Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ready For 1st Grade?

So what does it take to do 1st Grade at home? I've picked up various books at yard sales, book sales and such over the past two years, plus we have the Jump Start computer games. So, are we ready? Until recently I just stored them on a shelf, but now... Now we're getting closer to the time for starting 1st grade so I decided to go through everything this week and formulate a loose plan. I quickly realized we have too much STUFF.
Learning doesn't always involve books. It's the hands-on adding and subtracting of pebbles and the making leaf patterns that I dearly love. Rarely does a teacher take the class outside to learn about earthworms, but why not? Surely it's better to learn about the earth and the creatures that live in it out where these things are? (weather permitting of course)
Everyone who finds out we are pro-homeschooling seems to ask won't you get tired of being around your children all day? Well, I've been around them almost all day, every day for the past 5 years (for the oldest) and 3yrs for the youngest. Some days I'm more tired than others, but they are God's blessings and He put us in charge of taking care of them. I also believe that children become easier to live with as they get older (I may change this way of thinking as mine get older). :-) I would much rather have my children here where I can watch them delight in learning than in a room full of their peers for 7-8 hours each day.
So, if you're still with me on reading my ramblings... I have now accumulated way more books than I will probably need for 1st grade, but I feel blessed to have several different options for math worksheets and literature lessons. As for science, it happens all around us every day so I'm mostly focusing on Reading, Writing and Math. In addition to those the other 1st grade subjects for our son will be Music, PE & Spanish (every other quarter) and Sign Language (every other quarter). I'm not going to count Bible as a subject for school, though we will have a daily bible story and weekly bible verses.
For those who are wondering why I'm thinking of 1st grade half-way through the kindergarten year, well I'll tell you. We plan to start 1st Grade in June and enjoy year-round learning with a one week break in between quarters. If you're thinking, 'whoa, that's too much school!' really it's not. We'll be doing lessons Mon - Thurs and Fridays will be our field trip/catch up day. I'm thinking a field trip twice a month and on the off weeks we'll review as needed or play online learning games.
I know, I over-think things sometimes, but I like to plan ahead. Now I have a plan and I have roughly 5 more months to think about it and change it as needed. :-)