Posted by: Cindy | October 1, 2008

Homeschooling at our house

Henry is reading!  He didn’t even know the alphabet a year ago and now he’s sounding out words.  It’s just clicked for him this week and he’s become obsessed with it.  We went to the library a couple of days ago, just me and him, and he walked out grinning from ear to ear with a big stack of books.  We sat down today and he read me 5 books.  He has memorized some sight words and sounds out the rest.  I’m so glad reading is so automatic and easy for him!  He’s a kid who tends to get frustrated easily.  I’ve decided to hold off on the writing because it usually reduces him to tears–he never can make his letters perfect enough to satisfy himself.

I’m feeling very confident in my decision to homeschool him now.  I did initially enroll him in kindergarten this year because I was afraid he’d be bored at home while all his friends were in school.  He lives for his friends and it’s pure torture that his best friend isn’t out of school until 3:30.  Plus I thought it would give me some much-needed time to work with Lilly and Sophie.  He didn’t last very long at school though, once he learned he had to go every day!  Now that he’s reading there’s no way in hell I’ll ever consider sending him to first grade next year.  That was Sophie’s big problem–first grade is all about teaching kids to read and if they already know how there’s not much for them to do there.

I’ve decided to do a more formal study of history this year with the girls.  I started by making this timeline on the sunroom wall:

I figure we’ll fill it in as we go.  We started at the very beginning–with australopithicus.  We’re reading all the Usborne books the library has to offer and the girls are completely enthralled.  When I told Amanda what we were studying she laughed and said, “Isn’t it good to know you’re finally putting your college education to use?”  (I was an anthropology major).

I did put some later events on the timeline too.  I asked Lilly and Sophie to name all the historical events they could think of and I printed up small pictures for them hang up:

I’m going to have to make a more detailed timeline when we get to American history for sure.  It was fun to see what events they knew.  Most were centered around movies they had seen:  “That war when the women wore those Southern Belle dresses–you know–Gone With the Wind!” and “Ooh, I know, when they were cutting off people’s heads in the Scarlet Pimpernel!”  And we couldn’t forget Anastasia or Queen Elizabeth I.  I’m hoping the timeline helps them to connect the dots.

Both girls have been working on writing novels.  It should be fun to see where that leads.  My goals this year are to get them spelling decently and help them grasp long division.  All 3 kids are taking classes at the co-op.  Lilly and Sophie have Physics, Math Games, World of Words, Art, CSI, and History.  Henry is taking fun little classes including a dance class and Yearly Themes, the class I’m teaching.  There are seven 5-6 year-olds in the class and surprisingly I’m rather enjoying it.  Every week I choose a nearby holiday or event and we read books about it and do an art project.

Our city rec center is offering daytime gymnastics and karate classes for homeschoolers.  Henry is in heaven:

I didn’t end up getting any good pictures of Sophie doing gymnastics so I’ll have to get some this week.

Ah, so we’re busy!

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Responses

  1. Australopithi-huh? I think we need to take grade school over again, and be in your class!


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