Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday Musings

Darren returned to work this morning, concluding his ten day vacation which passed all too quickly. I missed him almost the second he was gone. These past few days have been busy in the best kind of way--we put some final touches on the girls' room, completing the makeover that began before our trip to Amarillo; redecorated the kids' bathroom; and added five trees, two rose bushes, and one swingset to our backyard, which Dylan and Caitlyn have been enjoying immensely.

I've been leisurely perusing the Catholic Herritage Curricula catalog I recently received in the mail, and I think I'm just about ready to place an order. Since Darren and I are still somewhat undecided about whether or not we will homeschool, and since Dylan is still too young to begin either public or parochial school this year anyway, we've decided to give homeschooling a "trial run", so to speak, during this coming school year, and see where we stand by the time he's ready to officially begin Kindergarten. We've already been working with him a lot with letters, reading, numbers, and math, and he is doing so well. But I'm really excited about adding a bit more structure to our learning, as a rehearsal for bigger things to come. Two books I've really enjoyed during this time of prayerful discernment are "Catholic Education: Homeward Bound", by Kimberly Hahn and Mary Hasson, and "A Catholic Homeschool Treasury", by Rachel Mackson and Maureen Wittmann. A wealth of inspiration and encouragement are contained in those pages, and I find myself referring to them often when the enormity of what we may be undertaking threatens to overwhelm me.


He who wears the most black wins. said...

You are motivating me like no other! Thanks so much for the links. I just ordered the book from Kimberly Hahn and a couple more supplemental children's books about the faith as well. I am on fire!

Now...on to convincing our extended family members that homeschooling our children WON'T cripple them for life or make them social misfits. Man, that's a battle in and of itself.

God bless you and your motherhood-

erin said...

Dude. Dude. Dude. No. Those kids are WAY too social for homeschooling. Public school isn't that bad. I swear. You know, you went. And just look at the genius that was encouraged here within my gray matter.

I know some kids that were homeschooled and they turned out really well as far as social normalcy goes, but I think it would be a shame to deprive your overtly social children of the opportunity to make friends in diverse cultural and social groups. Public school isn't that bad, and if they pass you know it is because they deserved it or the teacher has become too jaded an tired to bother failing anyone. In school that you pay for, you have no such guarantee.

Of course, if you got them on a soccor team or something, where they could meet other kids and socialize, homeschooling isn't too bad an idea.

Michelle said...

One of the things I like BEST about homeschooling is that your child doesn't just learn the material, he has to MASTER it. At some point in a school setting, the teacher will test the material and move on. If your child got a C, your child got a C. At homeschool, my kids will work on something until it's RIGHT, even if they have to do it over and over and over. I'll give my son a math test and grade it, and then he'll have to go back and re-do the ones he missed. No other school setting provides such a custom education.

Good luck with your preschool! Kindergarten isn't too much harder...and then first grade is only a bit more work...

Darren said...

Hi Erin-

One thing we are going to look into is a homeschool support group - a group of parents who meet several times a week, it brings the parents and kids together for awhile so the kids can interact and play while the parents discuss how they school their kids, problems, what works, etc. We have already looked into this and it really is pretty common.

In addition, we are probably going to get the kids into Gym Magic or some other sport or group so that they are not simply at home all of the time, but have other kids around them quite a bit, something that they can at least do on the weekends. Don't worry, we are thinking about this very carefully!!!


erin said...

I knew you would. You are not the irresponsible kind. And I know you know how social your kids are. Homeschooling just worries me a bit because the school setting is such an unique experience, until you get to the working world. I know that whatever you decide to do will be right for your family. Gym Magic or other such things are a great idea.

Love you guys.