Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Homeschooling

About 2 weeks ago we made the plunge.  For the last 3 years we have been homeschooling Lilianna..and only Lily.  Two weeks ago we pulled the babies out of Wesley Christian and decided to homeschool them too.  I am so excited about it and let me tell you why.

1.  I am the world's most selfish mom and now I get to see my babies so many more hours of the day!  Yes that is right...I like my kids and I like hanging out with them.  Even though they drive me banana's on a pretty regular basis.  My babies will be babies for about 2 years...then they will toddle around for another 2 years, then they will be big kids for about 3 years...then they are acting older than stated age for a couple of years...tweens for a couple of years, teen agers and then gone.  Well, you know what I mean.  They are grown ups and as cuddly as my babies are...a 17 year old Ben is not going to crawl onto my lap with his yellow blanket and hug me no matter how many times I make him promise at 4yo that he will still do that when he is 17.   This time is precious and I want every possible minute to spend that time with my babies before it is gone.  Yes I said I was selfish!  In addition to wanting every minute, I want that time to be quality time...not overtired, worn out from school, finish your homework, rush around to extra curricular activities  grumpy kids only time.  I want that time to be well rested, learning, engaging, mind/heart/soul present and participating time.  Yes, that's right I want quanitity and quality time with my kids and school can't have that time with my babies...I get it!  Yes, I said I was selfish.

2.  Guess what...some parents might find this hard to believe....but kids like to spend time with their parents.  A week ago (roughly), Ben said that he wanted to be an Engineer when he grew up so that he could help Daddy with all his work.  That is a huge change for Ben who was pretty sure he wanted to be Captain America when he grew up.  He had stuck with Captain America for almost a year...then out of the blue he is going to help Daddy when he grows up.  Zebby infomed me recently that he and Daddy do all the work around the house (an opinion that may have been added to by daddy...I'm just sayin...aaahemm..).  Zeb just wants to spend time with us and soak up everything we do.  He always wants to help me fold clothes and clean and he constantly follows Keith around to help in anyway he can.  Zebby desperately wants to learn how to be a grown up and he wants to soak up Keith's character and learn how to become a man.  It was Zeb's spongelike behavior that was the tipping point for me.
I love my husband and I have often said that I want all of my children (especially the boys) to grow up to be just like Keith.  Who I think is totally and mindblowing-ly awesome.  How can my babies grow up to be like Keith if the only time they see us is when they are mindnumbingly exhausted and we are taskmasters with to do lists or chauffeurs. 

3.  Don't even get me started about the skewed priorities of classrooms where being quiet and following the rules is more important than unbridled enthusiasm and joy of learning.  I have been slightly radicalized by John Taylor Gatto's books which I read recently. 

Keith is building a special homeschooling table we are going to put up in the library and he has been getting lots of help from the kids.

Next year we are going almost 100% Sonlight for Zeb, Zoe, and Ben we will be using Core B..it is the core we bought when we first tried to homeschool Alex and failed! haha...we ordered consumables for everyone already and are ready to go.  We haven't gotten our math program yet...the kids are doing dreambox (which is totally awesome) and I think we are going to do Singapore math with Miquon math thrown in for good measure...MR engineer dad wants to emphasize math in our curriculum...not a bad idea.  We have lots of critical thinking company fun books and will work on cub scout belt loops etc.

Lily is going to have a full sonlight curriculum next year too..we will be doing core F with Singapore math and critical thinking company stuff...love the mindbenders, balance benders, math detective etc...it is great.  We are also going to do unit studies with American Heritage Girl badges.  I also plan on Lily doing some of the read alouds for the little kids.

Oh yea...I  just finished giving Lily the 4th grade Iowa Test from Seton Hall Testing...they send you the test, you give it, send it back and they post the results on your online account.  It was much easier than I thought it would be.  I had thought about driving everyone down to greenville to test at the BJU testing center...but this was sooo easy.  I am probably going to just do testing at the end of the school year for everyone.

We will either be insane by the December or.....oh wait we already are insane...mwahahaha!

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