Homeschooling

I’ve just started up my second year of homeschooling my oldest. A year ago we had no idea where we’d be moving to come summer. Would it be to a school district that would place him in 1st based on his age or would it be a school district that would put him in K based on age (fall birthday)? Would he be ready for public school and sitting down for so many hours? Would we even end up living someplace with schools that are any good?! We decided last January to just forge our own path and start a formal kindergarten year with him at home. We were living in Korea and could not send him to the base school or the CDC since we were non command sponsored, so homeschooling made sense. When we moved over the summer/fall (it was months of being in between!) we kept evaluating what we felt would be best. For now it’s best for him to continue with homeschooling. Maybe one day it won’t be best for him, so we’ll keep reevaluating!

Kindergarten
Last January we officially started kindergarten. Over the course of those first 8 months we worked on Build Your Library kindergarten (BYL), Singapore math essentials workbooks, BOB books, Reading Eggs, Handwriting Without Tears kindergarten workbook, and a good chunk of Elemental Science’s Exploring Science. Some things worked well and some things didn’t work out as well. My son loved Build Your Library. He also did well with Singapore math and Handwriting Without Tears. Reading Eggs my son and I both liked a lot, but it got to the point where it was going ahead of his ability and he wasn’t willing to repeat things he had already done. I also couldn’t take one more minute of the BOB books (if you’ve listened to a kid read them then you already know why). Trial and error is just a part of homeschooling and should be expected! While the kids and I spent a couple of months living with my parents last summer I took some time to consider what would be best for those things that just didn’t work out perfectly for our family.

Transition
I don’t know what else to call it, but after we finished BYL K I knew my son wasn’t ready for BYL 1. However, none of us was wanting to pause school. He LOVES learning and it gives us some structure to our day. We ended up doing BYL’s prehistory unity study for this transition time as we completed our move and settled in to our new base. We did take it slower than written, leaving some things out and adding in other activities. This ended up being the perfect bridge between K and 1 for us. This gave my son the opportunity to mature a bit more while exploring something he always wanted to learn more about – dinosaurs! We continued on with Singapore math with 1A of the US edition and Handwriting Without Tears 1st grade book. Since we decided to dump Reading Eggs and BOB books, we gave Progressive Phonics a try. It’s actually worked out great. My son just does so well with dual readers and he’s made tremendous progress. We finished prehistory right before Christmas.

First Grade
This month we’ve started with BYL 1 – Ancient History. So far he’s thriving with it! Really glad we didn’t skip prehistory because these few months really did make a huge difference. We are not doing BYL 1’s science because the nature study as written is flat out not one of my son’s interests. It’s well done, but I’m not going to make my son do something he doesn’t want to do at 6. I want him to love science above all and we can always hit up a nature study later in his schooling. We’re currently learning about weather using some of Usborne‘s weather books as our spines. Who knows what we’ll do next – maybe I’ll get him to grow a mini garden? Or maybe we’ll learn about the human body? We’re almost done with Handwriting Without Tear’s 1st grade workbook. After this we’ll just use BYL’s included copywork. I have no plans to do a formal spelling or grammar curriculum this year. We’ve continued on with Singapore math and just started 1B of the US edition. He’s flying through and absolutely loves math! Progressive Phonics is still a great fit. Guess we’ll see how this goes long term, but for now we’re all happy and learning.

I plan to expand on everything we’ve used and are using in future posts. When I write out everything it feels like a lot, but reality is that we rarely do more than an hour of school a day.

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Taking a break from math work for some hands on fun!

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Adding information to our history timeline.

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