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My Homeschool Conundrum

Did you catch my mini revelation in yesterday's announcement?

I'm homeschooling my children.

Joe and I came to this agreement a year or so ago, but we were mum about the decision out of respect for my (now former) employer.

How We Have Been Doing Homeschool Preschool

In the fall, I wrote a guest post for Amy at Raising Arrows about how I was doing homeschool preschool with Grace. As the year (and my pregnancy) progressed, our plans changed out of necessity.

At first, I thought we needed curricula. We started with

By November, we had completely given up on Hooked on Phonics. During the third lesson, Grace announced, This is dumb and I don't want to do it anymore! Though I tried to pick it up a few more times, she said a version of the same thing each time.

Something similar happened with Before Five in a Row.

Expedition Earth and Discovering God's Animals were a little too old for her. We'll come back to them next year, I think.

The DVDs and workbooks were always a big hit. She went back to both frequently and finished the books by Christmas.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I don't need a pre-written curriculum. I can piece this together and do a really good job of it.

Just before Allie was born, I changed things up. Grace wanted to have school time at home, so I set up a weather board, a calendar, and a letter of the week board. We sang songs and looked out the window each morning.

We started out doing one letter a week, but that quickly slowed to one letter every few weeks.

Since Allie was born, I have added Trekking Across the States and some activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week, and Raising Rock Stars.

We still do school only when Grace wants to, and I never push.

She has always refused to do anything that resembles writing practice or spelling or sounding out words, preferring that I read to her or write for her.

Until today.

My Homeschool Conundrum

Grace never writes. She reads and enjoys reading, but she only does it when she wants to.homeschool preschool

So imagine my surprise when she sat down and wrote today. First, she asked me what G-B-R spelled. I told her that it was not a word.

She was excited to tell me that she'd drawn a heart.

She asked how to spell girl, so I spelled it.

She asked how to spell Dad and Allie and Momma, so I spelled each one.

And then she showed me the whole thing.

WHAT?!? I thought to myself.

I guess we're done with the preschool activities.

So here's my conundrum.

What comes next? Should I keep doing the letter of the week stuff we've been doing or should we move on to something else? What?

 

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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12 thoughts on “My Homeschool Conundrum”

  1.  Trust yourself and trust her.  The joy and blessing of homeschool is that YOU get to customize the curriculum just for her!

    Move on to writing.  If she likes the letter of the week stuff, keep doing it.  But maybe, have her write words that start with the letter of the week or label pictures.  You can also use ESLWizard to make customized tracing/handwriting pages for practice- you type in whatever you want and it makes a handwriting practice page.

  2. Sounds like you’ve got it pretty well figured out. What comes next depends on what kind of education you want her to have. Are you going classical, Charlotte Mason, eclectic, or un? Personally, I’d try Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons (which is great for some kids) or a phonics program. She seems ready. Handwriting without tears is pretty good for handwriting, but handmade copywork is just as good if you’re into saving money–which I am. 🙂

      • Charlotte Mason info here:

        http://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/toc.html

        The definitive book for classical is The Well Trained Mind, available at most bookstores and libraries. 

        You have to find what works for you and your kids.  How to Teach in 100 Easy Lessons did NOT work for us, and at first I felt like a failure- everyone seemed to recommend it so highly!  But we found a book that did work for us and that’s what we use.
        You might also like these preschool/K lessons:
        http://www.thevirtualvine.com/ (check out Themes and Lessons)

        LearningPages.com is free to join and has letter tracing/handwriting/math and more in all kinds of different themes, including a zoo theme with animals.

      • Charlotte Mason info here:

        http://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/toc.html

        The definitive book for classical is The Well Trained Mind, available at most bookstores and libraries. 

        You have to find what works for you and your kids.  How to Teach in 100 Easy Lessons did NOT work for us, and at first I felt like a failure- everyone seemed to recommend it so highly!  But we found a book that did work for us and that’s what we use.
        You might also like these preschool/K lessons:
        http://www.thevirtualvine.com/ (check out Themes and Lessons)

        LearningPages.com is free to join and has letter tracing/handwriting/math and more in all kinds of different themes, including a zoo theme with animals.

  3.  got here via twitter. for my four kids, dh and i first started with setting goals for the child. whatever your goal is, then work toward that. if the goal is more fluent reading, work on the sounds that go with each letter in game fashion. i used post-its, wrote the letter of the week on them, then hid them. for each one found by the child, identified by name and sound, reward her. if the goal is having her sit down, then create a game that has the same letters, but encourages sitting. if the goal is multi-sensory experience (my biggie), then buy sing, spell, read, and write.

  4. Here is my 2 cents.

    You aren’t done with preschool activities at all , she is starting to write which is wonderful but there is so many more preschool things for her to do and skipping them won’t benefit Grace at all. Explore different themes- use them to teach cross curricularly, play games with the letters. Use her new found skills of writing to write numbers and work on pre math skills.  School for highschoolers is about sitting in desks, written work, reports… all things you can use a mean red pen on 😉 but for preschoolers it’s on the floor, at the easel and in the dress up box.

  5. Tara, I posted a link to my f/b wall. I have so MANY friends with younger children who exhaust themselves and their children in the younger years. Your approach is exactly the type of laid back approach I encourage. If I’ve said, “You can’t break them! Let them play!” once, I’ve said it a dozen times a year! And, I agree with Allison, you aren’t done w/ preK. Explore writing when she asks. Read, read, read. Fiction and nonfiction children’s books. You’d be surprised at the # nonfiction science series that there are for younger kids. By the time she hits K5 and 1st, she will explode with progress given the groundwork you’ve laid! Congratulations. Take a deep breath. Relax. You are doing a WONDERFUL job.

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