"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -- Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)
Monday, June 11, 2012
Before I go further, let me acknowledge that there are excellent public schools. Our region boasts some of the top school systems in the country, high test scores, and loads of Ivy League-bound graduates. And there are many excellent, caring teachers (I am friends with a few and grateful for their hard work and dedication to their students) who work hard to educate the students who come through their classrooms. Beau and I merely want to have a little more control and flexibility with the education of our kids. We want to teach from a Biblical worldview. We want to give them more than what they may receive in a public school - more focused lessons in their learning style and level, more well-rounded subjects (life is school!), more autonomy in the learning environment (self-teaching is good), less homework (school is work), more field trips, more time to play (kids need play time and lots of it).
Beau has been "teaching" the kids since they were infants. For him every moment is a teachable moment. In the past couple of years he worked on teaching Jesse how to write his letters and now he has him doing some basic math (simple addition and subtraction) most days. He's reading well and increasing his vocabulary pretty much daily. And Molly is learning, too. She counts well and has known her alphabet and numbers for a long time. She has a pretty large vocabulary, too. Having an older brother helps spur her to learn more in order to keep up.
So now that Jesse is 5, it's time to make things official. He's supposed to start kindergarten in the fall. We're making the move to notify the county that we're going to be home schooling. We've been reading up on curricula and methods and it's all very overwhelming. I put out the call for curricula recommendations on Facebook and I got a lot of great recommendations and advice. Based on that I have a long list of curricula that have been tested and approved and some basic advice for the early years. With that, the plan for this year is to keep doing what we've been doing (I say we, but it's mostly Beau) - math and grammar (vocab/reading/writing). To make things easier for Beau, because he is still teaching online courses with Liberty University, we bought a basic math workbook and a grammar book for first grade (we believe that Jesse is mostly at that skill level, but where he's behind we can supplement) and Beau takes the kids to the library regularly where they can stock up on new reading material for Jesse to read or for us to read to both of them.
As to the socialization of the kids, I refer you to this post, which pretty much sums up where we are already. That said, we plan to get Jesse signed up for soccer again in the fall and maybe get Molly into a dancing class (Irish step since she already has the hopping thing going when she dances around the house). Our new neighborhood has a lot of littles for them to play with and there are the kids they meet in their classes at church. And we hope to get involved with a home school co-op or group in our new neighborhood, too. I'm not worried about their social skills.