Back to School or Not Back to School

back to school
Kiddos 2014

 

Since everyone is getting into the “Back to School” spirit, I thought I’d go ahead and share a few thoughts on what our plans/goals are for the time period known as the next “school year”.

Since I ditched our oh-so-official “preschool” back in February, I’ve been pretty slow to do anything school-related.

I have in the past three or four weeks picked up the Seton preschool books that Katherine received from my mother-in-law and we’ve been very slowly working our way one or two pages at a time through the books. It generally works out to about three days a week. We’ve also very slowly been working our way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

And that is the full extent of our preschool at the moment. (Well, other than the mountains of books we read.)

Katherine 2014
Katherine 2014
K1
Katherine 2013

As far as moving on to Kindergarten, I’m pretty much stuck firmly into a “I don’t know when we’re going to start that” place. The main reason being that legally, according to the laws of our state, a child doesn’t have to be enrolled in First Grade until they are age 6 by September 1st. And as far as I know, Kindergarten isn’t mandatory. Katherine’s birthday doesn’t fall until the end of September, which means legally I don’t have to have her enrolled anywhere until the 2016-2017 school year (two entire calender years from now).

But when I think about that in my mind, I feel like that may be just a little too long to wait to do anything official. But then I read things that say kids should just play for the first seven years of their life and not do anything official……. And oh, I get stuck going ’round and ’round in my head.

The other reason I’m not sure we’re going to start Kindergarten right now, this September is that Baby Z. is due to arrive at the end of October and the thought of even attempting to homeschool with a newborn sounds completely daunting, and basically when we’d start up again, we’d most likely end up starting over… which defeats the purpose of starting in September.

{See, haven’t you always been just dying to know exactly how my mind works?!??!?!?!!?!}

John 2014
Johnny 2014
J1
Johnny 2013

Anyways…. What I see working for us is as follows:

Begin Kindergarten (with Katherine) in January sometime; after the baby’s here, we’re all settled into a routine and all those end of the year holidays have passed.

Religion – I’m thinking about using the Seton Religion program (if you scroll to the bottom it’s there). Also, keeping on doing the normal religion learning we do everyday. The prayers, Bible Readings, learning about Saints, keeping feast days, things like that.

Reading – Keeping on working on the reading thing. If that means using the 100 Easy Lessons then, we’ll keep doing that. (If we’re done with that, I don’t actually have a plan in place, but I guess I’ve got a little time to work something out.)

History – A Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. I checked it out from the library a few weeks back and enjoyed the timeline, layout, etc… I didn’t look at the activity book that goes with it, so I may try to get a hold of that before I make a firm decision. I know this book is intended for “1st Graders” but I’ve heard suggestions of taking two years to go through it if beginning in Kinder so I think we may try it.

Math – I’m pretty sure I want to use the Saxon program, so we’d being with Math K. I enjoyed Saxon when I was in school… but then again, I was almost a math major in college, so I may just be weird like that πŸ™‚

Other than those few things I don’t know what else I would consider “essential” at this point. Maybe keep working on writing (forming letters, numbers, words, etc…). We’ll probably keep up with our random art stuff that we do, but that’s stuff we do all the time anyways, not really anything out of the ordinary. I guess we could call it “school” and have one more subject, but it feels less stressful if I just call it “art time” and let them have at it.

I think I’d also just like to let them keep exploring their own interests… You know, checking out books from the library they want, building with LEGOs, doing whatever outdoor playing/nature stuff we end up doing, things like that.

For Johnny:

I think maybe I’ll get a few preschool workbooks for him (like Katherine has now), and let him do those. At the moment he really enjoys coloring while we do “school”, so something for him to do along with us is probably a good idea. And depending on how it feels I *might* start the 100 Easy Lessons with him. But that’ll just have to be a bridge we cross when we get there.

Karl 2014
Karl 2014
No, I do not have a troublemaker on my hands. Nope. Not me...
Karl 2013

For Karl:

Definitely no workbooks for him. I would however like to have him learn the letters and numbers. He can sing the alphabet song and count up to about 13 (in order), but he has no clue what any of the letters or numbers look like, so I think that’s what we’ll work on with him.

I think that’s probably enough rambling about school for the next six months or so πŸ™‚

Do these kids look like they could sit in a classroom?!?
Last year’s “first day of school” photo (for comparison). Click the picture to be taken to that post!

Linking up with Charity at The Wounded Dove for this weeks edition of #GoodEnoughMom.

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5 thoughts on “Back to School or Not Back to School

  1. Hi and congratulations on Baby Z! I found your site through Charity’s linkup and want to congratulate you on homeschooling. It’s something I always wanted to do but my exhusband was very against. I wish I’d done it but can’t go back now. I know things will be challenging when the Baby comes, but, having taught in both public and even Catholic schools, there is nothing like homeschooling for teaching your children values and academics. If you can keep it up, I’d definitely do it! You have a beautiful family!
    God Bless…

    1. Thank you so much! I get a lot of support for homeschooling (or at least I have rarely receive negative comments), but I don’t know that I’ve received much straight up encouragement, so thank you so much for that.
      And thank you for stopping by!
      ~Ruth Anne

  2. I found you through Wounded Dove! Home schooling is something that has always been in the back of my mind. We love the Catholic schools our kids attend, but I would definitely home school if or when God needs me to. Prayers for the rest of your pregnancy! It sounds like you are doing just what you need to be doing with the kids. I am doing a home preschool of sorts with my 4-year-old. It is mainly her telling me what to do! πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I’ve had pretty minimal success with homeschooling the 4-yr-old (which is why I think waiting a few more months will probably help). πŸ™‚
      ~Ruth Anne

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