First Day of Homeschool (Year Four)

School officially starts for kids in Wake County today (and elsewhere, based on what I’ve seen on Facebook). Animal and Mineral are technically fourth graders


The Informant is a second grader


My Masterpiece is a redshirt kindergartner because of her autumn birthday


And Cousin It is a toddler


This year we’re joining homeschool 4-H, which is exciting. The kids also do homeschool swimming, gymnastics (girls), tae kwon do (boys) and Navigators USA. The Informant is in Geography Club twice a month and homeschool Girl Scouts is starting this year too (not sure about that; we may be overscheduled). The boys have a DnD group once or twice a month that’s made up of little mini-nerds.

As far as school goes, I usually default to unschooling, but after four years of doing this, I can see where my kids need some work. My feelings about homeschooling are that you have to do it for a while before you get the hang of your kids and how they learn. Some kids are really self-motivated and unschooling or child-directed learning is best. Some kids need more school-at-home.

Animal, Mineral and The Informant need practice with their writing and so we’re going to use Handwriting Without Tears (which Mineral’s OT uses) for writing. Mineral and The Informant need practice reading out loud, so I use Aesop fables or something else that’s more like a “living-book” from the library. Animal needs to read fluently, period. I’ll use anything for that. The boys and I will finish Singapore Math from last year and start the second Life of Fred math book. And if I’m feeling motivated we’ll all finish last year’s History Odyssey. In between I also teach some basic grammar for language arts.

I recently read something about the brain being able to focus clearly for only 15 minutes at a time, so I try to do quick lessons.

Then we can get back to the business of living life and learning all the time.


3 Responses

  1. Good Luck

  2. I was already today feeling misty-eyed about my own unschooling/schooling-at-home/making-it-up-as-we-go-along days. I’m more than a little jealous, Erika. Hope you and your crew have an uber sweet “first day of school”!

  3. Good luck! I admire your commitment to teaching your kids. You’re awesome. I read that boys perform better at any task requiring concentration (and on standardized tests) if they exercise first; I get my #2 to run the kitchen/living/dining room circuit before practicing reading every afternoon. Also: the trampoline is my friend. =)

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