What follows is the fourth weekly post with questions that we frequently hear when we say we are going to homeschool. Please leave your questions in the comments section, and there may even be a fifth post!
What curriculum are you going to use?
We are going to use a variety of resources instead of just one curriculum.
I grew up on the A Beka Book curriculum, which is great in English Language Arts. The Spelling, vocabulary, Reading, Poetry, and Grammar are all related - for example, one week's spelling and vocabulary words are reinforced in that week's reading selection. But A Beka is weak in the areas of Math and Science. Because of that, many private schools are switching to the Bob Jones curriculum, which is much stronger in those areas.
We are going to encourage Dino's math and reading, which he is already advanced in, but put an emphasis on areas that we feel have been lacking, like science and handwriting and geography. He is very interested in human and animal anatomy, so we will start with that in science. He very much wants to learn how to write in cursive, so we will teach him that. And he is totally confused by geographical concepts (how can two cities have one state?), so we will do some map studies.
Dino has graduated from picture books to chapter books, so we are working on building up our own bookshelves, and we will be spending a lot of time at the local public library for a variety of resources.
What will your day-to-day schedule look like?
I have written up a proposed schedule that we will start from, but I am sure we will deviate from that strict schedule quite often. Right now, I have everything divided into 30-minute blocks, with breaks for morning snack/reading and lunch. I plan to start around 9:00 am and be finished by 2:00 pm. The core classes will be Monday through Thursday, with more fun stuff on Friday. We will follow the same schedule of days as the local public school, so that he will be out of school on the same days as his friends. It would be terrible for him to be cooped up doing school while his friends are outside playing!
I may even give Dino the option to create his own schedule at some point. He can spread out subjects through the week, as I have it now. Or he may choose to do all of the week's reading on one day of the week, all of the math on another, etc.
What about socialization?
I read something a while ago that really spoke to me: "Forced association is not socialization." When you send a child to a school, he is forced to associate with the children in his assigned classroom. Dino was not socializing with any of his school classmates outside of school. We did not know any of those families! We are active in our church, Dino is in Cub Scouts, and our neighborhood has lots of great families with kids (he is playing outside or at their houses at every opportunity)! Dino has *plenty* of opportunities to socialize with other children and families that we are close to as a family.
It is important to me that Dino is growing as a person and learning how to grow up to be a good adult. This is one of the things that is attractive to me about Tim - he teaches Dino how to be a good man.
"It's not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings." -Ann Landers
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