Homeschooling: The Beginning

I have long dreamed of taking control of my children’s education, rather than sending them off on a bus to a faraway place to learn a lot of things I know nothing about. It bothers me that I would put my gifts from God into the hands of someone else for educational purposes, when I am fairly well-qualified to deal with at least the younger kids without much issue. I’ve never quite had the support system until now to do so, but this week was our kickoff!  Now, it was a weird week because of Labor Day on one end and a monumentally long doctor’s appointment on the other end, so we didn’t get a lot of “class time” in, but it was quite successful! Follow along with us!

These are the signs of the beginning and the end of the day….

This week we learned all about the color red, and the circle shape. She *almost* drew a circle here on day one. By the end of the week, she is now drawing circles repeatedly, though I don’t have a picture to prove it.

I also had her go through my sticker box to find something that was red and/or a circle. She managed to do this without any prompting, and was delighted to be able to play with stickers on her own!

This was her finished “project” for the week. Now, it’s not much, and I’m a bit bummed out that I didn’t get more accomplished with her as far as class time goes, but my health took a bit of a priority seat this week. And, at the end of the week, she points out everything she sees that is red and a circle, so I think we were successful.

A few people have asked me how I got started with this process, and the very simple answer is that I have no answer! I have a box full of goodies, a weekly lesson plan for the school year (which will be fully interrupted with the introduction of a little brother at some point), and a few creative talents to put to use. Here’s what I’ve got going on so far:

This is my box full of goodies and my binder to keep us organized. -Ish. Of course, I HAD to play with vinyl and decorate everything, especially because “school” is in our dining room, but, really – I had the container laying around and the binder cost me $1.00 at Target.

EVERYTHING in this box, we had before. The only money I spent to start was on that cheap binder in the previous picture. Oh, and another $4.00 which I will explain in a minute! The good news is: a 2 year old learns best through what she’s most familiar with. The other good news to a creative like me is that she learns best through hands on creativity. *sigh* I’m in Heaven!

This is our schedule for the first 11 weeks of school. It’s already been a bit scribbled up, as I’ve had different ideas (primarily for the art projects I want to tackle, OF COURSE), and I’m sure it will change, especially because this time frame goes right up to the time we expect Mr. Colt to make his appearance. Something tells me I’m not going to be concentrating on black and octagons right about that time, but that’s okay!

We will be doing some of our learning on the go, thanks to a lot of upcoming doctor’s appointments, so I put together a back pack of supplies for her. (Thanks, Aunt Bel-ay-ay, for not giving up on the search for that perfect sized backpack!) This is a small VERY SIMPLE flip book I made for her out of an old cereal box, scrap paper, and some letter stickers. No, seriously – RIDICULOUSLY simple. I had planned for it to be prettier, but then we were suddenly on our way out the door yesterday and I needed to finish it quickly.

So, we’re sitting in the waiting room yesterday, waiting (for a very.long.time), and I grab the alphabet flip book for her – the first time she’s seen it. Immediately, she opens it and starts pointing to letters and telling me what they are. I’m not the kind of mom to brag, but I think this kid is going to be knocking my brain power out of the park very quickly.

These books are in her backpack too. Well, they go between her backpack and the small stack of books in the living room, because she *loves* them. Oh, right – and this is the other $4.00 I’ve spent on this endeavor. FOUR.DOLLARS! For these *beautiful* books, from the Target $1 bins! I am in LOVE with them! (I swear I’m not lying about that, but I just went to find y’all links to purchase them, and it turns out they want $4.99 per book at Amazon. You may want to jet to your local Target, to see if they’re still available.)

This is “Two Hippos Upon Sticks” and it teaches counting.

This is “Sleep All Day, Play All Night”, all about opposites.

“Purple Jellies Fall Asleep” teaches colors. I will admit some of the “colors” are easily confused with others, but she loves the pictures and lets face it – sometimes purple looks more blue or pink in the real world, so she might as well learn it now!

This book, “Can a Cat Quack?” has Rhyan laughing that beautiful deep belly laugh every time! She shakes her head, says “NOOOOOO!!” and then tells me what noise the animal makes, instead!

We are having SO much fun in our new endeavor, complete with some field trips (the best we can do in a one-car family anyway!), and learning on the go. Yesterday, because I knew we’d have a horribly long day ahead of us, I took her to McDonalds for lunch and play time, where we counted chicken nuggets and apple slices, and then moved on to her first ever experience in a play land.

She didn’t go very far into the play land, and I couldn’t help her much, thanks to this expanding belly, but she had SO much fun. And see that BIG RED CIRCLE at the entrance?! YES!!! I love it when things work out and you don’t plan them out at all!