But as time grew closer and closer for Jonah to enter the public school system (because private school wasn't an option for our location or budget) my heart and my anxiety level took a turn.We decided when he was 4 we would start home schooling for specific reasons (mostly based on fear), but then as time went on, those reasons have transformed into reasons entirely different! And though right now I couldn't tell you if we will always home school, I know that in this moment it is the absolute right choice for our kids. And for that I am thrilled!
We started really when he was about 3 working on "Hooked on Phonics". He was quick with the Literary concepts which kept me motivated. Then at 4 we started informal preschool a few times a week, lots of hands on "fun school" activities geared towards learning the basics. Last year we were able to enroll him in an online Kindergarten even though he was only 4 at the start of the year and he flourished! I had to order the 1st grade reader to keep up with him. Ellie joined us for subjects like History and Science and I started teaching her Letters, numbers and such and of course Gracie has to be in the mix coloring it up next to those two until she gets bored!
But this coming home school year is going to be a challenge for me for a variety of reasons....I now have 4 kids to care for, Jonah will be in 1st grade and Ellie is now enrolled in K4 with her very own classes and curriculum and Gracia just has to be involved! Of course we'll have to add in nursing and diaper changing/potty training breaks as well.....and Mommy sanity checks now and then! And on top of that I am highly considering homeschooling a daughter of a very good friend of mine.
As curriculum comes in the mail every few days.....boxes are opened and manuals are flipped through. I am beginning to get more and more excited about the whole year. You see I AM a nerd at heart. I love spending long hours in the Library and writing lesson plans till wee hours of the night. And as of late I have a new obsession.......Lapbooks! And because I am already addicted to my laminator, well that just goes right along with it!
To be honest I am hoping that along with some creative scheduling, blanket training, rotating hands on activities and lapbooks, homeschooling with Gracia this year won't be as stressful and chaotic as last year. My Motto is if you can't beat em, join em! Gracia already thinks she's 4 years old, just ask her! So instead of trying to shuffle her out of the room or off the table.....I've decided to enroll her in Totschool.
Okay so it's an unofficial enrollment, but she's in there alright! This is by far one of the best links I have found in a long time. It's kept me up late at night and gotten me out of bed early in the morning! I've been devouring her ideas and burning the midnight printer ink in preparation for the school year just for Gracia, and I can't wait! It's all I have in me not to try out the lapbooks I've made on Gracia today! But I've been a good little home school mommy and have them hidden. I've got 4 so far and I'm out of ink so I need to get another cartridge and get going! But before I do here are some of the ideas I have for Gracia this year, granted she's only 2, but she really wants to be involved like the big kids so my theory is to start instilling a love for learning now with lots of hands on fun activities geared for her age level!
- Lapbooks and file folder games on subjects like colors, shapes, sorting, sizes, etc
- Puzzles of all types!
- Lacing beads and lacing tiles
- Felt counting fish and games (currently in the process of making!)
- Books, books and more books!
- Alpha activities of all sorts
- Bible stories with the big kids
- Coloring....lost of coloring!
- Playdough and crafts!