So… it has been a while since I posted anything. Some major life events took place over the course of the past several months and I could not break free long enough to write. My hubby graduated from Radiology Technician school and is now officially EMPLOYED!! Awesome! 2 years on a single income was, well let’s just say interesting. Haha! Well, the dust has settled and now I’m am able to focus on writing again.
Let’s talk about homeschooling. Over the past several months I have attempted to start “officially” homeschooling my 4 year old, but he was clearly not ready. I could not keep his focus for more than a few seconds before he would be interested in something totally different. I came to the conclusion that while I was ready to start homeschooling… he was not.
Which is okay! Never feel like you have to push your child into school. They will eventually come around and – dare I say – WANT to “do school.”
I knew he was ready when…
- He asked me when we were going to start school.
- He agreed to give me his attention long enough to finish a lesson.
- He seemed very interested in what we were going to learn about.
Yesterday was our first “official” day of homeschool. I keep saying official in quotes, because I honestly feel as though education is all around us and your children are learning through experiences and opportunities every day. With that said, our first day was pretty great!
We are using the FREE Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool – Getting Ready 1 curriculum. It is internet-based, but also has the capability to be totally offline. We chose the online version, because my little one thrives with technology. I love this curriculum, because it is the perfect mix of technology and paper.
The curriculum starts very slowly and ramps up after learning letters and sounds. They have tons of arts and crafts that are optional, but super fun! My little one has enjoyed what we’ve done so far. Most of what we are doing is review, because he knows his letters and numbers. I feel that reviewing is imperative to help with retention.
My Play-Doh dinner – courtesy of my boy!
My main goal for posting this is to ensure that if you are a parent that is feeling discouraged that their child is not interested in school; that you take a step back and realize that it is not a race. Your child will come around when they are ready. You want to nurture their desire to learn – not force them into it. I hope that this helps you if you are in this situation.
I was tired of seeing my boy do the same things everyday.
- Play with toys inside.
- Watch his Ipad
I decided to load up his motorized Jeep and a bunch of his big toy trucks and head out to the parking lot across the road from us.
We raced our trucks, and accordingly to little man, daddy always “cheated”. It was super cute to watch his eyes light up doing something new. He drove his Jeep and was telling us how he was practicing for when his cousin comes over this weekend. His cousin is 2 and little man is so excited to “teach him how to sleep all day”. I really don’t know where he gets this stuff lol!!
We spotted a cement ditch across the road and decided to head over there and see what we could find.
We rolled the trucks into the ditch and crashed them into each other; we also made them do flips and spins. We rolled them over dirt and looked at the different tire marks.
After that, we went over to the park and ran around. We spent about 2.5 hours just exploring and experimenting and just loving life before the monstrous sized mosquitos came out to ruin the party! I’m telling you, there is nothing compared to a Texas Sized Mosquito!
This post is just to show you that you can find fun in unexpected places. Kids enjoy simple, free, unexpected play. Now go! Surprise your kids with a random trip to the park or give into something that they have been asking to do for so long. Sit back and watch the pure joy unfold.
Okay, so I’m not crazy… I promise! We recently went on my little one’s first cruise and I incorporated some homeschool activities while we are on the ship.
First things first… hygiene!
This little boy will be well versed on this topic before we are done. I am a nurse, not just any nurse, a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse. Needless to say, I am very conscious of infection prevention measures. I taught him all about how sickness is spread and how it can be prevented. When you are stuck on a ship with thousands of people, it is so very important to practice impeccable hand hygiene.
Secondly… good citizenship!
We were be on a ship with thousands of people who come from all walks of life. Many different cultures and values will be represented within the staff and vacationers. I taught him all about about the different cultures and let him know that it is okay to respectfully ask questions about something that you do not understand.
Dinner in the dining room every night will be the setting for this topic. He has learned mainly by observation that saying please, thank you and excuse me are important and good manners. He was able to practice these skills every night on our vacation.
Learning does not have to be math, reading, science, handwriting, and spelling all the time. Life skills are just as important.
I have seen many children who have “made it through” school and cannot begin to understand how to function in “real life.” Teaching skills like how to effectively communicate your opinions, ideas, and thoughts is imperative to our children’s success in life.
Welp… All ready to “officially” start homeschooling my little boy and BOOM!! Sick! Well, looks like the start date is pushed back until we feel better.
Gosh, I love this part of Homeschooling… if your sick, take a day off.
At my son’s age (almost 4), School is mainly (guided) play time. Little ones are not made to sit still and write in a notebook. They learn by exploring and learning their environment.
Things we do daily that are “technically” school:
- Cook together (measurements, life skills, and fine motor skills)
- Play outside (counting, colors, gross motor skills)
- Play with toys inside (you’ll be amazed when your kiddo tells you “the crane’s boom is elevated Momma” ummm… where is the world did you learn that? or use the word acceleration correctly. You will be in awe of what your child will pick up passively, just through observing you and those around him/her.
- Read aloud (3 books per day)
- Watch TV – I know I know… you may be thinking SCREEN TIME?!?! Are you crazy?! Let me clarify.. yes my son watches cartoons, but only after he has watched his Preschool Prep DVDs.
Homeschooling a little one is easy, just try to incorporate new words or concepts everyday. Don’t push it, just casually mention a new word or concept during regular play time. Before you know it, your kiddo knows that bat, rat, cat, and mat all rhyme!
Some choose to use an official curriculum everyday and we will use one as well, but very loosely. I want him to feel the freedom of choosing what he would like to learn more about and go from there.
We will use Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. It is an online based curriculum. Amazing support via their online Facebook groups. I have looked through the curriculum and it looks like each day we will spend about 30 minutes (average) on the curriculum. This gives us the freedom to supplement with other things like his DVDS & ABC mouse.
I am just loving the beauty of Homeschooling. I am allowed the privilege to watch my child grow and learn everyday. I cherish and treasure this gift everyday and I hope you have this opportunity as well!