Well here we are Day 3. Yesterday felt like a disaster. Yes, on Day 2 I was wondering what in the world we were thinking. I mean I loved it, but it wasn't great. We all woke up grumpy and tired and I felt unprepared. I had a general plan/schedule and I knew what I wanted for our school days, but I wasn't seeing it happen. What was I going to do? I knew I needed to make a change or we would resort to sleeping in and iPads everyday.
Last night my amazing in-laws kept the kids for us while my husband and I got away for 7 hours of Date Night. It was awesome. While we were driving we started talking about school. I love brainstorming and I felt great with the ideas we were coming up with.
We talked about focusing on a different letter each week, a memory verse that starts with the letter and having weekly themes of things the girls want to learn about. Like bugs, astronauts, and rainbows. I could decorate with the themes, read books that go with them and have our crafts go with whatever theme it was that week.
However, the problem was I could see this resulting as spending hours and hours on Pinterest to make it happen. I love Pinterest, but sometimes I feel that there are so many options that I get overwhelmed and end up not doing any of them. And I did not want that for our school.
I wanted the girls to have a flexible day, but also guided where we were heading in a direction of lots of learning. I wanted them to have fun learning, but not so relaxed where we were not being intentional. I didn't want my 5 and 3 year old to spend 8 hours a day doing school, but wanted lots of play learning as well. I wanted us to go outside and learn, to do crafts, music, dance, workbooks and lots of reading time. I wanted to go over all different topics of learning. I wanted it to be Bible based and have memory verses. I wanted them to learn character traits. I wanted them to color, draw, paint and create. I also wanted Kairi to learn how to read this year.
So, I knew what I wanted but I was at a loss of how to make it all happen.
I have some workbooks I bought, a library card, and a very small curriculum that gives us about 10 minutes of "work" each day, but with a lot of prep time and it's all online that needs printed out. This wasn't working...
While Jonathan and I were on our date we went to Mardel's - our favorite date is coffee and books. We were looking around and noticed a boxed curriculum. We read the side of the box of what all it included and we looked at each other and I asked, "Why aren't we doing something like this?!"
A few reasons I thought I wanted to resist a box curriculum - I thought it would do just that. Box us in. I didn't think we could have the freedom to do what I wanted to do. You know, since I was this all knowing new homeschooler and all.
Well, I kept thinking about boxed curriculum and the more I thought about it the more I thought that was the direction we needed to go.
I have a friend that is homeschooling that is doing A Beka this year and one of her friends is using My Father's World. On the way home I started looking into both of these and while I was reading the description for My Father's World, Jonathan and I both knew that this is what we wanted to do. It sounded exactly like what we had brainstormed about earlier. The themes, the Bible based program, the already planned out lesson plans, crafts that are themed based, hands-on learning, 60-90 minutes of "school work" and the rest is for play learning... Still freedom and flexibility. I found out that what I was wanting had a name, it was called the "Charlotte Mason" style of learning. And this is what My Father's World practices.
Let me tell you, I am SO excited. I ordered the kit last night and it will be arriving in 10 days. I CAN NOT WAIT. Why was I trying to reinvent the wheel? I'm so thankful for people that have gone before me that I can learn from and then be able to train my children. I'm thankful for the flexibility this program is going to give me, and also more time for teaching and hands on than planning.
This homeschooling thing is going to be an every day learning experience not only for the girls, but for me as well.
Day 3 is off to a great start. Let me just tell you - GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS! I know this may seem selfish and like a silly prayer, but I prayed it anyways. Because there is nothing too small for God. Zeke has been getting up 2 times in the night for a bottle and I have been EXHAUSTED. I missed the days of him sleeping all night and me getting a night of good, uninterrupted sleep. So yesterday I prayed to God that my kids would sleep all night, not only for my energy level and attitude, but for theirs as well.
And this little man slept ALL NIGHT!!
I got 7 straight hours of sleep last night! I am thankful that God answers even our "smallest" prayers. It's huge. This momma needed some sleep!