Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Homeschool open house

Less of Me~More of Him is hosting a Homeschool Open House. Last I checked, over 250 moms posted about their homeschools. Here is a little about our little about us.

This is our 11th year home educating our kids. We have 5 children and they’ve all always been homeschooled. I do the majority of the teaching, but my husband is my biggest support. When things aren’t going smoothly he gives me great ideas and lets me talk things out. My husband helps the kids with computer programming, 3d modeling, music, and just helping them with their homework if they are stuck on something.. He also shares with them his passion and knowledge of science.

When we started out, I ordered a complete first grade curriculum. The workbooks looked so colorful and fun! I soon found out that because it was made for a school there was just way too much busy work. Plus my son read all the readers for the year in the first week! In the early days (when I only had 3 kids and 2 were school age) I did more unit studies and child directed learning.

About 7 years ago I first read the Charlotte Mason companion by Karen Andreola. It’s my favorite homeschooling book by far :) Since then I’ve incorporated lots of the ideas from that book. We’ve mostly chosen “living books” over textbooks, and we’ve done lots of copywork, dictation, personal spelling lists, and narration – where the child tells back what they’ve read or what you’ve read aloud to them.

For math we’ve pretty much stayed with Math-U-See. It’s very hands-on even in the upper grades, and the kids watch a video segment at the beginning of a new lesson, then for the rest of the week they do workbook pages on the new concept. There is review each week on what they’ve learned previously.

We all love games and we’ve used many in our homeschool throughout the years. We’ve used store-bought and homemade games. Educational computer programs and websites are also a great resource.

Each year has been different. My older 2 boys are now very independent with their schooling. My oldest does most of his subjects on the computer, using a curriculum called Switched on Schoolhouse. It’s great because it’s grades almost everything except for essay type questions. But it’s not for every student, my almost 14 yo has never had any interest in using it. Having a toddler can be challenging, but for years now I’ve had the kids rotate spending time one on one with their younger siblings. This has been an incredible blessing to me and for my children. During that time I can focus on teaching the other kids. Naptime is usually when I read aloud to the kids.

We’ve had pretty much the same routine over the years. I aim to start school by 9:00 am. We do our morning chores and bible reading before that. When the kids were young we usually finished by noon. Now that we have more kids and 2 high school students we finish school around 2:00 pm. But if we get interrupted during the day, or we have different activities to go to like music lessons, or our weekly homeschool group, we may do science or history in the evening.

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