Friday, June 8, 2012

First Grade, check.

You may recall that dear, sweet Pat the Bunny (who shall be gracing us with her presence in July) maaaaaaaybe wasn't such a big fan of the whole homeschooling experience.

Possibly because she's taught school for 30 years. 

And maaaaaaaaybe I like to torment her a little.

So now and again throughout the school year, I would say things like:

Oh, we saw a squirrel picking up a nut today at the park. I told Alex it was a mammal. Science, check. 

And dear, sweet PtB's blood pressure would inch up.
So I'd do it again.

The kids drew with chalk on the sidewalk earlier. Art class, check.

Today I made Alex count to 500 while giving me a backrub. Math, check. 

I'm so mean, it's a wonder she's still alive. There were probably a lot of deep breathing exercises going on.
Well, I'm hear to announce that it is safe to exhale, Grandma. You have survived!

We finished up the curriculum today-- First grade, check!

I sat down and made a schedule for the school year when we began last summer.  Originally slated to finish up on May 31st, I'm pretty happy with being only one week off. When I made the schedule, we didn't know that we'd be moving across the country.

Homeschooling was a little bit of a stretch for me; something I had never planned to do. Looking back, I am happy with the decision, and think it was the best fit for our family this year.
Without it, Alex would have been taken out of school so we could travel to visit family during Josh's deployment, and then pulled out altogether for our move west. I think it provided more flexibility for us in general, while at the same time reducing the amount of transitions she would have needed to make.

And it was a learning experience for me, too.
Doing it for a year gave me some insight, and my takeaway is that there are great aspects to homeschooling that you can't get in a traditional school environment. And there are great things about a traditional school environment that you can't recreate in homeschooling.

I can see why parents choose both avenues.

I'll be surprised if I don't ever homeschool again. And I'd be equally surprised if my kids don't spend more of their school years in traditional schools after we leave Spain.

And to quote my sassy-pants daughter: "Gee mom. You made that about as clear as mud."

(The first time she said that to me I could only laugh. I know exactly where she's heard that before.)

Here she is posing with all of the readers and read-alouds we went through this year. (I didn't put the three main history texts in the pile, as we didn't read them cover-to-cover.)

Her love for books really grew a lot this year, and we read together so many different types of stories. Many that I never would have picked on my own, but was surprised by how much we enjoyed them.

Our list for summer reading keeps growing, as I find recommendations everywhere as well as a bunch of titles that I loved as a little girl.
(Buster's Derek's attention span isn't quite ready for chapter books yet, but don't worry, he still gets plenty of short stories in.)

We're going to take a week off and then do a science unit together, since I didn't include that in the past year's curriculum.  And I plan on having her keep up on her math with worksheets and games from time to time. Those math facts did not come easy for her, and I'd hate to have her lose them over the next two months.

And two months is all we have-- school here starts on August 8th. Which is good, because I really need more time to work on Spanish!

And now I can add a credential to my name:

Erin Schore, RN, BSN, Certified Experienced Teacher. check.

I'm kidding PtB, I'm kidding! ;)



Grandma said...

I appreciate the great work you did with Alex this year (trust me- when she and I were alone, I was checking on her progress.) And I, want to make sure she continues to progress over the summer. So you will be receiving a box in the mail timed to arrive about the same time I do with a multitude of books for us to read (and there are some in there for my genius Derry boy to enjoy. But - don't do this to me again! :-)

Grandma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

That's great how well homeschooling was able to fit into your life! And that's one tall pile of books, impressive!

Sandy said...

back rubs and math...ha ha ha!!!

we review math EVERY summer. my son has such a hard time with it, i see no harm reviewing the past year, plus it gives me a chance to keep up. my son doesn't like it (and neither do i really) but it is a necessity.

my son used to love to read until the schools started telling him what he HAD to read...now it is a battle to get him to pick up a book =o(

Christina said...

That's awesome!! Michaela and I still have work to do this summer...you did a GREAT job!

Taylor said...

Tormenting the MIL. Check.