I wasn't feeling too hot yesterday (well, technically I was feeling plenty of hot seeing as it was just about 90° and humid...) so I spent the day doing home school research on-line. There is so much cool stuff out there for home schooling that it can get very overwhelming very fast. Even after a year, I still don't know where to begin with narrowing things down for us to try out. (So.much.cool stuff.) And, the only real way to see if something will work for you and whether or not you'll like it is to try it for yourself. (I'm starting this little guy in kindergarten to see how he does. He turns 5 in September which is after the cutoff for school in our area and if he were going to public school, I wouldn't be sending him yet. So if it doesn't work out, no big deal, we'll try again next year! A perk of home schooling.)
School is starting soon and I still need to order a couple of subjects. I've narrowed them down, mostly, to what I want to try this year. Math was a big one for me -- I really wanted something that will be a great program but also something my kids will enjoy and maybe, dare I say, even love. (I never liked math very much.)
I've heard rave reviews from many of my fellow home schooling moms about Math U See over the past year, so that's what I've decided to go with. Nikayda's eyes lit up when I showed it to her on-line and she said she used the same manipulative blocks when she went to public school. And she said she loved how they helped her to count without using her fingers. And since she liked the idea, so also did Abram who mirrors every reaction of hers towards school.
Teaching your kids yourself, is a great opportunity to make their education fun and exciting. In many ways, I feel like Nikayda did too many workbooks/worksheets last year and I, too often, failed to make it 'fun'. Too many worksheets a day especially in math and language arts -- which, not that there is anything wrong with that if your child loves to do as many as we did, but she didn't always enjoy it. I know it was probably too much work for a second grader but I was so worried about her not learning what she needed to that I made sure she did more than she had to just to be sure we covered all of our bases. I'm hoping this year will be much more relaxed and fun for all of us!
I'm really, really looking forward to this second year of home schooling, not just because we get to spend so much quality family time together (and plenty of time driving each other crazy) but because I feel that you probably learn a little more how to make it fun each year you're teaching your kids. And, also because I loved it so much last year. I highly recommend it if you're considering it. It can feel so daunting at first, but it's really not as daunting as you think it will be.
I want it to be a fun and rewarding experience for our kids and I know it can be. That they will love to learn is the most important thing to me as their mom. To instill a love of learning in a child, is to open the doorway to a lifetime of education. And, when I say 'lifetime of education' I don't necessarily mean college. I don't expect to go at this and be a pro. Heaven knows, I'm not. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. (Thank goodness for all of the school materials out there at our disposal!) But I hope that if I give it my best, then in time everything else will fall into place.