Friday, September 12, 2014

Let the Journey Begin

Up until a few months ago, my daughter has been in a Steiner School. This year I decided to homeschool exclusively, which was a big decision being that I also just had a newborn baby girl. I decided to start the homeschooling year early, a few weeks after Ameeras school officially ended, so that I could get into a routine and test the waters before the arrival of baby # 3. This plan worked out well. I was able to plan for the year, purchase any materials I needed and organize a weekly schedule. We worked off this schedule smoothly until the baby arrived. And then I had to take a break, which was fine, since when you are homeschooling you are no longer on any one's schedule but your own!

Now baby Aleena is 3 weeks old and we have started to slowly return to our schedule, doing short lessons and activities when time permits and attending the children's outdoor activities as well. This year we are predominately using the Charlotte Mason method and curriculums along with other resources from the Classical Method. However, my main goal is to work on family bonding with the addition of our new baby, and to teach the children about family transition when a new child enters the family and all the beauties and hardships that it comes with. Patience, compassion, and responsibility are 3 major characteristics that my children will take from this experience. They will be home to see first hand the demands of a newborn and the help needed to maintain the household and physical and emotional well-being of me (the mommmy) and the other kids. :)

So far we have had some meaningful trips and activities beginning with a trip to Kidzania (which is a a town created for children to work and earn money and then they can spend this money on activities and leisure's of  their choice just like in the grown-up world. We make weekly visits to the library for story-time and picking of new books. And we have begun our weekly Science-Coop with a small party and roundtable discussion on 3 topics the kids would like to learn more about this year. Ameera has chosen to further explore the Sun, the Earth, and babies. Homeschooling with a newborn has caused me to research more about unschooling which is a child-led learning method. This method seems to somewhat take the pressure off of following a specific curriculum or maintain a schedule, but Im not certain if it's any easier. It just makes me more aware of the questions Ameera and Noah ask me and I try to jot them down so we can further discuss their interests. For example, yesterday Ameera asked me about Sap because she was playing with sap from trees in our park outside. Then at dinner she asked me why money was important...(very good learning question, with lots to discuss there) and she asked me why numbers are infinite while she was playing with a calculator!!  Three very amazing questions that we could probably spend weeks on discussing and doing activities with.

I'm going to explore this method a bit and see what works out for us.