Friday, September 16, 2011

Homeschooling This Crew!

I was feeling so blessed this morning as I was sipping my coffee and heading to the school room. How could it be that 6 treasures are home and 2 more are on their way! It is an incredible thought!

I have always been a dreamer BUT I never thought "they, the dreams", would come true to this magnitude! I figured my chances for many little blessing had come and gone. Little did I know that God had BIG plans for us!

We have had 2 weeks of school so far and the children have really settled into the routine. The are doing so good getting their school work done, asking questions, participating and having a good attitude.

After missing so many years with them I can't imagine sending them to school. My heart would break each day as I waved goodbye to them.

Homeschooling has been instrumental with attachment. With this number of children plus heading off each day- I would be nothing more than the Aunties they new in China.

Sarah is working on a separate curriculum/ grade level. Some of it is easy for her and at times I think we should bump her up a bit but it is so important to have all the basics to an education, be successful, love learning, feel capable, be able to follow directions, and be able to comprehend what she reads. There were so many many holes in her education in China she was unable to connect all the dots. When she went to school she was there in body but not in mind. Now she has so much confidence!

The other 5 children, I teach together. Ellie, Ava and Anna are all at the Kindergarten level and doing very well. By very well I mean- Anna is extremely active and knows most of what we are doing. Ava is learning and has potential to "get it". Ellie knows it but has trouble with recall, so we need to keep repeating it.

Sam is doing pretty good but really is a preschooler. He just needs more time to be a little boy before officially starting school.  I am planning on him doing kindergarten with Mia next fall. Sweet Emma is doing the work with us but learning is so hard for her. She seems to be happy being a part of the group. I know she is slowly making progress because now she knows all the letters, is working on her phonics and can count to 30 in english.

I have never had a toddler/ preschooler in the home while teaching the older children so if you have any suggestions please leave a comment!

I am thinking that Luke and Sam can do some preschool activities and then play together near us. I have also thought about putting them in preschool but Sam has his surgeries coming up and we need to find out Luke's health status. He also needs to bond with his new Momma- so we won't be doing that this year.

I love seeing the progress the children are making and knowing what they need to work on! The whole day becomes a learning experience!

I am finding that I am always evaluating what we are working on and modifying it to fit "us". We are unique and nothing is a perfect fit!

In the evening we turn into soccer fans and cheer on Johnny's team!

The kids love seeing Johnny play and will call out to him from the stands! He gets a kick out of it!
That's a soccer joke!

They were playing hide and seek outside! Anna was it! She had know idea we were in the porch watching her count! And BTW who taught her how to count? Her teacher! That would be ME!


Angie said...

Sounds like your year is off to a beautiful start! For preschoolers, I didn't do much except let them play, but structured play during school. I'd have different activities assigned to each day of the week so it wouldn't get boring, and maybe twice each morning, they would have "blanket time" when they had to play with their toys quietly on their blanket while I taught a lesson to someone else. For science and history, I try to have them all together for the reading segment, and let them participate in the activity as much as they can. You must be so excited to bring two more sweeties into your classroom!

Sally-Girl! said...

I am impressed with what Emma has learned so far! Great job mama / teacher!

Cari said...

that last picture is such a sweet photo. i'm only homeschooling one and truly believe it's a calling. i don't know how you can manage the six, except that you must really enjoy :) you go girl!

living4him5 said...

I share your love of homeschooling my treasures too!!!

It sounds like you're having a blast!!

God bless you all!!
Amy <><

Jolene said...

I loved reading this! Truly, I know your heart. We have 4 blessings and 1 (possibly 2) in China. We are also hoping for more blessings by birth. I am humbled that the Lord would feel me capable of growing them and turning their hearts towards His.

Homeschooling has been such an amazing tool for our family for bonding. Truly we would be lost without that extra time to teach and train them and in the midst of the character training the bonds form. A healthy attachment that supersedes all fears that lie deep inside.

God is so good and I am honored to walking this journey.

Deb said...

I share your love of homeschooling! I currently have 3 of my 7 children at home. (2 in college, 1 in HS and 1 waiting in Jiangxi, China, the one I emailed you about!) One of the the tools I use for including preschoolers is "team up time". An older student "gets to" go read or draw (or even play) with his younger sibling. It frees my up to work one-on-one with a child and still maintain structure of school. It's a "privilege" for the older child to stop their school task to serve their sibling (and me)!

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

Love our homeschooling too!!! Has helped us with bonding and with behavior issues we would not be able to deal with head on at a public school.

For toddlers/prek- biggest thing- buy toys you don't let them play with EXCEPT during "school time". There are tons of educational fun toys. Rotate them. We keep several things on hand. I add to them, with dollar toys, etc. too. Keep them out of sight, and pull them out just for school time. Rotate them and by the time they haven't seen them for a while they are sooo excited to play with them.

We also try to do hands on activities too! That way the youngers get to participate (or at least look on).

Have you ever tried having the olders pair with the youngers to teach counting, abcs, etc. Doing this helps the olders practice and the youngers learn. WITH ME there too. That way you don't miss the bonding time, but it gives accomplishment to both parties.

Those are a few things we do to help keep all ages involved. I am a BIG believer in everyone together as much as possible - obviously there should be one on one times as well!!! BUT together is soo much more fun! We do a lot of together with easier questions, or totally different problems for the littles and harder problems for the olders all mixed together. :) It works for us.

Karin said...

I love hearing about your day with your sweet kids! You are all so blessed to have each other. :)