learning along with the kids

By May of last year I was ready to throw in the towel.  Homeschooling three kiddos with a newly adopted, busy 2 year old running around the house – well, let’s just say I needed the summer break more than the kids did.  I also made a bold statement to my ever supportive loving hubby, I was done.

Well, long story short, it didn’t work out that way.  Our move back to Asia didn’t happen in time to put the children in school.

I dug in.

So glad I did.

We have made some major overhauls in our homeschooling and I am enjoying this gig again!

We bought the first family cycle of My Father’s World (MFW) second hand.  Paying half price sure made me bolder in trying something new.  It is designed to teach multiple children and is less intense than what I had been using with more time to do hands on learning.  I needed that…and so did the girls.

We have been having a ton of fun learning about ancient Egypt the last several weeks.  We have tested if a pyramid shape is indeed stronger than a cube.

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We “mummified” an apple head as we learned about the Egyptian’s preserving their dead to put in tombs.

IMG_6810Carving our heads and the finished product.

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Here is Soccer Dude mixing together our preservatives – salt and baking soda.  Roo then took over and packed our apple head away in a jar to be checked on in a few weeks time.

We will have to post a photo later to show you the results!

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We made mummies for lunch…okay no educational value in that.  Just fun.  Well, Little Man didn’t have fun with that.  Let’s just say there were tears and a difficult lesson on patience!  He thought that it was awful for me to put the food on the table for them to wrap instead of eat.

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So my reader who hates all things hands on and anything he deems closely related to an art project also was not a fan of hotdog mummies! 😉  He humored the girls and I.

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For years, I have been a die hard SonLight mom.  I love to read.  Love good books.  Love a literature based curriculum that gives me a guide that I can flip open without prep and little boxes to check off my progress.  Perfect match – until three.  I just couldn’t figure out how to read that many books on three different levels.  Last year, I tried getting one curriculum for Sam and making it easier for the girls.  Complete bomb – yuh, ur, the truth is I bombed at that much prep work.  I have learned that getting a “family curriculum” and adding advanced readings and extras for the big guy works much better.  (The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer is helping me to add what Soccer Dude needs.)  Why didn’t I think of this three years ago?  With this bit of information I might be able to return to Sonlight in the future.  We do miss the good books and if there is one hardship to where we live…it is not having English books readily available.   (MFW we are so disappointed with your outdated list of reading material that you have provided.  sigh.  But, I guess there isn’t ever a perfect curriculum.)

We also have started using Teaching Textbooks for Math.  Can’t say enough about this amazing curriculum.  Math isn’t my strongest so having lectures on DVD has been a relief for me and the kids LOVE it.  No more battles over math worksheets.  (A big shout out to one of my college roomies, Jennifer Griffis, who I will be forever thankful to for convincing me to make that switch.)

So why the long blog post about homeschooling?  Just like everything else, I feel like being honest and putting it out there might help someone else.  Last year I really thought that I was a bad homeschooler.  I was discouraged and sure that I couldn’t do it with a large family.  I thought I was going nuts and never could have imagined having energy to do all the creative things we have been up to the last few weeks.  Amazing how a few simple changes can really make a huge difference.

 

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Little Man has been with us for a year now.  That also makes a huge difference.  You never would have seen him on the sofa with a stack of books a year ago.  He has matured, calmed down and learned a lot.

So glad that I was “forced” to homeschool again this year and that we have made the changes.  Now if I only could remember to show myself grace during a hard year of many transitions rather than brow beating myself and declaring I can’t do it!  Learning right along with the kids.

4 thoughts on “learning along with the kids

  1. If anyone can do this it’s You!! Homeschooling is a calling too! I’m with you friend! I changed my “schedule” 3 times this fall praying just one would work with our crazy lives! Praise the Lord that He showed me what to do!! Let me know if I can send you anything–books, etc to help you guys school!! Would love to do that!! Miss you guys!!

  2. You’re ahead of me in the homeschooling game! I didn’t know about MFW until two years ago! And we also switched to Teaching Textbooks for a year to help us get over a nasty attitude that had developed about math. I wish I had read The Well-Trained Mind much sooner than I did. We are in the home stretch. 1 1/2 years left for Kate and 4 1/2 years for Seth. Crazy! And even at this point, we are still making adjustments and changes 🙂

  3. Tammy, we are in our 7th year of homeschooling and this year is our 4th year of MFW! I love it and so do my kiddos! My oldest is in 9th grade and he is completely independent and I am amazed at his writing ability. I’m glad you like it too. I do agree with the reading material. However, I loved the read alouds they include. Many blessings to your family. We will be in Chin@ in December to get our daughter! We pr ay for your family often. Many blessings!

  4. Wasn’t last year the year of the chickens? That was some major lessons for your home-schooled kids. So glad to hear that “school” is going well this year. Grace and peace.

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