Rookie Book Learning

Lately I keep reading about children and young people born in hard times or hard places: third world countries or the inner city in a time of war. And the more I read these people's life stories, the more appalled I am with myself: the ease & comfort with which I choose to live and allow my children to grow accustomed to living. My conscience smitten, it's making me want new patterns, new habits of working hard, delaying gratification in small ways. Facing childhood fears sooner rather than later: fear of the water, fear of dogs, fear of riding bikes downhill on forest paths. It's a joy to see them have the self-control when things get scary to still trust and obey, to sleep when it's dark, to eat at the table when mama calls, to be thankful for the abundance of food, to complain less, to stop compulsive snacking...

August came to an abrupt halt, the parents who send their kids to school were asking questions that made me panic! When the gentlest friend I know wrote to me from the far reaches of the PNW, I could (at last) sit & write out what Clinch Academy has meant so far to the 4 & 3 year olds we keep to ourselves. We're on our own, but with a few structures in place each morning. 

I've been listening to the Read Aloud Revival podcast, so we're at the library a lot. Various book lists exist, I'm blazing through Five In A Row (borrowed) as the boys' appetite for stories is so crazy & varied. E listens to audio books at quiet time in my room while O still takes a proper afternoon nap. We're on week 4 of an app called New City Catechism, which is exactly 52 Q&A so one per week for a year. It's a great (free) resource to connect our Fam devotions with Songs for Saplings style teaching about God, way less intimidating than the full Heidelberg & Os paced. I snagged a copy of Ordinary Parent's Guide & am borrowing some Bob books to review phonics & really teach E to read this year. He's gotten used to physical work/challenge (2-3 mile hikes or bike rides, in humid conditions or learning to swim, etc) & is ready for mental work as the weather gets rainy & cool. We also have a pocket sized New England Primer for practicing phonics sounds in the car. (I learned to read using Sing Spell Read and Write, but that curriculum is so expensive that I'm just singing everything I remember from it.) It's 10-15 min at a time, 3x a week at least, very repetitive but he really wants to read so I'm trying to keep up my end of the deal.

We're also working on the Kodaly Music foundations, with Curwin Hand signs & rhythm sticks (this pin board is my brain these days.) I want our boys to embrace their God-given voice as their first instrument, with technique & strong music theory foundations. If they move on to piano or violin, that's wonderful... But very few people discipline their voice as a tool of powerful personal praise. It's an insecurity among many many men that need not sow seeds in their sons.

We're just barely hitting our rhythm these days, & def do lessons in between walks to the dog park. But another great resource I snagged is Cleaning House for two reasons: homeschooling means the house can get crazy & the boys need a work ethic that extends beyond academics. In terms of prepping for the potential bickering of being together all.the.time, I also am starting The Peacemaker after my sis-in-law said their team is going through it as adults & with their kids before heading to India this winter.

Is this helpful? I'm not systems-based by a long shot, & am trying not to spend needless $$ or scatter myself in too many directions or drive Nic crazy. I would love to keep up this way, & I love the forethought that writing allows. This stream of consciousness may continue.

1 comment:

Martha said...

I do so love that you are just a few steps ahead of me in this process... thanks for sharing the resources and giving some insight into the do-ability, warmth and beauty of home education.

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