Well, here we go. As of Sept. 6, we will officially begin our homeschooling journey. I'm a little apprehensive, to say the least. Elijah doesn't have a clue what's coming. Grace is geared up and begging to start every day. We've done school sporadically throughout the summer, keeping those little brains geared in the learning direction, so my hopes are they are in the groove already.
After much agonizing debate with my husband, researching and talking to other homeschool Moms, we have decided on a non-traditional (?) approach (please, someone, direct me as to the correct term to describe my method). I was all geared up to use Abeka, as that seems to be the most highly recommended and trusted curriculum out there. I graduated from an ACE curriculum school (Accelerated Christian Education) and knew that probably wasn't the way I wanted to go long-term, but considered using their (ACE) Kindergarten program. Both are pretty expensive.
So, after understanding that a kindergartner pretty much needs to learn how to read, and basic Math (along with shapes, colors, numbers, which we mastered at the age of 2-3), I thought why spend all that money on curriculum when there are other good resources out there? My mother-in-law found me the book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons", which I had already been wanting to buy for months. I've been reading it and am really impressed with the method and the reviews. I found a used Saxon Math Kindergarten book on ebay, and plan to order an art workbook from Abeka. My son is advanced in drawing, and amazes me every day. He literally draws for hours and goes through notebooks at an amazing speed. He stays up at night drawing by lamplight. We have as aspiring artist on our hands!
As for Grace's pre-k, she already knows as much as Elijah, so I am going to let her follow along with him as much as she can, but not push her too much if things get a little difficult for her. Both of them already know their alphabet, and about 80% of the sounds. Elijah prints amazingly neat, but Grace is struggling with her fine motor skills a little bit. I am considering getting her into some motor skills therapy, as she gets very frustrated with herself when she attempts to write her letters.
When first grade rolls around, we may be more inclined to go with a curriculum, but for kindergarten I felt it was unnecessary and overkill. Just my opinion. Everyone has one :).
There is a small, Church of the Nazarene, Abeka church-school down the road from us who believe in much the same standards, although doctrinally, a little different than what we believe. I was really hoping to be able to send Elijah there this year, but we just couldn't squeeze it into our budget. So I've joined a local home school group (still waiting to hear something from them) so we can get in the good "socialization" aspect of our experience. Not that my children don't get any socialization. They are social butterflies. But I am excited about the group.
Anyways, as for my opinion about homeschooling, I do believe in it (obviously). I am so thankful that we still have the choice to educate our children at home in a safe, secure, unrestricted environment. There is no way I would EVER send my children to the zoned public school here. No. Way.
But I am not necessarily of the opinion that home-school is the only acceptable method of education. I think there are good schools out there, and homeschooling may not be for everyone. If I were able to send mine to a school like the one I graduated from (sans the curriculum of choice), I would do it.
Please pray for us (particularly me) as we embark on this new journey. I'm going to need LOTS of patience and wisdom. Thanks!