Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My first Post

So I wanted to start a blog but I didn't want to just start another homeschooling blog. However, here I am, starting a homeschool blog. LOL. 

I  started homeschooling about 9 months before my oldest son was going to begin Kindergarten. He had been enrolled in a preschool program for 3 years and I had EVERY intention of putting him in public school. Then he got sick and I had to keep him home for about a month. While he was home I discovered, to my horror, that he couldn't recognize half the letters in the alphabet. He also had no basic math skills. He didn't recognize numbers and he had no concept of one to one correspondence. When I brought this up with his teacher she said something like,  "I think they know enough." YIKES! Meanwhile, every time I picked him up she complained about him. He didn't want to sit for story time. He didn't want to participate in group activities. He didn't want to do art projects. He thought preschool was for socializing. <~ This one is my favorite because that is the number 1 anti-homeschooling argument! Apparently, socialization is not encouraged in school after all.  

I spent the next few months teaching him at home. I was afraid that my son might have a learning disability or something... but after only 2 weeks at home, he knew all his numbers and was solving simple math problems! After 2 months at home, he read his first word. Obviously he had the ability to learn as long as someone took the time to teach him. 

So my husband and I started talking about homeschooling. We were not alien to the idea. My cousins were homeschooled and my husband's brothers and sisters were also homeschooled. I never thought in a million years that I would be up to the challenge for it though. I had heard all the arguments against it... and I was tempted to believe all that stuff; but folks the proof is in the pudding and my cousins and in-laws are some magnificent pudding!  They are wonderful people each and every one of them! They are smart, successful, and truly inspiring! They are the reason I decided to make the leap and jump into homeschooling. Thanks guys!

So I made the leap and I bought a curriculum. I will not say who I bought it from but it is a pretty big company. The curriculum was great for about a month... Then we both got bored with it. It seems that in my desperation for homeschool help I had forgotten that I had actually taught prekindergarten for 2 years. So I tossed the curriculum out the window and put my library card to use! 

Our first year of homeschooling went really great. We got books at the library for reading, science, and history. I based my Kindergarten curriculum loosely around The Letter Of The Week, which is a FABULOUS resource!!!! Each week we had a new letter and all of our activities were based on it. Like for C, we studied camels, Columbus, creation, and we counted crayons, etc. We also read the Sound Box series by Jane Belk Moncure. There is a whole book for each letter of the alphabet. By the middle of kindergarten my son was reading the books to me. 

Every week we made a trip to the library to get our books and while we were there I would pick up a book for me. One day I stumbled upon More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levinson. I had heard of Charlotte Mason before but it seemed like too much reading! I thought that my kids would never sit through so much reading.... But I got the book and I read it cover to cover in just a couple days! While I read I took notes. Everything in that book sort of sung to me. I realized that what I was doing was pretty much already Charlotte Mason's method. We did not use textbooks full of dry facts. We were reading living books. The book was also full of new (100 year old) ideas. 

This year my boys and I started first grade and pre-k. We are not exclusively Charlotte Mason. We make lapbooks and do an occasional unit study.  We use a free online curriculum for math, grammar and spelling. but our Bible, literature, science, and history are all read from living books. 
Not everything I post on this blog will be strictly Charlotte Mason. I will post anything that has worked for me or is working for me.  I am not very creative so if you see something that seems creative, I probably stole the idea from somewhere else. I will try to include a link to the original if I do. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my blog and find it useful.

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