Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We don't homeschool

Yet.

But that is the direction it looks like we'll be going, at least until Mike gets his super high paying job and we can afford some ultra special private education. Because, you know, a PhD in Theology always leads to a super high paying job....

I used to think it was funny when people would say that they "homeschool" when their oldest kids were only like 4 or 5, because who sends their kids to school that early anyways, right? Wrong. Everyone does. So I guess if everyone is going to ask me where I am planning on sending my 3 year old (?!?!) to school, and I have no plans except to send her to the basement to play, then I might as well start saying that we are homeschooling.


At some point I also realized that there is plenty of pre-school type stuff to do with Naomi. She really enjoys having a little bit of structure in the day as well as saying that she has "lessons" to do, even though it only entails playing with little bears and using pattern blocks.

I was NOT homeschooled, I went to Catholic schools my entire life and will share no opinions about anything--  I try never to be opinionated here on the blog, it's just no good for numbers.

But me not being of a homeschooled breed puts me at a definite disadvantage when it comes to educating my own progeny. It is not inherent in me and I've never really worked well with little people. I can buy as many ankle length denim skirts and jumpers as I want but at some point I had to come to the realization that I have no idea what I am doing.

Luckily marriage has found me in the same family as the Queen of Home Schooling, she even wrote a book on it. So on our last trip home, my all-star mother-in-law sat me down and gave me all the resources and advice I could ever want or need for a little pre-schooler and we have begun something that calls itself home schooling.

We will get to learning to read when Naomi turns 4, but for now we are sticking to math, some addition and subtraction and manipulative things. I am working toward gathering ideas for history books to read and we look at animal books and pictures for a "science lesson". Advanced, I know.
Makeshift Montessori "works": water pouring, bead sorting, and orange polishing. Oh, you're confused? Me too.

The real wrench in the plan currently is Bernadette, whose attention span is approximately the length of a squirrel with ADHD. I put together some "works" that look a little like Naomi's from Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (pictured above), and for the first 10 seconds they were really exciting- (that would be the 10 seconds where I took any of these pictures) but really she just ends up coming and destroying whatever I am doing with Naomi. I am looking into a specialized cage of some sort, Mike's mom didn't have any and I haven't been able to find any on the various homeschooling websites, we'll see where that goes...



15 comments :

  1. "Squirrel with ADHD" lol!

    I was surprised, too, to find that everyone sends their kids to preschool by age 4. Not passing judgment, but surprised since that's not the way I grew up.

    Anyway, good luck with homeschooling- I'm looking forward to seeing what lessons/activities you do with your girls! Always up for some new ideas over here. :)

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  2. Anything your kids would do in "real" preschool, you're probably doing already! But I agree, it's pretty tough getting all this worked out when there are always younger siblings to deal with... We did most of our special "educational" activities when Cecilia was napping, but now she's close to John Paul's level in terms of fine motor skills & attention span (she's an OLD almost-2, he's a young 3.5, except in terms of reading...) so we do a lot together. But it's definitely tough to find time, especially with an extra baby or two thrown into the mix!

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    1. And tell me you're on Pinterest - there are a trillion homeschooling resources there!

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  3. I taught preschool and still doubt my ability to home school. Having kids has made me feel like the squirrel who has ADHD. With all that being said we most likely will home school. Wish my kids luck!

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  4. I saw this amazing cage at Meijer the other night and told Ben how useful it could be for Leo when he learns to walk. He pointed out that it was just a cage for big dogs and that that sort of behavior might get us in trouble. Shame.

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  5. Ana - your MIL truly IS the Queen of Homeschooling. Her book was the first thing I read when I was thinking about doing it, and scared out of my wits. My oldest went all the way through Catholic school. My next oldest was going into 5th grade (also Catholic school) and my 3rd was going into 2nd. I knew in my heart that I needed to homeschool the almost 2nd grader, but I went ahead and sent him back to school that year, even though God was literally hitting me over the head with signs. I pulled him out after two weeks. The 5th grader BEGGED to be allowed to be homeschooled in less than one quarter, after seeing what his brother was doing. We have never looked back and we're in out 7th year. My 2nd is now in high school and back at our wonderful local Catholic high school, but he was home all through middle school. My two youngest (now in 4th and 2nd respectively) have never been to school outside the home. I came up with all sorts of ways to keep them occupied while I did school with the older boys when they were toddlers and preschool age. The key for me was having them at the kitchen table "working" with us so they felt included. I rotated "projects" like crazy and built a big arsenal of things to do, because mine also had the attention span of a gnat hyped up on caffeine. I'm happy to share some ideas with you if you want - just email me. You're going to be great!! Just remember that it's not always perfect and there will definitely be days when you wonder "why"??!!

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  6. We're preschool homeschooling too :) My 2yo loves to sit with my 4yo while we read, but other activities he turns into disasters too. I've decided to wait until he's 6 to start kindergarten, which means three years of preschool, meaning I feel super odd saying we homeschool.

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  7. Oh my goodness! What a blessing to have a in-laws who are so well versed in the faith and able to help you out in the world of homeschooling! Color me green with envy - I am pretty sure all of our four parents deep down still think we are just a smidge crazy for homeschooling :) Cest la vie. Good luck with your adventure! It is just the beginning. Soon you'll be laminating and sorting with the rest of us!

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  8. UGH this new inane idea that kids should be in school at age 3 really gets me.

    And speaking of inane, I totally went to see your MIL speak at a homeschool conference when my eldest wasn't yet walking:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110091613926694195562/20130122#5836462945970935458 :)

    Anyway, you better let us all know if you figure out

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  9. Add me to the group that is befuddled when three year olds are telling me they go to school?! What a wonderful resource your mom is! I was happy to read that you share your doubts with me...I have only ever gone to Catholic school, and I am not gifted at all with natural patience at all when teaching so when Chris and I hypothetically discuss homeschooling I cringe. Who knows what will happen though! Allow me to bask in the fact that I only have a one year old.

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  10. Well, I was homeschooled, and I was also a preschool teacher for 4 years and I still can't say for sure whether I will homeschool my daughter and any future kids! But anyway, I wanted to share the best thing, hands down, that I've ever read about homeschooling (in general and also specifically young ones). This post from Like Mother Like Daughter:
    http://ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com/2012/09/ask-auntie-leila-some-homeschooling-talk.html#more

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    1. Thanks so much, Ellen, I loved that post!

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  11. I would love to read a post about why you will homeschool (or do private school)!!!

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  12. I loved this post!
    We are homeschooling kindergarten this year and are looking at options to send him to school for first grade. Honestly, it's not him or the kindergarten work that is overwhelming, it's everybody else! It is a huge juggling act to get the other three quiet and occupied so I can spend the time with Michael. I give so much credit to the moms with big families who can do it all easily...that is so not me!

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  13. Homeschooling preschoolers just requires you to come up with something intelligent to say when questioned on whether or not you've enrolled your 2 or 3 year old in preschool. So they spend all day in the basement painting, tossing around counter bears and screaming? All anyone else needs to know is that, "My children engage in an array of gross and fine motor skills, and I'm gradually introducing pre-reading skills in a developmentally appropriate way based on core curriculum standards. My focus is to provide a stimulating early care and education experience which promotes my children's social/emotional, physical and cognitive development."
    Boom! You're golden. No one will argue with that. And I always tell people, we take it a year at a time. I'm not committed to teaching them Calculus just because we homeschool elementary.

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