Saturday, September 21, 2013

ABCs and Algebra

As a kid, I loved September and all things back-to-school, but now? not so much. I miss the long, lazy days with Cade in the mix; he's such a great helper and, in general, great companion. Clementine's back in dance, and Charleigh's in gymnastics, this year: activities that cost money and necessitate the (slight) slowing of my roll. And small group's picked back up, which carries with it some responsibilities.

Charleigh's First Gymnastics Class

We're on a schedule, and even moreso because I'm trying to be serious about teaching the girls preschool. Clementine needs to start kindergarten next year, and daily I ask myself: homeschool or public school? Obviously, Cade's in public school and has been from the outset. I haven't had any major complaints and won't try to change his path, just...I very often wish I could pull him out for one adventure or the other, and I daydream about endless field trips with my school-aged, little kids.

I believe homeschooling to be a calling, so I don't much worry about other people's voices. I'm praying and listening for God's voice, and I'm testing myself because planning, scheduling, and follow-through aren't necessarily areas of strength for me. I'm blessed in that--should I end up homeschooling the little kids--I have friends ahead of me on the route, and they'll undoubtedly prove to be excellent resources.

For us, homeschool preschool involves ideally three mornings of work in the house, one morning for Charleigh's gymnastics (Clementine takes dance one evening), and one field trip. I've been starting a day of work by reading two devotions. I picked up the first book at a thrift store for $.75, and--although the girls really like it--I don't like it nearly as well as Keys for Kids, which is also story-based. The other book is a devotional Bible, so the devotions are scripture-based.

After reading our scripture devotion, we spend some time with one or more of these books (1, 2, 3): mostly in search of further visual representation of the Word. I really like the maps in Biblica because I feel like geography (along with chronology!) has always been a major area of weakness for me.

We're working with one letter a week in the order recommended by School Sparks, and--with the help of this resource--we're memorizing one Bible verse for each letter of the alphabet. We're also making Crafty ABCs and practicing writing our letters in various workbooks and dry-erase books.

From there, it gets more loosey-goosey. We're working with numbers, too, and right now, I'm putting a lot of emphasis on the girls' learning our home address. Last week, we spent a good bit of time working with pennies and nickles and playing "store": learning how to trade pennies for a nickle and vice versa. We're blessed to have our own library of children's books, also many puzzles and games. And, of course, we tear up the road; it's part of who I am as a person, so it's part of who I am as a parent.

Then the lanky thirteen-year-old slips through the door with his book bag, and last week, he needed help with algebra. I felt a little angsty about it--Will I remember?--but made out just fine, so I guess Mrs. Todd, Mrs. Murphy, and Mr. Harmatta did alright by me, back in the day.

It can feel like a stretch, ABCs to algebra in one day, but I'll enjoy over two decades of trick-or-treating with my kids, so the nine-year-age gap between Child #1 and Child #2 has its perks, after all.


  1. I agree with you it is not about anybody's opinion but God and yours. Each individual is different and each child needs something different. Layton was great at homeschooling we meshed academically and socially, Brayden did great with 'schooling' but really needed more interaction with the kids, he's so social, Corvan and I fought terribly, and Jor? We did pre-school and by the time he went to kindergarden he was at the top of his class. Pat on the back for me (smile) So, take each child individually, and base it year to year. That is the beauty of this day in age.

  2. i'll pray with you as you listen. i think y'all will be great no matter what, though hearing what you're already doing for preschool makes me think you were made for this stuff.

    right now my youngest could really benefit from homeschooling, and that's not so much a viable option in this context. boo.

    ps it's fun to think of you and what you might be doing in your corner of the earth right now. i hope you are dreaming bright and cozy. xo.