Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looking Back

Since this is the beginning of a new blog, lets go back to the beginning of our adventure. This is a post from my old blog from the preschool years - January 2007.

My Homeschool Pendulum

Lately I’ve been concerned that I might not be doing enough with B in the “preschool” department. He’s not really “getting it” yet with most of the letters – recognition or drawing them. He’s counting pretty well, but is not recognizing or drawing numbers, either. So I started searching for a new curriculum for next year, and ideas to supplement and “beef up” what we’re using this year.
I found a great curriculum in the classical tradition that I got really excited about. It’s purpose is to prepare youngsters for their academic Kindergarten curriculum. But it had some fun looking rhyming and rhythm activities and anawesome Bible unit:
Twenty-six short and easily-read chapters in Tell Me About God help children find out more about God. Keyed to the alphabet, each chapter explains an aspect of God’s character and suggests an appropriate Bible reading with a text to learn. Songs and questions from the Shorter Catechism are integrated as well.
I was about ready to do flips and cartwheels over it and had set my heart to order it. Then I had a conversation with my friend, Liz, at church. She’s an “older” mom who’s children are pretty much grown, and I learned that she had home-schooled them. From this conversation I was reminded that my intent when I set off on this road was to be relaxed and not to rush B into academics, or formal study, before he was ready. Oh yeah, that.
So, I got out my Successful Homeschool Family Handbookby the Moores and read through some chapters to refresh and renew my homeschool commitment. I then got out my Before Five in a Row book to read through again. I have gone through the book list to see which ones our post library has. It turns out I already have what I need to supplement and “beef up” our current curriculum. And I’m seriously considering  using Five in a Row next year.
Another recommendation by my friend Liz was to start B in Suzuki music lessons. So, I am investigating that. He definitely has some giftedness in the music department. Our church family was treated to his drum playing at the New Year’s talent show. He never ceases to amaze me.
So, I swung over, and back again, on my homeschool pendulum. I am more relaxed again, now that I remembered what my point was, to begin with. B is doing just fine. He’s a very bright kid who is very curious and loves to learn new things. I certainly don’t want to squelch that by pushing him into things he’s not developmentally ready for, yet. Whew! Thanks Liz!
If you are looking for a strong Christian academic curriculum in the classical tradition, do check out Covenant Home Curriculum. I am definitely filing it away for future reference. You can only get the preschool curriculum as a complete package, but they offer subject modules from Kindergarten on up and offer tailoring services.
If you are considering whether homeshooling is right for your family I strongly recommend reading books on the subject by Raymond & Dorothy Moore andJohn Holt, among others. These offer very insightful information on child development. The Moore’s have done extensive research and study on the subject. I have found lots of great books in my local library that were very helpful.
Most importantly, don’t jump into something just because someone else is doing it that way. There are lots of different ways to “do school” and what works well for one family may not work for yours. Read, read, read, as well as talking to anyone you might know that homeschools, or check out the net for forums, blogs, and such.
OK, a quote from the Moores, then I’ll step off my soapbox. :-)
The best early “academics” are your responses to your children – giving yourself to them in warm fellowship, conversation, travel; reading and telling stories with moral values; working at home chores and cottage industries together; teaching them by example how to serve others; being alert to their highest motives and interests; and encouraging them to develop their own creative ideas in the sand pile, with kitchen dough, with a telescope, in a diary, and with tools in the garage or garden.

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