Thursday, August 12, 2010

First steps into our second year of homeschooling

This week we mailed in our notification and education plan to begin our second year of homeschooling the 3 Ms. This year we're having Michael and Matthew start Kindergarten level work but as they don't fall within the mandatory 6-17 age group they are not officially registered though we are entitled to have them registered. So this is the first year we've got all three boys homeschooling "full-time."

We've been asked numerous times if we're sending our children back to Chaplin School. Some of you may recall the reason we started homeschooling was because there was a chance our local public school would be closed due to low enrolment (less than 50 kids K-12). It managed to survive but had Grades 9-12 moved to another town leaving just K-8 which turened into K-5 as all the older children either followed siblings to the other school or their parents sent them that way by their own choice. But due to numerous reasons realized over the course of the past school year, the school division decided to restore Chaplin School to a full K-12 school. That's when people started asking if we were sending our children back. We have our school back so why not? Well, we've come to enjoy the freedom of homeschooling too much! Yes, we have our challenges, such as Mitchell's aversion to math and writing, but there are also times we have plenty of fun, too!

So anyway, we're trying a few different things this year. We picked up several Singapore Math books at the last homeschool convention's used book sale which we'll use to replace Miquon which just didn't work for us. We'll also be using Modern Curriculum Press's plaid phonics to replace Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLAL).

We'll be continuing to use Story Of The World which we started this spring. I plan to add REAL Science Odyssey but continue with Evan-Moor's Daily Science which Mitchell enjoys very much. I also plan to continue our study of Canada with Donna Ward's products from Northwoods Press, perhaps with a geographical study of the provinces and territories as Mitchell seems to quite enjoy geography, especially maps.

Matthew and Michael will be kept to the basics for the most part. My goal this year will be help them learn to read and do very basic math. I think that Michael will find it a breeze as he seem to be picking up skills already, especially math. Matthew on the other hand will need more help. Despite being twins they are quite far apart in development, both physical and intellectual. Matthew also gets frustrated easily and his patience suffers. I'm expecting them to eventually be running a grade level apart but we'll see how it goes this year.

I'm not sure of an exact start date for school yet. It's super busy around here with Carla working her two jobs and me trying to get through haying season which has been frustratingly slow. Last year I started on August 17, but I can't see that happening this year. I might be able to get started around September 1, which is what I put on the notification form. I expect a really busy fall, though, as we begin hauling hay bales with the semi, as I do custom hauling for a few other farmers, too. Because this year was an excellent year for hay, there is a lot of bales to haul. I might try to put together some things for the boys to do in the truck as we zoom around. There's plenty of room back in the sleeper for them to hang out. The trouble is keeping them on track if I give them work to do. Maybe I could even just have them read books before we put on the portable DVD player.

Anyway, that's my thoughts for now. I can't wait for us to dig into our new homeschool goodies this fall!