Hi everyone! I have been pretty confident for about a year that we would be homeschooling our kids, at least until their middle school years. At some point I will go into my decision-making process, but for today, I’d like to just share our first experience with homeschooling.
Alden turned three on the 9th of this month, and I had originally planned on beginning the Sonlight preschool curriculum the day after labor day. While nothing is drastically different between preschool and our regular day, I had hoped to transition to a little more of a daily routine. Well, we ordered the majority of the books required for Sonlight’s program (purchased off Amazon because we already owned a couple and were able to get them a little cheaper) and they arrived on Tuesday. From the moment we opened the box, Alden was asking, “Can we do school now?” So Wednesday we gave it a shot.
It was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. Short.
My kids typically wake up around 7am when Rial leaves for work. Usually, I just lounge around a few hours and then we start our day, but I’ve been making a true effort to get up and moving and it’s made a huge difference in my productivity. I made the kids breakfast and while they ate (I can’t eat that early) I drank some coffee and made my bed and tidied Noah’s toddler bed. After Alden finished her breakfast, I helped her get dressed and she helped make her bed. One thing I already love about homeschooling is that we don’t have to rush through daily activities and I can really integrate them as a learning activity.
After beds we made, I started a load of laundry. My washer runs exactly 48 minutes, which I thought would be the perfect window to get some learning in. For your information, it was around 8:30am at this point. Both of my kids are morning people, I am not.
I made the obligatory first-day-of-school picture and picked a story to read. Alden and I read one story from the Bible, discussed it, and then read one of our Sonlight preschool books, Baby Says from the Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics. I highly recommend this collection. It’s an amazing value. While Alden and I read, Noah played with Duplos. He hung with us for a few minutes, but didn’t make it long with the longer Bible story.
After our story time we colored at the table. Alden LOVES work sheets and work books, so I gave her a sheet to work on coloring in the lines. She did surprisingly well and loved using markers. I, however, made the mistake of purchasing the cheap kind and when it started to fade, her meltdown began.
While Alden was coloring, I was working on simple word flash cards with Noah. I hadn’t used anything like this with Noah, but at 18-months he only has a handful of words, and because I let him keep a pacifier (my opinion) until not too long ago, he’s been a bit behind picking up new words. Yes, I know kids develop differently. Any how, he started to pick up a lot of the words and loved looking at new pictures. Since I’ve started school with Alden and really focusing in on both of them at different levels, I’ve noticed a big difference.
Once the marker faded and Alden decided she needed a green marker to color grass on the page, things took a turn. Alden began to whine, which is a big “no” in our house. I told her to go sit on her bed, which she did. I let Noah down out of his high chair to play and decided we would be done for the day. Noah joined Alden in her room and wanted vitamins and joined in with Alden’s ongoing meltdown when I said, “no.” We had a little “personal time” in respective rooms while I prepared lunch and went about my daily chores.
After lunch, we did our house chores, which also work well with homeschooling. Alden helped sort silverware.
Outside, Alden and Noah helped feed and water our chickens and check for eggs. We checked on our garden and went inside for naps.
So far, this very short preschool time has worked for Alden. As we progress, I will add more structured supervised activities.