Starting Our Homeschool Year: Take Two

The past few weeks have been tough. We haven’t been on a consistent school schedule, and, personally, sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I’m almost halfway through my pregnancy and I’m starting to s  l  o  w  d  o  w  n. All I’ve wanted to do is rest and haven’t had the motivation to get lessons together or to encourage my sun to do the work I have pulled together. I’ve totally just gotten away from the structure we had in weeks 3 and 4. I find that I need to completely rethink this homeschool thing. Not us continuing to do it, but how we do it. During the two years we’ve been at homeschooling, I haven’t found a real, sustainable rhythm to keep us going, and homeschooling has suffered. Fortunately, my sun is a very curious and resourceful person, so he’s always learning something. Always. Just last week he randomly told me where the Eiffel Tower and Statue of (Lady – his added that) Liberty are located. Who knows where he learned that, but I’m thankful that he’s finding ways to learn even if mama isn’t directly providing a consistent routine to do so. I love that children are resiliant and can thrive given the space and opportunity, with or without your constant interaction with them.

Given all that hasn’t happened in the last few weeks, I have been motivated to find ways to make homeschooling work now, once the new baby comes in the Spring, and beyond with a then 3 and 7 year old. Wowza.  In my search for ideas, I started listening to homeschool and family podcasts again. Oh, how I’ve missed podcasts. I found a new one called The Happy Home Podcast hosted by a couple who are homeschooling their seven children. I always find so much inspiration from homeschoolers with multiple children. Speaking of, one of the first episodes I listened to featured Kip and Mona Lisa Harding featured the now famous family that includes 10 children, six who have started college by the age of 12. I was so inspired and motivated by their approach to education that my wheels turning again. I was reminded why we’re doing this in the first place —  to create children who grow up to be life-long learners — and to do that I needed help. These past two years I’ve found that putting together my own curriculum has been the biggest struggle, so I knew that the programs had to be all-inclusive. Also, my boys love hands-on, fun, and educational lessons, and I find that the lessons I was coming up with just weren’t making the cut.

Now that I am clear on what I want, I was able to seek programs to fit our needs. I think… I say.. I think we may have winners. I ordered Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read ages 3-8 (for both boys) and Moving Beyond the Page full year curriculum age 5-7 (for my oldest). I’ll need to supplement math and phonics for Moving Beyond the page, so my oldest will use Hooked on Phonics and will continue to use IXL.com for math. Both of these programs have received excellent reviews from what I’ve seen, but I’ll be sure to do my own review of all the programs once I have enough experience with each.

I guess the last few weeks haven’t been a total wash. I look forward to receiving these programs and re-starting our homeschool year in December. Whew. I feel a big sense of relief knowing that help is on the way! Knowing that the boys will get what they need, and I’ll have time and energy (hopefully) to teach them renews my vigor for homeschooling. Here we go again!

Oh, before I forget, here are some things we did this week, in pictures, of course. 😉

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