Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Homeschooling Kindergarten 1st 6 Weeks Review

We started homeschool our oldest for Kindergarten this fall. It was a bumpy start in which I wondered if I was cut out for this and in which Manny asked to go to "regular school" multiple times. We finally got into a groove and I put less pressure on myself to construct an official school day. We travel mostly on the weekends but it bleeds over into the school week at times so that was one of our main reasons for homeschooling. But there are a myriad of other reasons it works for our family during this season. I have found a group of other homeschooling moms (& a couple of dads) who meet together once a month and also plan field trips as a group. This is super fun for us and is the only thing I have signed up for this year as I wanted us to get the hang of school and travel with the hopes of not being over scheduled and rushing around from one activity to the next. If you have met Manny in real life you know that socialization is one of the least of my worries as a homeschool mom.

This week we had a breakthrough though. Well the last couple of weeks. First of all I explained to Manny that regular school was from 8-3pm and that we were learning all day but that school wasn't an option for 5 year olds once August came. He seemed to complain less after this conversation and once he realized school was a thing we had to do, but our dinosaur unit really put it over the top. He was excited about learning and I had saved an excavation kit from Christmas which fit in perfectly. Something clicked in both of us during the dinosaur unit. I told Manny it was our last day to study dinosaurs and he said, "Oh man I wish we could learn more about dinosaurs." So after some quick pinterest finds we extended our dinosaur unit just like that.

We are using the My Father's World Curriculum and I kinda love it. It's not too much and once I got the hang of the routine of the unit it doesn't take much prep time at all. I love the fact that for a basic school day I can pick up my teachers manual and go with it. I also love that it gives me a framework for the units that I can build on. After the dinosaur unit we started the octopus unit. This has been our best unit yet. I have found that I enjoy adding onto our box curriculum but would feel lost with out it.

For the octopus unit I went to the library and checked out some books about sea life and octopi. I found some units on Pinterest about Oceans and the letter Oo as well as some real life videos of an octopus....there was a silly song as well which even little brother thought was funny. Manny is learning to read, he putting things together, and he's having fun. But something else happened this week. A connection was made to our Christian faith while learning about the letter Oo. We read a book on creation and made the realization that Octopi were created on day 5 with the sea creatures. We read some verses in his very own bible which say- Psalm 104:24-25 NIRV "Lord, you have made so many things! How wise you were when you made all of them! The earth is full of your creatures. Look at the ocean, so big and wide! It is filled with more creatures than people can count. It is filled with living things, from the largest to the smallest." And Psalm 69:34 NIRV "Let heaven and earth praise him. Let the oceans and everything that moves in them praise him."

So not only did we learn that there is a poisonous Octopus named the Blue Ring Octopus and they can change colors when they are in danger. But we also learned that everything that moves in the oceans praise him...even the octopus. This week has been so good for me for the mere fact that I needed a win. I needed an encouragement that we were on the right track. That this was the right journey for our family for this season. It may change, but I forever wanted to document that it's working or us for right now and when I'm having hard days or bad days I want to look back and remember the octopus.

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