Homeschooling, take two.

I remember when I only had two kids, I couldn't IMAGINE how I would ever NOT keep up on my blog. Not writing on it was unfathomable! And now here I am, with four kids...and I totally get how easy it is to fail to make time for blogging. Instagram kinda killed my blog :)

We are starting our second attempt at homeschooling. Sadly my first grader's new school did not work out. He was getting punched at school and I wasn't receiving adequate communication home about it. His behaviors and meltdowns had been increasing and since he doesn't communicate very much to me, I really had no idea. It will be hard - for sure...we have had tons of daily meltdowns since he's been home...but I feel hopeful. I feel so good about the decision and doing what I can to keep my child safe. Plus, I love the thought of homeschooling. There are many things that overwhelm me about it - like, never having a moment alone or worrying about how I'll possibly teach them everything they need to know - but I love the fact that we are all together, we are learning and working together, spending a lot of quality time together, I like the fact that I am forced to be more present with them, and that there is no rushing off an anxious child to school. I love the fact that home is a safe environment.

I thought I'd share periodically what we're doing in home school because so many others seem to be starting on a similar path with their children's education. There are TONS of different ways to home school. For me, I think I follow a relaxed path. Home school is not like school. We kind of do things as we want to learn them. I am not completely an unschooler, but maybe more of a child-led approach. I am trying to let them take the lead. Granted, we are less than one week in, but that is my general philosophy about education. They will learn when they're interested! Who doesn't?

Here is what we are doing for curriculum:

First grade

Math:

Math Mammoth

,

Khan Academy

, and I am also going to try out

Life of Fred

Literature:

Five in a Row, volume 1

Reading: He picks a book he's interested in and we take turns reading pages. He is a super good reader but doesn't love to do it. He gets overwhelmed easily, so by taking turns, it keeps him interested and prevents a meltdown. Right now we are reading a

Magic Treehouse

book about Ninjas (he is currently really interested in Ninjas).

Writing:

Handwriting Without Tears

Phonics:

Explode the Code

 (I just realized I totally forgot this...we need to start it!)

Keyboarding:

Keyboarding Without Tears

French:

PetraLingua

 (I got this hugely discounted on the website Educents)

Science: I am planning to take my kids lead on this. We are currently reading a book about Space and the Earth with some questions and answers. I might look into a formal curriculum later.

Art/Music: No plan yet but I need to make one because this is such an important part of life!

History/Social Studies:

Five in a Row

is a cool curriculum because it talks a lot about many different subjects as they relate to classic stories, so for right now, our History and Social studies is coming from these books we are reading in Literature.

So far I have been taking a really relaxed approach. I should probably be a little more structured but I don't have energy for that right  now. We start our day when we (I) feel ready, usually around 10 or 10:30 AM. And we just work on and off throughout the day. We take breaks, eat snacks, etc. Each day I am trying to  be sure that we cover Math, Writing, and Reading/Literature/Phonics. Then as we have time and energy, we add in Keyboarding, French, Science, etc.

My almost 5 year old is doing school along with us. She does everything at the first grade level right now except for the Math and Reading. She is loving keyboarding and handwriting. She's really good at them and has a great ability to sit still and do her work. I am dealing with two VERY different learners so it will be a journey to learn how to teach them in the way that is best for them.

I am excited about this journey <3 And it is exactly that...totally a journey! I'm trying to remember that. There is not an end destination...I am focusing on our happiness, on love, and trying not to stress about any of it! (Easier said than done, right?). One thing I've noticed is that my house is WAY messier and that is hard for me. It makes me really anxious. I have to figure out how to either a) not care and not let it stress me out or b) find a way to keep it clean. I am having a 14 year old homeschooled girl come over for 4 hours each week, so I am hoping that having that little break will help my sanity and my house! ;)

If you're interested, you can check out my Pinterest board for homeschooling herehere,here,here, and here. (Someone needs to organize!)