Thursday, July 23, 2009

homeschool & the best moments

Colors by Jorge Lujan & Piet Grobler

It seems "back to school" is on every one's mind these days. The first half of summer you don't talk about it- then the middle part you dread it- then the second half you start to get excited to teach your children again. Not that the teaching ever stops for anyone- homeschool parent or not. But the formal schooling begins for us in a little over a month.

I started to look through the school books and got excited all over again. We use almost all BJU press curriculum. It has worked well for us so far and I really, really like some aspects; the phonics program (in my opinion) is very strong. Both of our boys have no problem reading and comprehending what they read. Our 6 year old has followed in his brother's footsteps and now picks up chapter books to read for enjoyment.

I know there are a ton of great books out there and different programs- but for right now our kids are learning and we all are {for the most part} enjoying it!

Colors by Jorge Lujan & Piet Grobler

We add a lot of other reading material to our regular curriculum- trips to the library and field trips, and I have a stash of art books that we will never get all the way through.....

That is our program in a nutshell.

The most exciting and profitable part of the day we have kept going through the summer...and that is our Bible & story time. This happens after we have gotten up and dressed and done with most of the chores. The kids and I sit in the living room- usually all piled up on one couch. We start by reading the Patch the Pirate devotional book that the kids have to work through for their Patch club at church. I LOVE this devotional book. It has a verse for each day where the kids have to look in their Bible to fill in the blanks. Then there are a few paragraphs explaining the verse. Followed by a suggestion on what to pray about...such as; "this verse tells us how much God loves us- tell God today how thankful you are for that love".

Colors by Jorge Lujan & Piet Grobler...again

This book just gives us a jumping off place to have a good prayer time and discussion about the verse and what it means. After we all pray together we read a favorite chapter book (and our 3 year old has gotten better each day and will now sit just as enraptured by the book as the boys). We will also read a few picture books...(and during the school year- some other reading such as a history book)

Table Manners by Chris Raschka & Vladimir Radunsky

My kids are 7 (almost 8), 6, and 3...and I have to say that one of their favorite parts of the day is to sit by mom and read! There are some days when I wake up and wish I could go on vacation....I want to be away from the kids! But when we sit down to read--things are right again with the world. These times are the sweet memories that we will keep forever.

Table Manners by Chris Raschka & Vladimir Radunsky

Now I do not know if this is mainly because I love to read --and if you are more into, say- cooking or shooting hoops in the driveway- maybe that would be the time for some good bonding. And we do have other times of bonding- but this is the easiest and best for us- there is no preparation necessary- except to make sure you have good books, the Bible, and/or a devotional book on hand.

OK- now your turn--what is your favorite part of homeschooling? OR --what is your favorite way to bond with your kid?


Monica said...

Reading would be at the top of the list for me as well. But I also enjoy doing crafty things with my nieces and nephew, whether it be assisting them in designing their own t-shirts or drawing. It's interesting to see how their minds work!

ko said...

love it! AWESOME POST! I wish I could say I Love to read, I do if I love the book....I do love to cook though, and becca loves helping! GREAT POST!!! :)

Melissa Lobdell, Little Melfred's Studio said...

Beautiful post! One of my favorite moments in the day is our prayer before we sit down to eat - we each name someone (or more than one!) who we think need special blessings and that never fails to bring about the best conversations. As my boys get older, I find sometimes the best bonding moments happen unexpectedly. A ride in the car or one of the boys beginning a conversation as he is getting ready to go to bed... I am trying to balance my need to always "teach" them with their need to sometimes just be listened to-a very delicate balance! xo-Mel

Garth and Becky said...

I am so with you. Reading helps me also feel more like everything is "right with the world" again! We love BJU Press stuff, too. Our kiddos are 7, 4, and 1. Love your blog!

gailsgarden said...

I never regretted reading to you and Andy. Some of the best times were when you were sick. The routine was:
(1) doctor's office
(2) drug store
(3) library
(4) both of us in bed with a pile of books
I think that is why you are both readers plus the fact that books were everywhere in our lives.

Oops! Sorry, that wasn't about homeschooling. Just a plug for reading to your kids. I am glad that you like that example!

Adrienne said...

i am a teacher of young children too... in the public schools, though. i love my job too and share with you the same feelings during the summer months. i'm starting to get excited again also and have already smelled the crayons at target :) love, love that smell! yea phonics!

Shelly said...

I don't homeschool but I really love going through the God's little warrior devotional Bible. There is a princess one for girls. It has such great ideas that go with the stories.

julie king said...

i so admire you and your wonderful parenting ways! you hold up a shining example of how to parent with love for each other and god.

my favorite way to spend time with my granddaughter jenna is doing art projects together!

Laura said...

Sara, thanks for sharing this part of your life with us. I hadn't ever thought about STARTING the day with reading to my children, but HAVE often regretted that we din't get around to it in the day. I know, DUH!

My children are 9,8,4, and 2. The older ones still love being read to even though they now devour books on their own. I am going to change this small part of our school day routine. We will ALL love it! Thanks!

We use BJU too and love, love it! We actually use the HomeSat dvd's for a good bit of it. Great curriculum!