Friday, August 26, 2011

(Not) Back To School

Every store is buzzing with the late August Back To School mania and my Facebook feed is filled with pictures of backpack toting children on their front porches.

I am reminded of how thankful I am for the educational choice we’ve made, especially as our Luna is at the age where she would be headed off for full-day Kindergarten.  I know that many, many five year olds are testing out their wings of independence right now, but it is hard for me to imagine putting her on a bus and waving as she moves on down the road.

In the past, we have been year-round homeschoolers and have kept up with a light amount of guided studies through the summer.  This summer, in all honesty, was just too busy and crazy to even attempt any such thing.

But, as there has been a noticeable coolness in the breeze, I’ve been motivated to get back to some planned homeschooling.  In the realm of homeschooling, there are many different “schools of thought” and styles.  If there was a line with complete unschooling on one end and highly structured “school at home” on the other, I think we would fall right in the middle.

I like to compare it to going on a family trip.  While I would certainly follow some travel guides and make sure to hit a lot of not-to-be-missed landmarks, I also would leave plenty of time to explore whatever happens to call our attention.

We do follow different guides to make sure we’re hitting on age-level appropriate milestones, we also have lots of freedom to veer off of the path to follow interests as they arise. Free time to play, create and just be a kid is very important to us. Unplanned and spontaneous learning happens every single day.

With Luna being Kindergarten aged this year, she has naturally been chomping at the bit to have time exploring letters and numbers.  Unlike Kaya who could read by the tail end of being three, Luna is just on the verge of wanting to know what those groups of letters on pages say.  This week, she has really been asking a lot about letters and letter sounds.

Just like my other girls at this age, Luna loves worksheets.

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Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations has some of the cutest printable preschool worksheets I’ve found.

IMG_8181 Luna has also been into number games and seems to have a knack for mental math.  By keeping our activities fun and geared toward the way she learns, I hope that she retains that love of numbers, like her Mama!

Kaya is in fifth grade this year and has already asked me to help her with more presentation type projects. Up first will be a poster on the life cycle of Monarch butterflies, inspired by our project of raising Monarch caterpillars.

So, we’re off to an exciting start!  I am so blessed and thankful to be able to spend this time with my daughters, guiding them, teaching them and being there as they accomplish new things and grow.

Happy (Not) Back To School!

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