This year we embarked on a new journey as a family. I finally pulled all of my kids from public school, and started to home school preschool and elementary grade levels. Plus my oldest is in seventh grade so that gives me a junior high kid as well. I’ve been wanting to home school since my oldest started into the 1st grade.
Over the years I was always so afraid of not knowing how to teach, so I not only kept putting it off, but my lack of confidence made my husband somewhat opposed to the idea as well.
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Home School Preschool and Elementary Grades
How do I do it?
Two years ago, I pulled my oldest from public school as I felt we had some things to work on and that my oldest needed more attention. And that did NOT go as planned. After two months at home, it turned into the biggest disaster, and I surrendered and put my oldest back in public school.
That wasn’t the end of it tho. We figured out what we needed help with, got help, and then I read, and read, and read some more on how to home school. I was determined that I could do this, and I knew that I was making it harder than what it should have been.
Finally after a few school observations this last school year, in addition to the fact my heart has been telling me to home school for several years, I knew that this last school year would in fact be the last year for my kids in public school…. all of them. Which means my four year old would be doing preschool at home and both he, and my youngest would most likely not ever know the life of public school. I’m not saying that public school is bad, because its not all bad. But, public school just isn’t for us.
The First Two Months
The first two months of home school preschool elementary and junior high with five kids, were a little more difficult that I thought. I struggled the most with finding a routine where all of the older kids would be caught up on their school work. I didn’t want anyone to fall behind, after all. But it just was not working!
I figured out that my older kids were not enjoying their online-only home school curriculum. They were used to a lot of book work in public school and so they struggled with staring at a computer screen for a few hours straight, and they wanted to do some work in a workbook. At the same time, I was not enjoying their online curriculum either because I had kids with headphones on, so I couldn’t hear what they were working on, but they all needed help. Of course, all at the same time, too. Plus I have a preschool child and a toddler who need me. I was just feeling like I was running in circles and had to be everywhere at once.
Then I realized too, that I was so focused on the big kids being caught up on their online assignments, that I was forgetting something important. I was forgetting about the kids reading skills. I was forgetting about teaching preschool. And I learned that the kids were all actually falling behind, despite being “caught up”. And I was somewhat neglecting teaching my preschooler.
This all lead to create a better routine. Which for us, meant mixing up the curriculum to find what works. Then figuring out our schedule, and how to work on subjects more at the same times together, or scheduling one-on one time as needed.
What Had To Change
Since my kids wanted some workbooks in addition to online schooling, I decided to start with math. I spent hours researching a curriculum for math that I felt that I could work with. I knew that for me, common core math was not an option. I came across the Abeka program.
After reading on it I learned that the Abeka math is actually a little ahead of grade standards. For example; public school 4th grade math would be more like Abeka’s 3rd grade math. I also learned that it is traditional math, not the common core, which at 30+ years old I can’t quite understand either. There is also an option to buy the video courses so you can be a part of an actual classroom if you wanted instead of taking on the responsibility alone. Which I thought was a great option in the case I find myself unable to teach math.
After I decided on a math curriculum, I went on to see what I could find for my first grader for language arts, spelling, writing or reading. Then I had to figure out preschool, other than online. I found some amazing books that I just have to share with you! I went on Amazon and looked up the workbooks I wanted to order. And these I ordered and absolutely love!
- Abeka Arithmatic Grade 1
- Abeka Spelling and Poetry Grade 1
- Abeka K4 (Preschool / Pre Kindergarten)
- Abeka K4 ABC 123
- The older grade Abeka books I had to order straight from Abeka’s website
Some other great books that I purchased, that I absolutely love;
For Reading with my little kids;
- Pete The Cat Reading Collection
- Amelia Bedelia Level 1 Box Set
- I Can Read All-Time Favorites 16 Book Collection
Once I ordered all my supplementing books for the kids, I realized that I was still missing something fairly critical for my littler kids. If you go into and classroom at a public school you will see things on the walls. At first I was thinking that all that bright colorful stuff on the walls were just clutter. But as we started into the school year, I realized that we needed something else. That “clutter” was actually something very useful. My kids are visual learners. And because of that I felt that I needed to order a wall calendar and some posters for my school room. I’m so glad that I did, because its starting to keep a routine in our morning, and my little guys are starting to actually retain what they learn by seeing and going over the information daily. Here is what I bought that I love!
The last few months have been a huge adjustment for us. However, I’m so excited to see that despite it being difficult, I’m already starting to see changes in my older kids. And that change is for the better! We are spending more time learning together as a family. My older kids are spending more time with their younger siblings which is making them closer. And with me being more hands on in the kids learning, my relationship with the kids is getting stronger. I am loving this new home school preschool and elementary gig.
I do admit tho that I was not the best student when in school. So its hard for me to learn the harder stuff all over again. However, by us learning together, the kids are seeing my imperfections as well, and its making them realize that its ok to make mistakes, and its making us all work harder, together. It is so fun watching the kids grow and learn. I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to have them home.
Hopefully my supplemental curriculum suggestions will be as helpful to you, as they have been for me. If you are a homeschool parent, be sure to leave me a comment below. How are you enjoying your home school curriculum?