Since DD1 has been about 6 months old, DH and I have been considering homeschooling. The reasons are many, and should probably make the focus of a post of their own. However, I think I can confidently say that, at this point, this is the route that we have decided to follow.
Then I learn that a good friend of mine, who also happens to be my back door neighbour, and who has a daughter just a few months older than Miss A, is also considering homeschooling. And the girls get along GREAT together (as much as 2 yrs olds do)! So we started doing some research together.
And boy – is there ever options out there! From radical unschooling to highly structured through pre-made curriculum homeschooling, with a mix of both in between – and not to mention all the different philosophies, from Charlotte Mason to Waldorf to a little bit of nothing… How’s one to choose??
I have to admit, I’m not sure exactly what I what to do for my homeschool yet. I’m partial to the Sonlight curriculum, because I’ve only heard great things about it and it has a focus on books, but I’m sure there are other great ones out there too. And anyway, I will have to find add ons for Canadian content. And do I really want to buy an expensive and structured curriculum, or do I want to go based on my child’s interest and get books as we go? Or perhaps I want to just simply unschool…
But sometimes too much research is like not enough: you just get lost, and you never make any decisions. Sometimes, in my opinion anyway, it’s best to jump in, try something, and tweak it as you go. I’m still researching options, recording ideas, government requirements (it’s legal in our province and you don’t have to do much of anything actually, in terms of declaring & recording, as far as I’ve found), organization, how to proceed, etc. But, I’ve decided to try out some things too, along with my neighbour.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not teaching my 22 mo. If anything’s for sure, it’s that I don’t believe in early academia for the sake of early academia – unless it’s really and truly the toddler’s interest to do alphabet flashcards, penmanship and early math all day. And I think all learning should be child-led (which taps into my reasons for choosing homeschooling versus the school system – there is just more opportunities for that in the one-on-one setting of homeschooling than there is in the overflowed classrooms). What we’re doing is more for the sake of us adults, to try out some organization & recording thing, and how we can plan lapbooks and unit studies. For the kids – crafts, day trips, playtime, colouring… things we would do ANYWAY, whether they’d be attached to a “theme” or not 😉 My neighbour found some great activities based on farms and gardening – which is quite timely for spring and summer. We have great local farms in the area to visit, which most families do once or twice in the season, and lots and lots of trails for nature walk, which I love to take advantage of.
So, today, we started our farm lapbooks! We made barns out of construction paper, and glued it inside a folded-up folder. I mostly did that part 😉 Then came the decorating part with stickers – THAT Miss A was all over! Watch out with her when stickers are around 🙂 We also read a book about barn animals (the girls had a blast making all the sounds), and sang Old MacDonald using the felt board. Then the girls free played while we picked up 😉
I printed out some of the farm activities we found online for the girls, and started
laminating them with book covers (makes them more sturdy) and cutting them up. But first, I got Ariana to colour her farm flashcards – they turned out quite colourful, as you can see! I will finish these while watching TV tonight and stick them in the lapbook. Speaking of laminating & activities, I also made her a colour sorting game I downloaded from Confessions of a Homeschooler – she’s very into her colours lately.
If anything, it will be a great scrapbook souvenir of the summer 🙂 (when life was bliss before the chaos of a younger sibling!)