It’s March, and we are counting down the days until spring. The weather is getting mild(er), and the boys and I (and baby girl) are spending more time outside. The boys love picnics outside with a cup of lemonade and a snack, and I like to be able to watch them play without constantly saying to stop yelling and running! The outdoors is so good for their creativity, energy, and even social skills.
One day last week we met my sister and one-year-old nephew at the park for a play date, something I’ve been dreaming of all winter. I got to push Lilly around in the stroller while the boys played, and my sister and I got to aghast and catch up. A sister chat is always good for my heart. I am so blessed to have two such sisters, even though one lives much farther away (miss you Ranelle!)
That Saturday, I decided we needed to get out of the house again since Marty was working, so we went to a park a little farther away because like the wooded location. It was cold, but the boys had fun for the hour we were there, and Lilly napped in her stroller until she got hungry. Penny got to go along on the adventure and hated the car ride. Does anyone know if dogs get car sick? Anyway, she loved exploring the park with the boys, or in Zane’s words, go searching. I thought it was so cute, I almost hated correcting him.
This week, our adventures took us to Brandt Canyon, a little wood trail not too far from our house. I wouldn’t call it a canyon, but it has a stream, a kid-sized bridge, and lots of stocks and mud, so the boys (and Penny) love it. I forgot my wrap to carry Lilly, so her stroller did a little off-roading when the trail too narrow, steep, or blocked by a fallen tree.
Being outside is so good for their education, I feel, I want to always make time for it. They make so many connections to what they’ve read or learned, and it opens up opportunities to ask questions and create things. I’ve been trying to be more consistent with their preschool routine and recently started teaching them to read with the book so many people recommend, Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. It is going good for the most part, but it requires the use of my hands and our full attention, which isn’t always possible with a baby. A lot of things are not always possible with a baby. I start my workout, she starts crying to be fed. I start cleaning the kitchen, and she starts crying to be held. I set down with her and try to write, but she wants to be bounced and patted. It’s easier to just not try some days, but I have goals and even though I don’t always accomplish what intended, I have to keep trying.
To be honest, I’m pretty nervous about starting kindergarten next year. In some ways, public school sounded pretty attractive, even though I love the idea of homeschool. I have been thinking about it all month without coming to a decision. I’ve looked at a few curriculums, looked up home school groups in the area, researched the public school a little bit. Compared charts graphing the success of students, and still, I feel able to lean either way. Ultimately, I know we will have to make the decision through prayer. Good knows the path we should take because only he can know what is around the next turn in the road.
One curriculum is an accredited private school program, kind of like ACE PACEs that many of my homeschooled friends used. Christian Light seems like a great resource for independent learning and a Christian worldview, something I never got as a public school student. I like the organization, especially since I’m new to homeschooling. I feel like I need all the help I can get.
Ok The other curriculum really appeals to my free-spirit side with still enough systems and organization to make me feel safe. Sonlight focuses on literature and reading together. The books they use for preschool and kindergarten look so interesting. It’s a bit more pricier, but the books can be reused and the program works well teaching multiple children together. I think I, as the teacher, have more control over the direction of the lesson. I like that, while also realizing it will take more from me.
Of the two, Sonlight would fit the Classical style of educating the best I think. I have yet to read the book I bought in January, The Well-Trained Mind. I know that the general idea is that younger children learn and memorize information early, build on that knowledge, then develop critical thinking. This approach can be taught whether the child is in public school or home school, and can be supplementary to any curriculum.
Hopefully, I can settle on something soon. Until then, I will be trying to focus on being consistent with what we are doing now, taking it one day at a time, and letting God direct our paths.