Learning New Things {Finer Things Friday}

Isaac started school last week. He’s doing great and it’s been so much fun to see him learn new things. For his music I am teaching him piano. We only do it twice each week, but he is picking it up very quickly. And yesterday he played his first real song! šŸ™‚ He was pretty proud of himself, and so were we! Learning new things is certainly a Finer Thing!

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Why? & What?

This week we started homeschooling our oldest son, Isaac, for his kindergarten year. Some people wonder why we home school. Some have asked what curriculum we are using. Yes, there is method to our madness. šŸ™‚

First of all the Why? of homeschooling. Schooling your children in the various christian circles can be a touchy subject. Some people are gung-ho for one particular schooling method and judge those who do not align themselves with that method. For us, it was a fairly simple choice. But we do not judge other parents who have chosen differently. God has given us our children to raise and trainĀ for Him. And educating our children is part of that. It is our responsibility, something we cannot give over to another and have no involvement. We firmly believe that God is in all things, and all things are because of Him. We want our children to learn this in every area of life, even in their education. We desire for them to know God better and see God in everything they learn, whether it is in the order of mathematicsĀ or the way the world works in Science. We also desire for our children to have a full, well-roundedĀ education from this perspective. So we have decided to home school. It is not something we take lightly, and we are seeking to do this well. We are not homeschooling because all other options are evil, or we do not want our children exposed to the unsaved world. We are homeschooling because we believe, for us, it is what is best. It is what God has given us to do in training our children to follow after Him.

As for curriculum. We are desire to take a classical approach as we school our children. And that will take more effect as they continue through school. For kindergarten, I looked at many different possibilities. I talked to several people, and thought about what would best fit with our goals, and our budget. Not any one curriculum seemed to satisfy me. So I picked and chose to create our own.

Bible – We do a Bible story from The Jesus Story Book Bible, Scripture memory, and catechisms. We will also be going through The ABC’s of Church History.

Phonics – We begin with our Play ‘n Talk Phonics programĀ (which appears to be hard to find now, I gotĀ mine from my mom who taught for many years), and then also do worksheets from Explode the Code Ā and Modern Curriculum Press Phonics.

MathSaxon Math 1

ScienceĀ  – I did not buy a curriculum for this subject. Each week Isaac chooses an animal that he would like to learn about (he loves this and already has a list of several!) and we go to the library and check out several books about that animal. I also find several good video’s on YouTube about this animal (BBC and National Geographic usually have pretty neat ones on there). Then in school we read the books, watch the video’s, and then put together a few pages in our “Science Notebook” about that animal and what he has learned. He is loving this, and so am I!

Handwriting – We are doing d’nelian manuscript for our handwriting and we are using this book and free printables from this site.

Literature – I am reading aloud classics to him. We will be making our way through three different books that I already had on hand(here, hereĀ and here). This week we have read some of Aesop’s fables as well as classic tales such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Goldilocks and theĀ Three Bears, etc.Ā 

Music – He is starting piano. I am taking him through the first book of Alfred’s Basic Piano Library. This is the same book I used over 20 years ago when I took began taking lessons as a child. It still has all the same songs and illustrations even! We are also planning/hoping to have him start taking violin lessons within the next few months.

I also have quite alot of extra supplemental workbooks and such that my mom has passed down to me that we can pick and choose from.

So far, three days in, things are going well and I am quite pleased with the curriculum we have chosen. He is doing very well and so far every morning is excited to get started! šŸ™‚ WeĀ begin at 9:30 each morning and end at 12:00. This time seems to work well for us and so far allows us to accomplish everything if we stick to our schedule. We will see how things go in a few weeks when we throw a new baby into the mix! šŸ™‚

I would love to hear from you other home school moms. If you have any great ideas, recourses or experience to share please leave a comment!