Homeschooling novice

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I used to think of myself as a semi-creative person.  I thought “homeschooling will be a snap.”  Because I had so many ideas for fun and creative ways to learn/play with my kids!  So here’s my qeuestion… where did they all go???  Now, I sit down with my 2 big girls (ages 5 and 2.5) and we do the pre-school type books we’ve collected from Walmart or Barnes and Noble while the baby (almost 6 months old) is napping. 

Gabi is learning to recognize numbers, but knows all her letters and the sounds they make.  I am surprised at how much she knows!  Cloe also knows all the letters, sounds, and is getting better with numbers.  Although half of her numbers come out backwards when she writes them…

Generally, every morning, they beg to do school.  And more school.  But I guess I’m bored.  I think it should be more fun!  My older sister, Danielle, somehow has an endless flow of creative and fun school ideas for her kids.  How does she do that???  At times, I try to blame my utter lack of creativity on being tired or drained from the busy-ness that is our life.  But then I think “eh… I only have 3 kids.  My sister currently has 5 that she is taking care of.  That excuse won’t work…”  Let me know if you think of one that I can still use.

Sometimes we’ll go for a walk outside and treasure hunt.  We’ll talk about flower types, pine cones, different kinds of clouds, etc.  That’s fun, but only now and then.  We’ll collect all the pinecones and then count them, divide them in half, take away 1 and recount, etc.  But this only holds their attention for a few minutes.  That’s about it!  You’ve heard my list of creative ideas.  I’d really appreciate hearing from those of you who are like my older sister.  How do you come up with these fun ideas for teaching and keeping your kids in the “I love learning!!!” mode?

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12 responses »

  1. There’s still one excuse…. “Well, neither of them are offically, legally obligated to learn anything.” 😉 lol

    Cloe knows her letters and sounds too? Wow. I’m impressed. Daryn could care less. But maybe that’s one of those gender differences, cause Cherith was not like that.

    I have lots and lots of ideas. My problem is not in coming up with them, but it carrying them out. My imagination has way more motivation than my body, I guess.

    Looking forward to gleaning ideas for comments. I’ll come back and list some when/if I have time today.

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  2. One idea to add to your list of things to do…baking/cooking!

    My kids LOVE it!, It also affords lots of opportunity for counting, reading, fractions (learning what half is) etc. They even love the clean up. They count the cutlery as they put it away from the dishwasher, and have to stack everything by size etc. Just an easy way to get some learning into something you have to do everyday anyhow. It does take more time, but it’s not any more messy. Just a thought.

    Also, here is a link to one of my friends (Sarah) blog. She has a little boy Kenna’s age, and she is pretty creative, in my estimation, and also has lots of very useful links and stuff. I copy her all the time!

    http://teaching4joy.blogspot.com/

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  3. Have you thought about using an actual curriculum? Jaedyn’s school uses Abeka (she is in Kindergarten) and she is reading like nobody’s business already. Their phonics is incredible. My sister is using it to homeschool her kids (currently in 1st grade and Kindergarten) and she says it is super easy to use. Already has lesson plans planned out for you…all you have to do is do what it says and explain as needed. I know that’s not much help for creativity but I know if I were ever to homeschool I would need something that already did all the work for me! 🙂

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    • yeah! We’ve actually looked at a couple curriculums, but at this point don’t have the $$$ to invest in it. Since Cloe isn’t even technically in K yet, we figure we’ve got 1 more year to figure it out. I’m leaning towards one called Tapestry of Grace. I understand they pretty much lay it all out too. DEFINITELY appealing. I know that if I would dedicate more time to helping Cloe read, she’d be there. As it is, she’s just starting to figure out how to string letter sounds together and make words. Which is exciting! I’m looking foward to her being able to really READ by herself. That’ll be a good day!!

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  4. Just a note on the choosing a curriculum thing next year . . . Don’t feel pressured to choose one curriculum for every subject. We actually had a different curriculum for almost every subject. It worked out really nicely.

    I’ve heard good things about ToG (Tapestry of Grace). Several families I know went to a ToG co-op.

    If I think of any of the ideas Mom used with my sisters when they were younger, I’ll let you know. : ) (4th grade was my first year of homeschooling sooo I don’t have any personal experience for that. heh)

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  5. One thing I have found that helps keep the kids from getting bored with learning is to switch things up. Most preschool and kdg store bought workbooks are mostly letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. Learning the same thing over and over again gets monotonous for all… even me. 😛 When I was working with Cherith (and sometimes Daryn) everyday…. I haven’t for several months now…. I would throw in a random day of a different type of learning. Like something science or history related. Nothing that had to do with reading or math.

    History related stuff was usually just a conversation about how things “used to be” along with a book with pictures from that time. Something along the lines of, “Did you know that a long time ago, most people didn’t have cars?” Then taking her questions as the lead, I would go into how the pioneers did things. If I had a book (children’s or adults) that had pictures of those times, I’d pull it out and we’d discuss it. Or we’d google pioneer photos.

    Science ideas usually came/come up from her natural questions. Let’s say like one day she asks why I’m throwing away the last few slices of bread. I tell her there’s mold on them. She wants to know what mold is. At the time, I may give a simple answer…. when food gets old, it starts to grow fuzzy plants that would make us sick if we eat it. But I’d tuck that away in my brain and later that week, we’d have a mold day. I do a little preliminary study myself (google :P) on the simple whys and hows of mold growth, so that I can explain it to her in simple terms. Then on the mold day, we’d talk about mold, google pictures of different kinds of molds. Then maybe set out a small glass of juice and leave it and watch the progression of mold growth over the next few days.

    It’s gotten to the point that Cherith knows google can give you an answer to just about anything. She’ll randomly say something like, “I wonder how they make candy canes.” I’ll answer “I don’t know”. And she’ll ask, “Can we look it up on the computer?” lol.

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  6. Oh and yeah… Cherith learned all her “reading” stuff from those leap frog DVDs. Well, the sounds and the idea that you put sounds together to make words. I like them.

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  7. There are some good ideas here, I’m glad I read the comments! But, don’t forget, it’s okay to give yourself a break. Especially while you have a baby in the house! Later, when Brennah’s bigger, your capacity will be bigger, but it’s okay if you can’t dedicate a lot of time to creative learning right now. Just by being home with your kids, you’re teaching them so much because they’re always watching you. Tomato-stake them to your side and involve them in your daily tasks and they will learn so much by osmosis. (The tomato-staking concept is from a great site called “Raising Godly Tomatoes.” Good site. Comes to my mind a lot 🙂
    Love you!

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