Oh my G! Homeschooling!

We just finished our first week of homeschooling, and we both LOVE it.

It was an easy week, because our official start-date was September 1st, and that happened to be a Thursday.

The afternoon before, her Mom dropped her off from hanging out and told us, Tegan said she doesn’t want to do homeschool. (This was a huge surprise to me.  Later when I asked Tegan how she felt about embarking on Homeschool, she told me that she was a little nervous about doing something new, but that it felt like her Mom was the one talking to her friend and saying that Tegan didn’t want to do it.) She also expressed that she felt like we were sheltering Tegan!  This couldn’t be further from the truth, but Chase and I talked about the power dynamics involved after I had calmed down.

This morning I was e-mailed “the list” and there are SO MANY AMAZING AWESOME ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES that come with the Charter School Program!

On our homeschool’s wish list includes Equine Studies, Engineering for Kids, and Krav Maga or Tap lessons (because homegirl gets frustrated easily when it comes to persistence in hand-eye coordination).  There are also pottery classes, yoga classes, and art camps.

I was super excited to start, and then really anxious, but Tegan is thriving with the devoted attention and she is hitting the assignments out of the park.

Her favorites are Computer Animation with Khan Academy’s Pixar in a Box lessons, Math, and Piano.

I especially love that the computer animation course is reinforcing the marriage between art and mathematics.

If you’re interested, these are the sites that we are primarily using:

  • http://www.KhanAcademy.comMathematics by Grade including video lessons on Multiplication. (and some other bonus stuff that someone could use for older kids – like art history or in our case, computer animation (grades 4 and up).
  • www.ixl.com – this is cool, because it has online “quizes” for each skill, within each subject, each grade, so in itself serves as a curriculum guide.  It doesn’t TEACH HOW to do these things.
  • http://www.corestandards.org – to keep track of grade level standards.
  • http://www.Vocabulary.com – each student makes an account, and it starts them right off and self-adjusts / records their skill level.
  • http://www.kidsdiscover.com – this one is really cool for picking topics like, “insects in the rainforest” or “cells”.  Along with the web apps they have lesson plans pre-bundled that you can download and print.
  • http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/ – soooo amazing with all the lesson plans

I’m using a main set-up of Unit Lessons.

A core element of Unit Lessons is Notebooking. Students make their own books for each subject, recording and illustrating the substance of their lessons. So from each Unit Lesson Topic I can supplement reading, writing, reports, art projects, films, books, whichever skill-sets that the student could benefit from practicing. And then as we go along she can take notes, summarize, and illustrate what she’s learning about each topic in the notebooks.  Notebook enthusiasts boast it acts as a great “progress report” as well.

If you want to dive into that, there are a gazillion Pinterest and blog pages devoted to people showing off their kids notebooks.  

So far everyone is doing great and it’s been a ton of fun!


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