The plan has always been to homeschool the kids. But recently we thought it would be fun for Sam to go to preschool, not so much for academics, but just to have a chance to run around and play with some other kids. And let's be honest, Mom thought a little break a few times a week wouldn't be too shabby either:) So, we visited a local preschool that we'd heard good things about. We visited a class and spent about an hour just hanging out and observing. Sam did circle time and even participated in show-and-tell (he had randomly brought in a leaf from outside- cute!). He loved it and was excited to go.
But on his first day he came home crying. This was normal, we thought, and so we talked about it and decided to see it through for at least two weeks. He didn't cry anymore for the next week and a half, but he did tell me, quite eloquently, about what he didn't like about it and that he really wanted to do homeschool instead. I also caught him and Viv plotting how to sneak her into class with him one moring, which was very sweet.
He finally had another sad day, after which I told him, "Next time will be the two week mark, let's do one more day and see if you feel any different." But even after a Valentine's party, he was still positive that preschool was not for him. On the last day I picked him up and he was smiling, I thought maybe he'd decided he loved it after all. I said, "You look happy, did you have a good day?" He said, "I am happy... because today's my last day!"
So, we learned a few things with this little experiment.
- We learned that Sam is comfortable at home and prefers staying home with his mom and sister. And that's okay; he's only four! Though we do have some fun classes lined up (swimming, music, maybe some theater) so he'll have a chance to meet some new friends.
- I learned that I dislike not what's going on with Sam. I'm a bit of a mama grizzly, and deep down I just wasn't all that comfortable not knowing how he was doing, if he was happy or sad, what he was learning, what he was thinking about, even if it was only for a few hours. I know that will be the case some day, but for now, while he's little, I like to keep tabs on him:)
- We learned about trying new things and making honest evaluations. I was impressed with how rational Sam was throughout the process and how he really made an honest effort to like school. He would have continued going if we had insisted, and he would have adjusted. But there was no need. We wanted it to be something fun for him, and when it wasn't, we decided to try something else.
- We re-learned just how much we love learning together. This little experiment reignited our enthusiasm for homeschooling.
So, what are we doing for homeschooling? Lots of little things, but mostly a lot of play and a tiny bit of more structured time.
- Every morning the kids get in my bed for snuggle time and Sam reads me one Bob Book and we do a few flashcards and talk about letter sounds and blends and whatnot. Then we read a chapter from The Story of the World. We're reading through once, then reading through a second time and using the activity book along with it.
- While I'm making lunch Sam does a few pages of writing from this work book. And Vivi, who wants to do everything Sam does, uses his old activity book right next to him at the table.
- We don't do much math right now, except for pattern blocks (and um, this Montessori app :) but I think we'll try Math-U-See.
- Other than that there's lots of play and Sam does fun science experiments or plays with his new snap-circuits thing or chases the dog around in a cape.
How have you decided what educational route to take with your kids?
PS Here are a few posts you might have missed:
- Simple spring arrangements
- The 14 best kitchen tools
- Winter marshmallow roasting
- A couple cook book reviews
- Pretty table settings
You can stay up to date with the latest posts (and giveaways happening soon!) and announcements HERE. Also, since Clayton just brought home three (!!) occasional tables that are now in my living room, we're doing a bit more clearing out, so here's an $800 table for almost half the price for you locals:)