum up my approach to tackling homeschooling with Raccoon. We are going to be living out in the country, which I haven't had much peace about due to the King's long commute to work, but as I think more about my son, it's going to be a good thing for him.

An obstacle course.

An outdoor gym/playground.

A garden.

Water play.


Maybe we'll build a rock wall.

I have to find peace about this move. To trust the Lord that my mission right now is not somewhere out there, but right at home, three feet and two feet tall.

A great post about this? Carissa's Blessed with Boundless Energy. I especially love this quote, "Specifically, I have him do some highly energetic movement and some relaxing focused balance type work right before we begin any seat work. We have been going in this order and it has helped a lot." This gives me hope. The nuts and bolts of how to make things work in school for Raccoon, this is what I need. Raccoon's energy is a blessing when channeled properly and not so much when it heedlessly overflows.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Homeschool is a Go for Fall 2014 (K)

The King and I (*smile* do you like my new name for hubby?) have officially decided to homeschool Raccoon next year for kindergarten. We were pretty sure that this was the best choice for us, but there were a few factors that confirmed it:

1) His birthday misses our preferred school's kindergarten cutoff by six weeks, no exceptions, so it's homeschool or another year of pre-k (which would not be a good fit for him).

2) Unless the Lord steps in, we will be living in a semi-remote location in South America next fall, so our access to local schools would be limited anyway.

There are other considerations, such as our plan to do school only a few days a week and my excitement over not having to get everyone going in the morning, so overall homeschooling is a win-win for our family at this point.

All this is to say that I am finally biting the bullet and looking at curriculum!!! Since it's kindergarten and I want to ease into things, I'm not going to invest in a box set, but am going to do things piecemeal. Raccoon is also fairly asynchronous and needs a full body approach to learning, so it may take us awhile to find our groove. I'm okay with that. I will also have to figure out where Robin fits in as I want to do some Tot School things with her while Raccoon and I "do school." I am hoping that she'll be past the mouthing, grabbing, and ripping stages by then so that she can join us (She'll be 19 months... I may be asking for too much. Plan B for her is... nap time.)

I was hoping to find a bookstore with used curriculum. I have to look at something in order to decide it's usefulness, online descriptions don't work for me. I'm a page-flipper. Sadly, there aren't any used bookstores in my area, I think they have all gone out of business, but I did find a large book section at Goodwill. It's like hunting for treasure. Amongst the every-TV-show-known-to-children beginning readers, there are also amazing Usborne, DK, and other resource books. I have spent $20 (can't beat $1 each!) and I have everything except health and math and social studies. Confession: I don't even really know what social studies is, isn't it part of history or how society works or something? I'm off to Wikipedia for that one... "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence." Oh.

Where was I? So several of the books that I have should last us several years as they are more comprehensive sources, such as "Everything You Need to Know About English Homework." I have a few of these on different subjects, and plan to use them as a starting point for different unit studies once I discover what works and doesn't work with Raccoon. I have specific lesson books for subjects like art, science, and music appreciation. As I look over the books tonight, I do wonder where they came from before Goodwill, and why, if they're so good, they still look like new. Hmmmmmm.....

Well, I'm off to make lists and plans and dream... have I mentioned that I loved school. At least, I loved the thought of school - unlimited learning and access to new ideas - but I have to remind myself that Raccoon's style and needs are different from my own. But still, I bought resources that I enjoy, because if I'm not interested, then how could I expect him to be?

P.S. Why all the books you say when you can find everything you need online?
1) We won't have high speed internet. It's back to dial-up days (almost) for us when we move.
2) I still love books and want to pass that on.
3) $1 a book saves me on printer ink and paper.
4) Recycle! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

I can do hard things

This is my new school motto. I told Raccoon that he is going to have to do hard things everyday. -Insert meltdown here-

I'm hoping that this will help him move beyond his paralyzing perfectionism. We have a little list of hard things he's done and hopefully it will continue to grow.