Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Our Homeschool Goals: 2014-2015

Can I just say how laughable this post title is?  I started thinking about this a while ago with this exchange via Twitter:

And, joking aside, it's not far from the truth...  We just sent in our "letter of intent" declaring that we're not sending John Paul to kindergarten this year.  He would be a disaster emotionally, and sooooo bored academically.  So it should be an intimidating year for me because HELLO, first year homeschooling + new baby due in November + twin terrors + Cecilia, the adorable but high-strung 3.5yo.

Just call us low-stress over here!


Ah, how stressful it would be if I were going to try to accomplish anything tangible this year.  That is, anything tangible according to what school records would state.  Writing?  He's got it down.  Math?  All the way through 1st grade level, mastered.  Reading?  Last summer I tested him at somewhere between 5th and 8th grade.  Religion?  He's better catechized than I was through at least 8th grade.

So what's the point?  He knows everything, right?

This kid LOVES his workbooks.  He wants to learn everything and he wants to learn it now and if I'm not throwing SOMETHING at him, he'll make trouble on his own (as evidenced by the numerous "science experiments" I find lying around the house).  So he's got random workbooks (including his new favorite) and is working through them as fast as he possibly can (and I need to find a good source for more because they get expensive!), and I signed him up for a Magic School Bus Young Scientists Club (thank you, Amazon Local!) and am doing whatever I can to keep him busy...

Photo: John Paul is NOT a coloring fan, but apparently if it's math-related, he'll do anything... #weirdo
Hates coloring.  But not if it's a graph?

Cecilia decided she wants to learn how to read, so I grabbed everyone's favorite book from the library a couple weeks back and now she's sounding out and writing 3-letter words and it's adorable!

Photo: A certain 3yo is learning to read and clearly we've got another dummy on our hands :P
#underachiever
It's weird having to actually teach this skill this time around, since John Paul pretty much taught himself...  And she sees John Paul doing his workbooks and wants to do the same thing, so she has a little Brain Quest Pre-K Workbook that she loves, although she needs a lot more coaching through it than John Paul, since she can't read the instructions...  But he's been reading them to her (and correcting her mistakes, a little too harshly...), so that actually works out well if I'm busy with the twins.

So, in a nutshell, what do we actually want to do this year?

- Read a lot. Get lots of new books from the library to keep things fresh, and read to EVERYONE, not just the non-readers.

- Create - the big kids love "writing stories" when they can dictate to me, and I love their creativity.  And they adore playing with art supplies and trying to draw new things, so I need to be willing to get the bins down more often than I usually do.

- Get outside!  Mosquitoes kept us inside for quite a bit of the summer, because everybody was getting eaten alive.  They're not totally gone, but we're just getting a few bites, so I'm trying to enjoy the weather with the kids as much as possible before we're cooped up indoors.

Photo: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day! Are the mosquitoes finally gone, you think?
Wouldn't you want to be outside all the time if you were them?

- Pray. We still don't have a lot of daily prayer incorporated, and the kids crave that kind of structure, and I need it too!

Are we doing a preschool curriculum?  Or any sort of kindergarten curriculum?  No. Not even close.  John Paul told me the other day that it was his first day of kindergarten, and I didn't even take a picture...  So I guess we've begun our school year?  And it's not gonna look a whole lot different than what we've already been doing!
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