Back to school
It's that time of year, already. Time flies with two little ones!
My office has been over-run (more than usual) with boxes of books, art supplies, cd's, computer software, writing materials, maps, phonics kits...ten boxes worth of school curriculum arrived today. Yikes! I received notice yesterday that they had shipped and so last night we started cleaning out a cupboard. Why, until yesterday, it didn't occur to me that two kids in school meant twice the stuff is beyond me. You would have thought the girl's were opening their Christmas gifts the way they jumped and giggled at all their goodies. Especially exciting this year were the art and music boxes as they are not provided for kindergarten. Also, a new set of reading books was worthy of a good look and many smiles. I am so thankful my girls love to read!
Nicki has a good post on homeschooling, worth a visit to. We are not what you would call a traditional homeschooling family. I don't pour over the catalogs, debating what to get, which company to order what from. I think I would like it better that way...it is how we started out teaching the oldest to read. However, that costs money and we simply do not have any extra funds right now. We are with an online academy called Ohio Virtual Academy and we are very pleased with them. Technically you could say we are public school at home as OHVA is a public school registered with the state, gets funding from the state like any other school, and has teachers too. We have a teacher with whom we have weekly contact, send portfolio's to, and ask questions of. However, I teach the girls at home using their curriculum. We are able to work when the girls are at their best and I am able to teach them according to how they learn. It works quite well for us (though I do look forward to perhaps going back to traditional homeschool at some point, when adoption loan is paid off perhaps.)
We started homeschooling as our girls both just miss the cut-off for starting school. The oldest was nearly reading and wouldn't be allowed to go to kindergarten until the following year. So, we started at home teaching reading, basic math, and skills such as coloring, cutting, and other kindergarten skills. It has worked well for us. We take it a year at a time, so don't ask if we are going to homeschool all the way through 12th grade, I'll let you know about mid-way through 11th grade. As long as it is working (the girls are cooperating and are mastering their studies) we will keep going. Life has a way of changing on you and I prefer to set myself up for schooling a year at a time. Helps keep a bit of the pressure off. Yes, there is a bit of pressure with homeschooling...meeting the state hour requirements/peoples expectations, but most importantly is seeing to it that my girls learning and succeeding!
I am not anti-public school. I know many who go through the public (or private) school system successfully. I also worked with our public schools for over a year and know what teachers are up against. It isn't pretty and I can only imagine what it is like now as that was before I had children. The things that were happening in elementary school were things I am not ready to expose my child to. Do I shelter my kids? ABSOLUTELY and I make no apologies about it. Do I keep my kids from a healthy social life, not at all. Once school gets started, we will begin meeting with other homeschooling families once a week for gym class as well as classical dance. We also are involved with our church and see family and friends at least weekly. My kids are great with other kids, they enjoy being in the company of adults, and aren't exposed to the negative side of a public school social life. Do I look down on those who do not homeschool, not at all! Every family makes the decisions they know are best for their family. Just because it works for us, does not mean with will work for you and I do not presume to know the needs and workings of other's lives.
Any other homeschoolers out there getting geared up and ready to go? We are planning on starting Monday. We will be taking a couple weeks of vacation this year and I want to be sure to not fall behind. No adoption trips this year so that will surely help,though, the twins and balancing two in school might be more of a challenge than missing a month of school-time! How do you mom's with little one's at home do it, any tips for a mom with 1 yr old twins?