Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kindergarten 2011-2012


Last week Monday we started kindergarten. It was a bitter-sweet event as most of the children we knew were headed off to school with their loaded backpacks to meet their new teachers, unpack their fresh school supplies and visit with new and old friends. Meanwhile, we were headed to the kitchen table where there were fresh supplies, fresh workbooks, and big smiles. I'm sure it will get easier when people ask my son if he started kindergarten and where he's going to school. But right now, it's hard to explain our reasoning to strangers in the grocery store during a 2 minute "conversation."

But my kindergarten son was excited and so is my three-year-old. He's participating in schoolwork right alongside his brother and mom. :) It's a blessing to be able to school them at home. I'm excited to see what God's going to do this year in our home. And we're also participating in our local homeschool enrichment program. It's through our public school system and will be a blessing to our family. Through the program we will get a supervising teacher (which you would normally have to pay for), PE classes once a week and an enrichment class once a week. During the enrichment class they will work on computer skills, calendar skills, learn some conversational French, writing/reading assistance. And the biggest blessing is that a lot of the women that work there are all born-again believers. Even though the program is funded through the public school there are many believers who make the program possible and that's exciting for us as a family. Another thing we're finding out is that not all parents homeschool because of religious reasons. We have come to find that there are more reasons parents are choosing to school at home. We are excited to know that there is a mission field for our littles as they attend HSAP activities and classes but we are still giving them a "Christian education" at home. It's really exciting for our family. :)

I decided that it would be best for our family to have school at the dining room table. I know that if it were in another more inconvenient location (the closer to the kitchen the better since I spend most of my day there) I we would have trouble getting my our work done. And I didn't want our dining room space to look too much like a kindergarten classroom so we purchased some shelving from Ikea and our workboxes are on wheels so they can easily be wheeled out of the room for important guests. Our calendar work and Letter of the Week info is on hooks and can also be easily removed for dinner guests. I'm still trying to paint window trim, sew curtains, and add some extra decor but this is where we're at with our dining/homeschool room.

Alright, as for what we're planning this year....

Five in a Row - book 1 (fall); book 2 (spring)
Horizon's Math
Explode the Code Phonics (all consonants this fall and vowels this spring)
Handwriting Without Tears

We're also utilizing the workboxes again this year. It's a great way to push me into adding fun things for him to do. Otherwise it just becomes worksheets and coloring. This way I add games, puzzles, crafts, activities into our school time.

Preschool 3/4 yr
Raising Rock Stars Preschool
Letter of the Week by Confessions of a Homschooler

We're really excited to be using this program again. There are some things that are a little over his head as it was created for 4-year-olds but he's really been enjoying it. There are so many fun elements to RRSP and LOTW. I even take some of the activities and put them in the kindergarten boxes for some review work. Plus it's fun when he can accomplish something quickly after working hard on another box. I did not purchase the RRSP or LOTW downloads; I only use their free printables.

We have also been using some great games created by Homeschool Creations. They have been another great asset to our homeschool curriculum this year.

That's what we have planned so far. I'm excited to see where God will lead us this year and we'd appreciate your prayers as we begin this adventure. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Like to Move It, Move It...

Some of you may have wondered where I've been for the last month, but we finally bought our house. And we've been working our tails off to make it home. It's a long process - that will probably last until we sell it in 20 years. But it seems as though we mark one thing off our "to do" list and add three more things. :) I've heard that's the way it goes with home ownership.

Today I thought I'd give you the "before" tour. I really don't want to give the "after" tour until all our projects are complete, but that may be until Christmas. :) So, I will work on some "in the process" pictures to show you some time next week.


That's the end of the "before" tour. :) We are so thankful and blessed to have a home!! We've also been blessed with very hospitable neighbors that have brought over cookies, lemonade and their phone numbers. We are so thankful that God led us to this home and we pray that He will continue to bless our ministry efforts while we live here. 
Oh, and I don't have any pictures of the backyard to show you yet, but I will soon. It's great to say "go play outside" and they can. :)