Now firmly into our second "official" year of homeschooling, I've dabbled in curriculums and unschooling, and found myself to be somewhere in the middle, which I suppose classifies us as eclectic homeschoolers. Some days we actually do no formal school-type work, yet I feel we've covered a lot of topics and created some learning opportunities. Other days, I feel like I need to whip out a workbook to engage Flo's attention, and make me feel like we actually accomplished something.
However, now that's Flo's six, and technically half way through her first grade year, I'm totally amazed at how "on par" she is with reading and math, considering we've never follwed any formal curriculum, and we've just used what works for the moment.
I started last year with the Funnix reading program, but we only got about half way through when we had a computer problem for a few weeks. So, we got sidetracked and started just doing Dick & Jane type early reader books. We have continued with that and sight word flash cards, which we do for about an hour every night before bed. This works well for us, since it's the only time of day we get to be quiet where Joe isn't pestering us.
As for math, we've used a collage of flash cards and workbooks, but tend to do most of our math either in the car, just making up problems and having Flo solve them, or when we're doing art projects using beads or scaps of paper to do some math visualization.
Math is where I get anxiety. I slipped through the cracks mathematically during the seventh grade, which consequently was the year I was homeschooled in Spain. I don't blame homeschooling, but more my parent's approach to it. My mom assumed my dad was better at math than she was (which was true, since he was an engineer), so math was his responsibility. Briliant as he was, he was not a good teacher… with me anyway. I often "just didn't get it!" and he just got frustrated with me. From that point on, I just accepted that I wasn't good at math.
I don't worry about my kids aptitude, as when we get to advanced math, I will certainly seek out tutors or classes they can go to, if needed. My fear is that I will somehow pass on this math anxiety to them. So, I work to try to make math fun and focus more on Flo being able to understand the process, rather than just getting the right answer. I don't think it's my job to teach them everything, but it is my job to teach them how to learn anything they want to. So, I TRY to keep my expectations realistic, and not take things too seriously. So far, so good.
Here's a few things Flo did today:
– Read an early reader book to me
– I read a chapter of "A Wrinkle in Time" to her
– Played with her friend, Dara, for a few hours
– Went to tap dance class
– Drew some pictures of her Nanny & Poppy
– Played with dominos
– Made Bubble Tea
Joe has a sore tooth, and was cranky most of the day, but he enjoyed playing dominos with his sister, playing with Flo and her friend, and having some tea, too!