Monday, October 12, 2015

Carter and His Learning

Carter and I have been doing a little homeschooling.  I think I've mentioned before, but since he's a summer baby, and a boy, we decided not to do kindergarten this year.  So, in order for me to see if I could handle things in terms of homeschooling, and to work with him a bit on a daily (sometimes not daily) basis, we decided to do a couple of things.  

First we're going through the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  That's always our first priority when we sit down for a little school.  If he's still aching to do other things after that first 15-20 minutes (which includes a bit of writing), we do one of these things...

Maybe we do a little project via Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven which I love!  It's just such a sweet little book, and it helps us focus on a Saint and virtue each week if nothing else.  We've done a bit of cutting, some baking, gluing here and there and some math...all very simple yet fun things.

Some days, we just read through one of these books: Farm Anatomy or Nature Anatomy.  These came recommended by Jenna, and I cannot tell you how cool they are and how much Carter loves them.  I think these pictures may give you a clue where his heart lies.  After looking at a spread on different kinds of lizards in one of the books, he happened upon this little guy outside...

With the attempt at homeschooling, I'm my own worst critic.  I wonder if I'm doing enough.  I wonder if I'm doing it the "right" way or if I'm a very capable teacher.  Because in this short amount of time, I've realized I'm fairly demanding...and I need to learn to be a bit more relaxed.  I also really just want what's best (in every area) for these little ones, so I'm trying.  I really think having a planned curriculum (rather than one I'm just piecing together) will help next year.

I think the most difficult part thus far (and we're not even really doing kindergarten) is knowing what kindergarten kids are doing in formal settings.  I don't want to hold my kids back, but then I read articles like this one and am so thankful these little guys have the chance to relish in their childhood for a bit longer.  

I think the key for us will be to find balance.  We are so blessed by where we live and our livelihood, and I know there's more education in that than I can even imagine.  It's just harnessing it and using it to our advantage.  And, it's letting these little ones continue to be just that.

So, I've got some learning to do...and some chilling, I guess you'd say.  But, we're getting there.


  1. Thanks for the book references, saved them in Amazon for future reference/I need to get to free shipping. haha. Also have you checked out Our Pretty Little Girls? She and a few other bloggers have a homeschooling link up where they share their tips and tricks. I think they do it once a month at the beginning of the month. You should check them out!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this. It was so honest, and real. As Mother's we are totally our own worst critics. It's so hard to relax and know that God's got it and he will help us be the best Mom we can be.

  3. I'm sure you're doing a great job! Kids are such sponges anyway, so I'm sure he's learning even when you're not sitting down doing lessons. :)

  4. I am sure you are doing a great job! Your books that you are using sounds fun.

  5. This. I loved reading this, Britt. You are so open about homeschooling - it's refreshing in our pinterest-driven world. I honestly cringe every time I see one of those videos of 18-month olds "reading" flash cards. Yes it is impressive upon first watch, but ultimately it's going to hurt the child down the road when he or she is unable to sound out new words because it hasn't been memorized yet. Children learn cause and effect through play. They learn basics of gravity and simple machines through play. Even during "formal education," when first introducing manipulatives to be used for learning, it is encouraged for us to just allow the kids to PLAY with them before actually using them.

    The best thing you can do for your children is to raise them in the Church. The second best thing you can do is to allow them to play. Eventually they'll want to read and you can use that motivation to make it easier. Just like potty training, the student has to be ready to learn or else it will just take longer and cause more frustrations.

    It sounds like you are doing an amazing job by just being aware of your boys and their needs.