I started homeschooling when my son J was 9 and starting 3rd grade. We lived in San Antonio, Tx at the time and I was going to San Antonio Community College to pursue a degree in Child Development. One of the classes I was taking “Emergent Literacy” required that I do a project on reading with children. I chose to help in J’s 2nd grade class with a reading time and ended up staying for a week helping with more than just reading time.
It was then that I discovered he was not getting the challenge he needed and was always in trouble for talking and disrupting the class because he was bored. The class had mostly ESL students (English as a second language) and the teacher had to adapt the curriculum to them leaving J and others bored.
I told my sister about it all and she had just started homeschooling her two children and told me I might want to look into it for J. I had no idea that homeschooling was an option. I researched it on the internet and at the library and decided to start after his 2nd grade year was over.
I started with Switched on school house curriculum because that’s what my sister was using and then found The Well Trained Mind. The Well Trained Mind has been the best for us and have learned over the years to tailor it to our needs.
Homeschooling has been the best decision I have ever made. The first few years were a challenge but still great. J became a reader. He actually liked reading where as before it was like pulling teeth to go to the library. He is back in school now because he is 16 and really wanted to go to high school. I hate the idea but had to let him make that choice.
JEM has been homeschooling since two. I was so into homeschooling I started early well to some that’s not exactly early. She was so eager to learn at two. She just soaked up everything and I was so worried about teaching her how to read I thought I should start right away in case I messed up.
We started just learning letters and letter sounds, doing math everywhere. We counted everything. I was so into homeschooling I made everything into school. Going grocery shopping they helped compare prices, and kept track of the bill before we got to the check out. JEM always helped me cook, learning about measurements and reading directions. I had the whole house label, had ABC magnets on frid, letters everywhere, I read to her every day and night. I was using everything I learned or was learning in my child development classes on JEM.
It paid off too. She was reading by 4 and enjoyed it. I have a video of her reading Frog and Toad and when I watch it I get all mushy and so proud I actually taught her to read. The best thing that I used for reading was the Phonics game. She really like playing with J and me.
Homeschool 2010-2011 (JEM is considered 5th grade by age)
Curriculum Guide-The Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, Teacher resources pg. 279
Logic-3 hrs a week -Logic puzzles, Mind Benders and Red Herrings
Math-45-60 min. day Saxon Math 65, How math works and other library books
History-Ancients 5000 B.C.- A.D. 400 using Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, and Library resources,
Reading-30 min. Structured reading-Ancients 5000 BC-AD400 / 60 min. free reading
Writing-30-60 min. daily:Writing Strands level 3 and 4 three days, dictation twice week.
Science-1 hr 30 min. two days week-Biology, Eyewitness books, Janice Van Cleaves Biology for every kid
Latin-3 hrs week-Latin Christiana I and II
Religion-10-15 min. day-Seton Religion 5rd grade Art- 1-2 hrs week -Art skills using- Drawing with Children, by Mona Brooks, study Ancient art history
Read about artists from history
Put birth and death dates on history time line
write short biographical sketch
Look at art, read about art, and color the art studying
Music-1-2 hrs week-books from library, Piano-Lessons with Grandma
Homeschooling A Preschooler
MJ my 3 year old is my next challenge and so different than the other two. Being older I have more patients and a more relaxed attitude and well I kind of have to with MJ. She is so strong willed, high energy, and the third kid. I am just starting official school with her this year at her request.
She said “Mommy I want to do school too, like sissy.” so I said of course you can and got her out her workbooks and stuff. Set her a place next to Sissy.
I was thinking okay she is so excited about school this will be great. Not. I was so stressed. MJ did not want to listen to Mommy tell her that this letter was A or Z or how to write it. I am wrong and she is right, this is how you do it Mom. She would argue, complain, and tell me I was doing it wrong. What the heck am I to do now. My kid wont listen to me. I had to get creative.
I was taking a bath one day and then it came to me. Puppet School.
I took out her finger puppet stage and assortment of finger puppets. Told MJ to close her eyes and that I had a surprise for her. Which of course got her very excited.
I set up the puppets on the table with her workbooks and stuff and told her to open her eyes. She said, What is this for Mommy are we going to play puppets? What about school.” I told her that we are going to have puppet school.
She, said, “Puppet School? What’s that? Are my puppets going to school too? That’s so cool.” and I said. “No, your puppets are going to teach you. They are your teachers now. Okay?” She was so excited.
I took out Lamb Chop and started with her ABC book. In my best Lamb Chop voice I sung the ABC song pointing to the letters with a marker. She sung along and then leaned over and gave Lamb Chop a kiss. It was so cute.
JEM at the other end of the table was amazed and giggling that this was actually working. MJ does puppet school everyday now. She loves it so much. She doesn’t argue with the puppets and get so into it. Its so funny. She is so excited about school each day. I even have to read to her with the puppets sometimes. Very hard to read in puppet voices. But it makes her happy.
Wondering maybe if I just carry Lamb Chop in my pocket all day if it would help with other things too, like at the store when she is running down the aisles misbehaving? Might have to try it.