Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our 1st Month of Homeschooling

Well, we're approaching the end of our first full month of homeschooling and I'm happy to report that we're all still alive and in love with each other. My wife has been a regular superhero through it all and when I get home and spend time in the evenings and Saturdays working with the boys, I'm continually astonished at their progress.  
We follow the Classical method, which sounds impressive, but it simply means that right now our main objective is memorization. At their ages [5 and 3] comprehension is burdensome for the most part. So I sat down and wrote up a list of about 100 things I wanted them to know [and/or do] by the end of the year. I call it the Kindergarten Big 100.

Our goal is to pack their little craniums full of these facts so that they will be able to comprehend, analyze, and articulate them later on. We do this through songs, chants, and repetitive practice and games. Both the boys have an iPod shuffle loaded with educational songs and hymns that we want them to memorize. It is important to me that schooling does not become a burden to my wife or a drudgery to the boys, so I am taking full responsibility for things, with massive amounts of support from my dear helpmeet. Between the 2 of us, the boys spend no more than 3 hours a day 'doing school'. So far, the work has been blessed and the results have been very satisfactory. I hope to post some videos from time to time charting their progress. 

Here's our list: 
 MEMORIZE: 10 Psalms 
 5 new hymns 
 5 NT passages [including Lord's Prayer ] 
20 New catechism questions Books of Bible 
12 apostles 
12 tribes [13] 
20 Events of Biblical Chronology 
20 Proverbs Apostles' Creed 
10 Commandments 
 7 days of the week 
12 months of the year 
15 poems 
50 states 
7 Continents 
5 oceans 
25 insects 
25 animals 
20 countries 
20 Events of Post Biblical Historical Chronology 
20 animal anatomical organs, etc. 
50 Greek / Latin roots 
English alphabet 
Greek alphabet Address and Phone number 

 Count to 100: By 1s, 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s 
Simple addition 
Simple subtraction 
Identify 10 shapes Identify 
6 basic colors 
 Complete Packs 1 and 2 of Brain Quest Kindergarten Flashcards 

 Read 100 words by sight 
Know basic phonics table 
Learn Right from Left 
Learn currency - coins and dollars 
Write name - 
 Write short sentences [toward end of year] 
Write weekly work journal 

 Watch 10 nature videos 
Build square raised garden beds 
Build compost bins 
Plant 5 types of garden produce [at least] 
Harvest and jar 
Stack firewood 
Start a good stove fire 
build book shelves 
build fire pit in backyard 
Tie Shoes Hunting? 
Sell 5 things 
Grow and Sell seedlings/starter plants in the spring at flea market 
Grow and Sell pumpkins in fall at flea market 
Save $50 
10 items of Home maintenance/Repair 
5 items of Auto maintenance/Repair 
20 Tools memorized 
Demonstrate safe operation/handling of a gun 
Shoot BB gun and hit pie plate target at 10 yards 
Understand the workings of BB gun 
Fire safety plan in home 

 Have read: 
 Selected Proverbs 3X through 
Farmer Boy 
Little Britches series: 8 volumes? . many other books - 
 Bennet stories - virtues "" "" - America 
My Side of the Mountain 
10 novels by L'amour 
Narnia series 
Library Lion 
Wise Words 
10 of Aesop's Fables 
5 Dr Suess 
 1 and 2nd Samuel 
Mark's Gospel 
The Acts 

 BIG GOALS: 1. LOVE learning/schooling. 
2. Love the work/reward sewing/reaping process - contra-handout/lottery/free-lunch mentality. 
3. Absorb/memorize core materials of education. 
4. Exposure to stories [of Literature, Bible, and World History] 

 Tentative Weekly Schedule for Dad and Boys Evening/Sat Time: 
Fri:Bible/Life Knowledge 
Sat:weekly review

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