Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Home School

So, I guess I've been hesitant to post anything about homeschooling. I am one to avoid writing about things I feel are controversial and I find that when you bring up homeschooling in a conversation that people either love it or hate it. I've gotten everything from, "That's just wonderful!" to "Why would ever want to do something like that?"

Last summer Andy and I wrestled with whether or not we should home school James. It was a very tough decision for us and one that we did not take lightly. Ultimately we decided that for this year...at this time....homeschooling was right for us and right for James. Why? Well, there are a ton of reasons why, but the major one is that we felt he was not ready to be in a class full of little people. You see James is a social butterfly. Anyone who knows him knows that he makes friends at the drop of a hat....I'm not sure where he gets that from....but I digress....

Our decision came based not only on our own personal observations, but also the observations of his pre-school teacher. The problem was that James would become so wrapped up in what everyone else was doing that he had no idea what he was doing. It's not at all that he can't handle public school....it's that he needed a little more time to mature (to be able to focus). And our worry was more that he would get lost in a class full of little people, and be struggling. The suggestion from his pre-school teacher (and a lot of this stems from him being a younger 5) was either to home school him for Kindergarten, find a private school with a small class size (the fewer the kids....the less distraction), or simply wait another year and put him in Kindergarten next year after he's had time to mature.

Andy and I agreed that he needed time to mature, but we were not simply going to keep him home and not do anything with him. So, we decided on a home school curriculum, and have been working on it since the end of August.

Well, now we're in December.... I am constantly faced with "Did we make the right decision?" And even more so now that we're almost halfway in. And I believe that we did. I believe that James has thrived in a one on one learning environment. And I can see him maturing and being able to focus more and more before my very eyes.

I can definitely say that math is his strongest subject and I've had to increase his math work because he was flying through the full days lesson in 10 minutes and saying "that's it?" He enjoys learning his letters and the sounds they make. He's good at remembering the sounds, and he enjoys saying word like, "B-B-Butterfly" and then will exclaim, "Butterfly starts with B". The best part for me is that he enjoys being home schooled. When people ask, "oh where does he go to school?" He proudly announces "I go to home school. Mommy is my teacher." (And I love how he says "I go"....like he's actually going somewhere and not just staying home. :o))

Here are some pictures of our home school experience:

Writing/ practicing the letter "S"

James working on letter "M", Samantha working on the color gray

Using Cuisenaire Rods to make the Letter "I"

Staring to write sentences and working on sight words.
(I especially love his little picture of himself! And after I took this he said "oh yeah! The arms!" but then he erased it before I could take another picture)

Time passes too fast

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is already behind us, that 2011 is quickly approaching (which means my sweet little ones will soon be 6 and 4), and that dear husband and I will be entering into 8 years of marriage.

I am so thankful to God for the many ways He has blessed our family in 2010.

Here's some pictures of the kiddos from Thanksgiving....

Climbing a tree

My little sweeties

I have to find a way to make time slow down....