Friday, February 04, 2011

A Frustating Start in our Homeschooling Journey...

We started homeschooling with Sonlight as our main program since last week. When I first studied the Instructors Guide, I thought it was pretty straight forward! Read the designated books and explain some concepts and some Q&A sessions. Oh boy, when I started, I tried to follow exactly what was in the schedule and then realized that I can't because my boy may not be in the mood for it or simply not interested in a certain topic or wanted more than what we were suppose to study for the day! I also realized that a lot of thought and planning has to be put in besides reading and following the guide! I had to google up additional materials for some hands on experience to make the lessons more interesting. Need to plan, print, arrange and colour ( I do not have a colour printer!). Wow! It's overwhelming.

I am so used to spontaneous teaching and learning with Reese and never really plan much ahead but this year I want to make it a little more structured and thus more work for me. With Sonlight's program... there are alot of things to cover. So really cannot be lazy. :)

After a couple of days of trying to cover everything in the daily schedule... I gave up. We were either behind or way ahead of schedule for certain subjects. It kinda frustrates me but later on I realized that it was only a guide. I do not need to follow the schedule so rigidly. So instead of following the daily schedule, I just make sure at the end of a week, I cover everything that was planned for the week.

At least now it's more manageable and we are both beginning to get into a routine and enjoy our daily lessons. It's fun doing lessons on the couch or while having breakfast or on the bed. Even when out shopping I can show Reese some of the things we are learning! Today at IKEA, I took him to the carpet section and shown him cow hide, goat skin and sheep skin! (We are learning about 'The First Clothes'). My only complain is that I have to do alot more work but it's all worth it. Reese is learning so much the past week and surprisingly he can even apply some of the things to our daily life. One example is that he is beginning to use the word 'queer' in his sentences (Learned the word from The Boxcar Children). He even tried to build a brook and fireplace while playing.

Decorating the castle (Sonlight packaging box)

Castle nicely decorated with stars and snowflakes

Clothes line (The Boxcar Children)

Our new homeschooling corner

Part of our living room used as the homeschooling corner (Existing bookshelf in the playroom is full and we had to buy extra shelves to accommodate his books and toys!) So now he has a playroom for playing and this homeschooling corner for schooling and more playing)


LittleLamb said...

Happy Chinese New Year to you and family.

Although I am not a practicing educator but a trained one, what you have done is correct. The lesson plan is just a guide and being homeschool, you need to go according to your child's pace. Therefore your approach of a weekly plan is a-ok. Do not confine yourself to the MUST DO or MUST COMPLETE. I think you have got the right momentum. Just that more work is needed on you as you may run out of ideas/activities. Also, in the US now, educators are trying to give more experiential learning so that children have more real life experiences. Like what you did in Ikea...exposing Reese to the different type of skins/materials and if Reese knows how to apply them in different situations, then you have absolutely done it well.

Keep it up. I so admire you to be able to home school..

Luke said...

Have you checked out the Weekly K Tips available with your K program? We created those to help with hands-on activity suggestions for those who want to add them.


A gift from God said...

Little Lamb,

Thank you for the encouragement! I am trying to incorporate experiential learning into our schooling as I too believe they understand and learn better with it. We should be ok... the first few weeks is all about adjusting and fine tuning! :)

I did download the pdf file for all 36weeks! I guess my problem is getting into a routine and having more planning and work on my side... :) I am so used to spontaneous learning with Reese all this while... Anyway, I am getting the hang of it and enjoying it... Reese did learned a lot during his first week! Thanks. You should hear better blog post soon... :)

Irene said...

Hi! Wow I take my hats off to you for even daring to venture into this... I mean, doing homeschool yourself. I have considered homeschool for my daughter but that only which is run for a centre. I'm still keeping that as my closest 2nd optioon if she doesn't survive in the chinese mainstream schools.

All da best to you! Would love to read up more on your progress.

A gift from God said...

Thank you! I am not so 'Gangho' but I really do not have a choice. :) I don't want my son to suffer in Chinese School and have no childhood.

By the way, if you plan to homeschool via a centre. You will have to be very involved too else it may not be a good option. Most of the homeschooling programs offered here are geared towards self learning and therefore, centres mostly provide supervision but not alot of actual teaching and input and there are many centres mushrooming and not many are good. Good luck!