Saturday, September 10, 2011

You, Me, Starbucks, Homeschool?

If I had a penny for every blog I have started and stopped since I last posted, I would have enough to buy you and I fancy shmancy Starbucks!

I am not sure if that defines "writers block" or if that defines what life is like with a relentless Baby John or if that is just one more feather in my slacker cap. None the less, none of those are probably  adequate excuses as so many writers find the time to actually write amidst a plethora of children and full time jobs, all the while keeping their perfectly decorated homes sparkling clean and managing to give it up every night.


Good for them.

My day HAS changed a bit.

I have added teaching Raegan for a couple hours each morning to my daily routine. Now, before you become all, "Shouldn't she be in a REAL preschool" judgmental (as I know some of you inherently will), hear me out.

I realize that education has changed a lot. I have survived kindergarten with her top two siblings. I know what is required and the benefits of preparing your preschoolers for school. However, I have been blessed with the opportunity to be home once again this school year, and have adequate time and ability to teach her the preparatory standards. I am a smart mama, myself.

There are plenty of resources available online as well as many workbooks available at many general stores. All you need is the time, motivation, commitment and creativity. Currently, I am following a Fall Themed lesson plan I found online that introduces the seasons, the days of the week, months of the year, letter recognition and beginning writing skills.

She has done extremely well. She is a very bright child. She is actually a bit ahead of the curriculum - she recognizes 22 of the 26 letters (blasted Q and Y), and can write nearly as many. She can write her first name and jokes about the million letters in her last name.

She has a very good understanding of basic math principles. Once this week, during dinner, I told her  she had to take 3 more bites. Once she finished, I told her she needed two more bites. She said, "But Mom, that is 5 bites! Why didn't you just say FIVE BITES?".

Science time includes her papa as well. He IS Wil Nye: The Science Guy, you know, and since he works afternoon/evenings, he is home.  We learned about trees, bees, and bones this week. She retained all of it and proclaims that she would be the Queen Bee if she lived in a hive.

I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching her as much as she has enjoyed learning. I am looking forward to the rest of the school year. Is she missing out on daily social interaction between children her own ages? Sure. Is she socially backwards? Um, have you met this child? Absolutely not. Would she have one on one instruction amidst all of that social interaction in an actual school building? No, she would not.

If I were a working mother, I would most definitely take advantage of the preschool program offered in my neighborhood. However, I am not and will be taking advantage of the Stay at Home mom title I have earned. If I felt the least bit concerned that she would  be entering kindergarten not fully prepared, I would explore other options.

Judge if you would like, but come the end of the school year, I invite you to sit your preschooler down in front of mine, and we will battle it out Quiz Bowl style. I'll walk away with a "My home-schooler beat your school go-er" bumper sticker.

I kid.

I'd never rock that bumper sticker. T-shirt, Maybe.

To each their own, and this is ours.