Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back to School

I am the first to admit that even though I have been out of formal schooling for 8 years, when August arrives I still find myself lingering in the "back to school" aisle feeling an overwhelming need to buy a few new notebooks, pencils, paper and even a new planner. In fact it wasn't until last year that I finally transitioned to using a planner that didn't completely revolve around the school year.  

This year it is a bit different though. I actually get to realize some of my desires. I am entering the new era of more full time homeschooling. Up until now we've been doing letters, making sounds, writing a bit, and reading, reading, reading.  We're moving on now. We're moving to history, a bit of science, grammar, writing, math and even more reading.  

When my eldest was a drooling, napping, blubbering 6 month old it started. I started to think about what I was going to do with him. Where I was going to go with his education. What course of action I would take to expand his ever growing brilliant brain (doesn't everyone think this of their first born?). I told myself, "now is the time to get this figured out. Don't wait until he is getting ready to start school to get this all sorted." But the other side, the practical side, said, "What's the pressure? I mean really, he just learned to roll over. You have TONS of time." 

Then the others followed and my time filled up.  I found myself months before Warren was going to start kindergarten dying to see the big picture and desiring to have at least a very general idea of what direction we were going to take.  So I dove in, researched, asked many questions of seasoned homeschoolers who would just look at me and smile that, "ah yes, this is your first isn't it?" (the same smile you get after you've just had your first baby and you're playing mozart and reading board books nonstop).  

So thus begins our adventure. We are officially starting school again August 9th. I say again because I also had aspirations of schooling year round. We started the very beginnings of 1st grade in May but were quickly derailed by a move and a VERY busy summer. So I am beginning with the rest of the world and hoping that maybe next summer will look a little different but who knows.  

Oh and for those of you wondering, I have decided to take the classical approach to schooling. It is definitely becoming the more trendy way to homeschool these days but that is not why I have chosen that direction. I love the emphasis on reading, writing and grammar. The coherency and flow of the material as it all links together, and I love how it utilizes the child's strengths during their different stages of development. 

I say all this knowing that one day, years from now, I will probably join the chorus of other seasoned homeschoolers that have looked back and said that they wished they would have worried less about which curriculum they used.

However, I naively press on with all the gusto of a parent who is new to this, excited about what lies in store, and desirous of giving my sons every educational opportunity I am able to lay before them.    


Anonymous said...

Have fun exploring books! Enjoy your enthusiasm! After homeschooling for 21 years [and a mere 10 to go :)], I still find myself reading book reviews in the catalogs!! Right now I am having fun choosing biographies from the library for the kids to read.

Chocoholic said...

The classical method just makes the most sense to me. I too had visions of year-round schooling that quickly dissolved in the face of reality. Maybe next summer will be different!:)

Melodie said...

The classical method is definitely drawing me in too. I have to say Likely though, I'll end up more doing my own thing: the "eclectic" method if you will. I like the focus of just too many "methods" and will incorporate what seems to make the most sense at with whichever child I'm dealing with. I'm probably too fickle to pin down one approach over another anyway. 8-D