Monday, August 20, 2007

Fired up!

This weekend I attended my first ever homeschool conference/convention. I went into it with a few shaky ideas about how/what I wanted to do. I was still even feeling a few doubts that I wanted to homeschool at all.

I sat in on a few seminars and got my hands on every kind of curriculum I had heard of, plus a few I hadn't. I joined a group specifically for moms starting out homeschooling (Smoothing the Way). Now, I am fired up! There is no doubt in my mind anymore that homeschooling is the right decision for our family and now instead of just planning to homeschool for a few years, I'm reallly hoping we can do it for as long as possible (as long as everyone wants to). My ideas about curriculum and our "style" are solidified and now I'm just waiting on having enough money to purchase it. Technically Stephen wouldn't start kindergarten until next fall and Texas' compulsory age is 6, so I'm not in that much of hurry except that I'm really excited. And not to mention he is soaking things up like a sponge lately (he's reading!) so I don't want to waste time. But we are still reading a lot and he has what he calls "circle books" which are fun workbooks that he enjoys.

So in case you are interested, here's what we are going to do for Stephen's kindergarten year (assuming I don't find anything in the next year that I like better....and as always, I reserve the right to change my mind). For math, we'll be starting with the Math-U-See primer. Sweet Hubby and I both got to attend seminars lead by Steve Demme, the creator of Math-U-See. We fell in love with the program (as much as you can fall in love with math) and him. It's more affordable than some of the other programs, and it's supposed to teach math in a way that makes you actually know it and learn it rather than memorizing facts. For reading/writing, I'm still slightly on the fence, but it's just because of the price. As of now, I'd like to use Sing, Spell, Read and Write. It's quite pricey (retailing on the website for close to $300, but I've found it on ebay for less than $200), but it covers 2 years worth of curriculum. The way both the older boys memorize songs, I think this would be a great one for us. And Stephen loves to play games which this curriculum has a lot of. I've been told to just focus on math and reading at this age, but Stephen loves science stuff, so I think we'll use Backyard Scientist (an idea I got from Katiebug) and do science once or twice a week. I'm also planning on doing social studies "projects" once a week and I'll put that together on my own. I'd also like to do some kind of bible curriculum, but I'm having a hard time finding ideas for something for preschool/kindergarten age (I'd like it to be something I can do with all the kids, or at least Stephen and Zachary). I've found something called Disciple Land, but I'm not sure about it and it looks like it could get pricey quick.

We'll also be starting Accountable Kids as soon as we're back to a normal routine. Right now, I think it's just too much with all the back and forth during the week. I think the kids could handle it, but I'm not sure I can. And my mom bought the kids Financial Peace, Jr. which we're all super excited about. Stephen's obsessed with the calculator and he's working toward saving for a fishing pole. The kids love the FP Jr. books so far and Stephen talks about them all the time (and what he would do if he were in those situations).

So if that wasn't enough links to keep you busy for a while, I just don't know what will! :)

5 comments:

chewymama said...

oooooh how cool!!! I am so jealous, I really need to go to a convention so I can see it all in person. It must feel great to know exactly what you want to do. Congrats to Steven on reading - yay!!!!!

ethan said...

Congrats on getting fired up :-) Conventions can have that effect. And good choice in Math programs :-)

casual friday everyday said...

How fantastic. I was homeschooled from grade 2 until graduation and my brother was homeschooled all his life.

I loved every minute of it and credit homeschooling for my strong desire to be home with my kids...and my own entreprenuer lifestyle.

I wish you all the best!

Nell

casual friday everyday said...

BTW, do you know about Rhea Perry? She is an amazing homeschooling mom of 7 and puts an emphasis on raising them to become entreprenuers.

Here are some links to her stuff:
http://experts.internetbasedmoms.com/rhea
http://rheavings.blogspot.com/
http://www.educatingforsuccess.com/
http://www.entrepreneurdaysphotos.com/

Nell

KatieBug (ksl) said...

I left a comment yesterday. Where did it go?

Anyway, I am still sad we didn't get to come with you. :(

You got some great stuff! I have friends who use Math U See and Sing, Spell, Read and Write. They both really love it.

I am also in Smoothing the Way group. I didn't know they had more than one location.

See you in a few weeks!