Over the last year, we've slowly dipped our toes into homeschooling. Last fall, when Michael was three, we bought a simple but fun curriculum called God's Little Explorers, and we had a great time with it! Each week (in a 26 week school year) covered a Bible story and a corresponding letter of the alphabet. So, each week we would read that particular story from the Bible, focus on writing the letter of the week, build or create something that worked with our weekly material, and we would supplement with books and other activities like science projects. It was inexpensive, well thought-out, and a really wonderful framework for us!
X is for x-ray / G is for garden / B is for boat
I is for insect / Mikey's alphabet (I love this!) / nature scavenger hunt
hard at work in our classroom / Z is for zoo / T is for tent
This year we have taken things a step farther and joined a co-op with other homeschooling families in our area, and it's been fantastic! We joined a local Classical Conversations homeschool group and I can't say enough about how encouraging, fulfilling, and educational an experience it has been for us. We've found such a Godly, supportive, vibrant community of teachers and friends! Michael, in particular, loves being at school with his teacher and his friends. It has just been the greatest blessing to be with these wonderful people every week. And we're learning so much!!
first day of CC - they were both so excited!!
some of our reading materials
our weekly board with memory work for history, geography, science,
language arts and latin, and math (skip-counting seen here)
The new material that is presented every week at CC is the jumping off point for the studies for the rest of the week. Throughout the week we review and memorize the memory work (which is fun! even Samuel loves it!), we read about the subjects we are covering, we sometimes watch educational videos to reinforce the material, and we also do some math and language arts that isn't related to the CC curriculum.
giving his weekly presentation / drawing bats in art class / our model of the Colosseum
Looking at it here, it sounds like more than it really is! On a typical week day we spend about an hour reviewing the CC material and working on math and language arts, usually in the morning right after breakfast. On the days we do projects or extra reading we may spend an extra hour or more on school. We also use lunch time to read and review, and we listen to our "CC songs" (memory work set to music) in the car. And, we use the time before Michael's nap and bedtime to read - something we've always done anyway. So, it's not a huge chunk of time we spend sitting in our school room every day, but rather we're finding ways to use our time more wisely and fit school in wherever we can.
We always say that we are taking the boys' education one step at a time, and that is true. We don't know how long we will homeschool. We never even thought we would do it in the first place! But decision by decision, we arrived at this place and for now it is a wonderful blessing. I'm so thankful to have this time with them and to experience all of this learning together.