|First day of Homeschool Co-op|
Look how much they've both grown!
We wrapped up our last day of our home school co-op for the semester this week, and so I wanted to write an update on how our homeschooling was going. I get asked often about it, so I wanted to take the time to write out a little more detailed update everyone!
I began focusing less on the 'book work" and more on experiences. If I had to describe my style of teaching, I would describe it as learning through play. We have taken a ton of field trips, to airports and fire stations and the like, which the boys have loved. We visited Indiana and went fishing. We visited the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. We visited Orlando, Florida and played on the beach. We have visited Little Rock, Arkansas. We watched a total solar eclipse right in our own home town! We have taken friends to explore Nashville. We have done radio and tv interviews (job skills anyone!?) We have swam, taken soccer lessons, played at the park, gone on hikes and found waterfalls, played in the creek and The boys have had TONS of experiences!
We have done lots of reading and some pre-writing, but instead of making it book work, I took a different approach and made it play. We have attended our home school co-op every week as well, where Chandler has learned about letters, done math and sensory games, read books, sang songs, played, and learned how to socialize. Christian has taken a creative writing class where he has learned about sentence structure and developed ideas about how to write. He has also done a US geography class and knows most of the states and capitols at this point. His lego class helped him work on team work skills, listening, fine motor skills, and engineering skills as he has had to figure out how to solve problems by building things. They have both also done a praise and worship class, learned several verses of the bible by memory, the books of the new testament, and are singing lots of songs praising Jesus.
Christian continues to take karate every week and we also added violin lessons last month. We visit the library often and chose books to read. We have read several dozen books this semester, as well. We have created art, sang songs, and learned so much!
As far as what specific gains have been made, I thought I'd list a few. I will be excited to look back on this in a few years and see how much further the boys have some! Christian is almost reading the entire braille alphabet now with proficiency! He actually loves reading braille! Chandler is starting to write letters and can sight read a few words!
Chandler is building with legos now and is able to set up and build scenes from his favorite movies and shows, and loves to pretend with them. Christian is really into technology right now, and we have read a few books on different technology and how it works. I hope to begin working with him on accessibility with his iPad next semester.
As for science, we did a big unit study on the solar system, and both boys can tell you just about anything you would need to know about it! I hope to do a study on the human body and on bees next semester! They literally know more about it than some adults. That is mostly because they were so interested in it. They were just hungry for the knowledge and I fed it to them!
With math, Christian can add and subtract easily, sort, and is doing well with patterns, getting more
complex as we go. He can count as high as I will let him with little help, and can count objects up to at least a 100, but I haven't tried to see if he can count objects any higher lol. Chandler is doing well with simple patterns and can read all his numbers 1-10. He can count well and can count items at least up to 20. Concepts like large small, big little, more less, greater fewer, etc are all mastered concepts for both boys!
Chandler has really grown up this semester. He really is a little boy now and not my baby. He is also my helper. He helps me mama Christian, even when I don't want him to. haha! He helps me around the house a lot and just helps me keep an eye on that cheeky brother of his, while still remaining mischievous himself. He loves helping.
One thing that I LOVE about this semester is that both boys are really starting to understand some character traits that I hope to instill in them. They are beginning to understand caring about one another, empathy, compassion, generosity. They are beginning to understand more about who God is and who Jesus is! We have learned a mantra this year "Do not fear, God is near" to help the boys when they are scared or nervous, and Christian told his daddy the other night to not fear because God was near. These are things we have really focused on this year. If my boys never do anything else in life, I want them to know Jesus and love others. I think that is our highest human calling, so that is where I am really trying to drive it home. I have slacked in the past with the excuse that they were just too little.
The boys are just doing fantastic, really. They absolutely LOVE learning. While I was folding laundry this evening, Christian wanted to talk about the states and their capitals! We spent about half an hour playing a quiz game where I told him a state and he tried to remember its capital. He did really well! (He knew more than his daddy did heehee!) We just play all. the. time! Everything is play, and all play is useful for learning!
I could probably write for the next hour about all the gains we have made this semester, but I won't keep you here all day. :) I hope this does give you a good idea of how successful this school year has been so far and how happy I am with everything! I am so glad we made the choice to homeschool. Not only have the boys done amazing, but I have learned and grown so much myself! <3
I will treasure these days with my boys forever! <3