As we near the end of the school year, I’ve begun to reflect on what worked and what didn’t these past two semesters.
First of all, I’m thankful that I chose Becky’s Kindergarten year to be our first “official” homeschooling year in which I tried to teach her in a more organized and school-like fashion. Because we did school more completely this year, I’ve learned a few things:
- I love Singapore math.
I’m very pleased with the decision I made on this front. The curriculum has a very natural progression, and it explains things in a complete and simple manner. The worksheets are very doable (not too long), and I have no complaints.
- I need to purchase Story of the World.
We did a longish segment on the American Revolutionary war in the fall semester using a collection of books I happened across in the library, and we’ve started using one of the Story of the World books this semester. I like the narrative approach of the Story of the World books, and I need to purchase the collection and work through them. Borrowing from the library is great, but these are something we’re going to use over and over for some kind.
- I need to find a young-child science curriculum.
We studied plants and nature-related things this year, as well as a segment on the planets. I found that YouTube has a great many useful videos to help supplement instructions, but I need to get a curriculum that has more experiments and lessons. The knowledge and resources I had worked just fine for Kindergarten, but we need something a little more involved for 1st grade.
- Read the Bible first thing.
If I read the Bible and we worked on our Psalm memorization before we did anything else, it got done. If I didn’t, it didn’t get done.
- Coloring pages are the bomb, and I can find what I need online.
I loved finding coloring pages that coordinated with our history or literature for the kids to color. Ray always looked forward to it, and I think it helped more of the lessons sink in.
- We didn’t do piano often enough–I need to pick two days a week to do a lesson and set a reminder on my phone.
Phone reminders are amazing things. If I can commit to sitting down with Becky twice a week and have the reminder on my phone to do so, that will help a lot, I think.
- Less is more with Ray.
He really wanted to do math worksheets, like Becky. So, I let him. However, he quickly reached a point he couldn’t master yet, and I backed him off. Right now, he’s doing ABCmouse while Becky does her school work, and I do some phonics/reading exercises with him. Less is more, right now. He’s only 4, after all.
- Eat a snack first.
This might be the most important thing 😀
We get going no earlier than 9 so that I have some time to help the Hubster get out the door and do some writing before we start school. By 9, the kids want a snack. Just give them the dang snack–the morning goes much more smoothly if I do.
- Take advantage of good weather.
Get outside. School can wait.
- The more organized I am, the more they get done.
Kinda a no-brainer, but it’s very, very true. If I’m organized and on top of printing worksheets, etc., we do a lot better.
- Homeschooling is good for my kids.
Even as a homeschool graduate, there’s the gnawing fear that I’m making the wrong choice for my children. After really homeschooling for a year, though, I can say with certainty that I wouldn’t want it any other way. My kids spend a lot of time playing, Becky reads during her free time and even reads to Ray and Patrick. They get to play outside when the weather is nice, and they help me with my chores, inside and out. They’re happy to do school 99% of the time, and I’m able to adjust the amount of time we spend on school depending on the nature of the day.
It’s the right thing.