Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our First Year of Homeschooling

Last week the kids finished up the last of their assignments of the school year.  I can't believe we made it through a full year of homeschooling...alive!  :)

This year has been successful in many ways.  We have all learned and grown a lot, myself included.  The kids did well academically.  At the start of the year the goal was to teach Joshua to read, to work on his handwriting, and to finish his math book.  By the end we accomplished more than that.  Both Joshua (5 years old) and Hannah (4 years old) are now reading and spelling well, both of their handwriting has improved significantly, and they both completed the math curriculum.

In addition, we have worked through a few different schedules and found a basic routine that works well for everyone.  The kids have become independent in accomplishing their morning chores and the older two are able to begin piano practice and school work on their own.  I check in with them through the morning, work one on one with each to go through new concepts and to review the work they have completed, and give each their spelling list.

I have learned some of the strengths and weaknesses for each child and am also learning ways to motivate each of them.  We have had our share of meltdowns and showdowns, but in the end we are learning how to work with each other and how to be disciplined in our school time.

Claude and I wanted to celebrate the kids' first official year of homeschool, so last weekend we took an afternoon to have a little party.

 It consisted of pizza and party hats,

a spelling bee,
view a video clip here

  certificates and new markers,
and a trip to Sonic for some ice cream.

Since we're schooling year round with regular breaks throughout, we'll be starting back up in July.  We have a much bigger academic load than we did this year.  Joshua will be starting first grade which means extra subjects.  In addition to math, handwriting, and spelling he will have grammar, writing, history/geography, science, and Greek (more on that later).  Hannah will be starting kindergarten although she is working at a first grade level.  She will continue with math, handwriting, and spelling and will also add history/geography, science, and Greek.  Abby will be working through a series of Toddler Bible Lessons with me along with practicing some math, writing, and reading readiness skills.  And Jeremiah will be tagging along...hopefully keeping out of trouble!  ;)

Because we are adding several additional subjects, I am taking our school break to practice building in a few key elements to our daily routine.  We are getting back into violin practice after struggling to find a good time of day to do it.  We are also tacking on an extra school session after lunch when we will work on history/geography and science.  In order to accommodate these additions, we are continuing violin and piano practice through our break and have added a read aloud time during what will be our afternoon school session.  It's only the first week, but so far it's going well and seems doable.

Before I sign off, here are some insights from the kids on their first year of homeschooling:

The best thing about homeschooling this year was...
Joshua: I think it was Math.
Hannah: Ummmm.....handwriting!
Abigail: Preschool!

The worst thing about homeschooling this year was...
Joshua: The worst thing of mine was...SPELLING!
Hannah: The worst thing of mine was doing math.
Abigail: Uhhh..playing???

And there you have it, folks!  One year down.  I have no idea how many more to go...


  1. Awesome job my love! I'm proud of you for persevering through the year! Thank you for teaching and training these little ones up in the way they should go! I love you!

  2. Girl you are good. Real good. I'm starting out on my homeschool journey and our whole first year was good but I was just trying to find my footing the whole time. I'm smoothing out a bit now. For my 6 year old we are using Horizons first grade curriculum for phonics, spelling and math and I'm looking at My Father's World for first grade which is for the history and science and geography. Then I have a 4 year old that I've been pulling curriculum together for on my own because my school is a bit short on funds right now. But the Lord provides and its all working out. We are learning and having fun :) My 2 year old, he gets interested for a minute with recognizing shapes and such but it is short lived. We are exercising his attention span right now ;) God bless you! I know I'm commenting on older posts but Im loving reading through these when I have time.

    1. I think it takes time to work everything out. And then the kids grow up a little, smaller one start doing school, you add a baby to the mix, etc. and the routines have to be tweaked again. This was our first official year of homeschooling. We had been doing preschool stuff and a TON of reading about homeschooling for a few years leading up to this. But I was surprised at how well the kids did.
      I never bought a preschool curriculum, either. I bet your 4-year-old will pick up a lot just begin around their older sibling. And you never know all that your 2-year-old is picking up, even with a very short attention span. Our second child would never sit still and always wandered around the apartment but one day she just came out with some of our Bible lessons as if she'd been giving me her full attention for weeks!
      Have fun with those littles! :)