Friday, May 7, 2010

My Homeschooling Plans

Heart of Dakota Publishing

I went to the Homeschool Book Fair today in Arlington. After much prayer and research, I finally decided to go with Heart of Dakota for our homeschooling curriculum next year. I was really drawn to Sonlight, but I felt that it was too pricey to commit to each year. I really like their books and philosophy of reading to the boys daily. So I've decided to pick some of the books from the Sonlight Curriculum to read to the boys at reading time. When I prayed about what to do, I really felt like God put on my heart that the most important thing at this stage is getting God's Word into their hearts, and that's what HOD is all about! The lessons each day are so sweet and all Bible based. They include a Bible lesson, a daily devotional, music, art lesson, letters and entry math all based on our Bible story theme for that week. It's a very easy approach to homeschooling and the one I picked is for 2-5 years olds, which is exactly how old the boys will be in the fall. If we are still in Fort Worth in September, Baker will return to Miss Barbara's twice a week and I will homeschool the other three days. I also purchased two Usborne Science books: How Things Work and Starting Point Science Volume 1. Baker is SO excited about the Starting Point book...he read it all the way home from the Book Fair and said, "I love books!" Yea! That's exactly what I want to hear.

When I first heard about homeschooling. something about it truly intrigued me. I think as a previous preschool and kindergarten teacher, I am just drawn to teaching, especially my own children. I have been so fortunate and blessed to have lived next to an amazing and truly delightful woman, Jessica, who first introduced me to homeschooling. She began to teach her girls and it really inspired me to research what homeschooling was all about. I've had Baker in Mother's Day Out and preschool since he was 1. Now we are in Montessori at Lambs and Shepherds, which we absolutely LOVE! But since we plan on doing full-time missions in Honduras, I knew I needed to find a curriculum to take with us, and get prepared for when we leave. Even if things change and we stay in the States, I will homeschool. I've thought a lot about it, and I really want to be the one that experiences my boys learning. I want to learn right alongside them and with them! I want to see their faces when they figure something out and I want to be there to guide them when they struggle. I think there's something very bonding about investing in my boys' education myself. It makes motherhood take on a whole new meaning to me. The whole idea has been so alluring to me and already Baker's enthusiasm to learn is awesome! The fact that he can tell me what he wants to learn about, what excites him and spurs him on and then we can go and research's brilliant! That's how learning should be in my opinion. I'm hoping that he can focus early on what he's interested in and it will help to mold and shape who he becomes because he's excited about what he's learning.

We have had the TV turned off for almost a month now, and it's been awesome! We read books and the boys play outside all day! We are still getting our classroom all set up and I'll post photos of that soon. Carter built a table for the boys to work at and also the most darling water table!! I'm painting it and then I'm adding curtains to it, it's going to be so cute. I think he should make them and sell them. But having the media off has been so nice. Maybe once or twice a week the boys can watch a movie if they really need some down time, but that's very rare. I feel like we talk so much more and Baker's imagination and creative play has just sky-rocketed! We are going to plant a baby garden for them too.
xoxo ash