*Be sure to read to the bottom for a giveaway!!*
Many of you have sent me messages asking how our first year homeschooling has been going so I thought I’d give a little update as we approach the end of the “school year.” For those that may be somewhat new around here, my boys are now 3, 6 and 8 years old. Before we moved to the Washington DC area last year the older two attended a small charter school in North Carolina that I loved. I had been on the fence about homeschooling before my oldest ever started school but the charter school won me over and we enjoyed our time there. When we moved to DC I decided to take the plunge and homeschool while we live here. Whether or not we’ll continue long term is a decision we’ll make as we go.
As I mentioned in my last update post there were quite a few growing pains as we adjusted to homeschooling. It was new for me to have all three of my boys with me 24/7-errands got a little more painful with whining (my oldest HATES errands!) It was also an adjustment because when we relocated we were getting used to living in a much smaller space with no real outdoor space of our own after coming from a half acre suburban yard-this makes a HUGE difference to quality of life when we’re talking three boys under age 9!!
I started our homeschooling last summer by slowly adding one subject at a time and more than once I had to scrap a program or curriculum that didn’t work for how my little guys learned. By late autumn I felt like we had the basics down and I was reading to start moving towards my end state goal-a classical education approach. I had read The Well Trained Mind years ago when my oldest was in preschool and really envied the emphasis on great literature and exposure to languages at an early age. We started Latin and I’m having fun learning gently right along with my boys.
In January the kind folks over at Memoria Press helped me choose some classical curriculum to try out with my third grader. As someone with a math and science background I felt weakest in the area of literature and the classics so that’s where I wanted to focus…they sent over the 3rd grade literature set along with D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths and I added in the States and Capitals set just for fun for my geography loving son!
The literature set has been such a blessing for us so far. It has four novels with student and teacher guides for each, so far my son has read Charlotte’s Web and we’re finishing up Mr. Popper’s Penguins right now. We’ll also cover Farmer Boy and A Bear Called Paddington with this set. I’ve been having my son read aloud to myself and his brothers and I can see how his reading has improved from the challenging level of the book and his brothers enjoy hearing the story (I do too, while I’d read Charlotte’s Web before Mr. Popper’s Penguins is new to me and going to be a favorite from here on out!) The study guides do a great job of teaching vocabulary and helping the student to develop a critical ear for the story while not being so challenging as to be frustrating. I have been so proud of how my oldest has blossomed with this curriculum!
The D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths has been another amazing blessing-I myself have enjoyed it immensely! We checked out the audio recording of the stories from our local library and if you haven’t heard it I HIGHLY recommend it-it’s read by amazing narrators such as Paul Newman, Matthew Broderick and Kathleen Turner to name a few! We’ve had a wonderful time listening to it in the car in addition to reading at home and talking about the various characters and how ancient cultures explained things with stories and folklore!
The States and Capitals book was no match for my little guy-he had the entire book filled out in a couple of weeks thanks to his geography love and really enjoyed it-he asked me if there was a version for the entire world!
As we continue to ease into our version of classical education we’ll be adding in more memorization and copywork and of course as it gets warmer this time of year we’re excited to get outside and do some nature study! I’m very excited for the possibilities ahead of us, my boys are accomplishing more than I ever hoped for and I’m enjoying learning along with them as well!
And now a little giveaway fun! Leave a comment below telling me your favorite childhood book for a chance to win a your own copy of Mr. Popper’s Penguins along with the Student and Teacher’s Guide! I’ll pick the winner on April 24th!
I received curriculum for review from Memoria Press, as always all opinions are my own!