Settling into Home School
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The decision to homeschool the boys has been one of immense personal turmoil. I was completely unfamiliar with homeschooling and incredibly overwhelmed with the possibilities. Yet I had a nagging feeling that homeschooling is, at least for now, the right choice for us. (See how I’m giving myself a way out even now!)
I fell in love with the boys’ school in the Netherlands. There they were encouraged to explore and learn at their own pace in their own ways. They were always outside. The boys chose how they wanted to spend their time. Some days The Big would read all day and other times he would come home with piles of art. I never really knew what was going on, but then again all this was happening in Dutch.
When we found out we would be moving back to The States we knew a transition to a traditional public school would be difficult. Then we took a realistic look at our schedule and knew that would be another hurdle. We couldn’t have been more right about this, as we closed on our house just a week before Thanksgiving. We have three shipments of goods to receive (don’t get me started!!). My best timeline puts us as firmly “settled” by the New Year.
So, as we bounce between housing situations and deal with the emotional baggage that comes with a move, we are settling into homeschooling as well.
We are using a Charlotte Mason curriculum, where our main focus is on reading lots of books. All other activities stem from book reading and this suits us very well. Where other families (on the numerous Facebook groups, podcasts and blogs I consume) find the reading out loud the hardest part, this is where we shine. I can always count on the boys to want to read with me.
I’ve leaned on the book The Read-Aloud Family for guidance along the way. The Read Aloud Revival Podcast is another great resource. Here, I’ve learned to just read and not worry if the kids are doing something else or if my reading is completely uninterrupted. When all else fails on the homeschooling front, we read.
The Playful Pioneers curriculum from Peaceful Press follows the Little House on the Prairie book series. It is loaded with hands-on fun and encourages our field trip habit. It is perfectly organized, something I am already dreading leaving behind next year. It is the foundation that has so far (one month in) kept me from drowning on this journey.
As for Math, we are using Singapore Math, a strange choice for Charlotte Mason, but that is the beauty of homeschool. It works perfectly for my Big Little. It is similar to what he was using in the Netherlands. The lessons are the perfect length for both of us. We rarely need more than 15 min to do a section. I’m not sure it will work as well for my Middle Little, but I don’t have to cross that bridge yet.
A little over a month into homeschooling I feel at ease with these parts of homeschool, but everything else still feels disjointed. I am hoping that a routine will form when we are in our own space as a whole family unit. (I’m currently in Atlanta with the kids and Jeff is still in Florida.)
I want to add a morning basket to give us some more routine and focus. I’m finding so many great morning basket ideas on Pinterest so I am itching to start.
I also want to grow more confident in our own choices. I am still so caught up in what everyone else is doing and trying to do everything. I am hoping that during this year I can learn to lean in to our own rhythm.
I’ve had incredibly frustrating days where we have accomplished nothing and lovely productive days where the whole day flew by with ease. I’ve amazingly not once wished I wasn’t homeschooling. I’m settling in.
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