Monday, August 31, 2015

School at Home

Telling people we homeschool can get interesting.  I often chuckle at the responses.  Speaking with other homeschool parents lets me know the response to identifying as a homeschooler are similar. Many people think state licensure is what qualifies a teacher to teach. Parents who teach their own cause a glitch in the matrix of what is familiar.

Some people ask if I have someone to tell me what to teach or they say they could never do that or they say "I work!"  I never respond that I also work.  Telling people you homeschool is like telling people you breast feed your 1 year old, only eat organic or don't eat/wear animal.  

I like that homeschool allows us to tailor the lessons to the needs and abilities of the kids.  Grade level/age aren't our guide and the kids have time to master subjects and they don't have to worry about a clock or a calendar.

  We're doing "The Life of Fred- Apples," as part of our math.  Apples is the beginning of the math series and the kids and I really enjoy it.  The authors of the book say that completion of The Life of Fred prepares kids for the 3rd year of  college math.  
We are still doing Singapore Math TR is working on 4th grade work except for handwriting which is 2nd grade.  QT is 1st grade but  he's also 5 years old so we're keeping things relaxed for him.   
Our Spanish home school co-op began today.  
I like that the Spanish instructor is teaching the kids how to speak the language first.  They don't have to write things down, they can focus on speaking and understanding.  It's nice that we are near a number of homeschool families with kids of similar ages.  
I think I am still pleasantly amazed that such a good size number of families are homeschooling.  The network and opportunities that exists makes it a lot easier to homeschool.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Start of Homeschool

When TR was a baby I knew I'd be willing to homeschool.  As she got older and we realized how many hours  gymnastics schedule requires, we were fairly certain that homeschool would occur at some point.

We took the plunge due to necessity.  TR's 1st grade teacher was below substandard and I wasn't going to leave TR in that classroom.  Mr A and I had discussed what we wanted in a learning environment, and we knew we could offer TR what we had envisioned for her.

After 9 months of homeschool, we are ready to add QT to our roster of students.  This year we have a lot more organized and a lot more prepared for him.  When TR left kindergarten she had a huge number of skills.  She was ready for 3rd grade curriculum. Her teacher was amazing.

QT had a good teacher  but his classmates struggled so we will have to start him working on first grade material.  He is reading and comprehending and I am grateful for that. We have a lot more work to do with him.

Our goal is to ensure our kids remain curious and view themselves as life long learners.  We want them to feel confident that they can teach themselves.  Recently an adult asked TR who her favorite teacher was and she replied, "myself, I teach myself things too."  
I was so happy that we've been successful at developing her belief that she can teach herself.

   I am very pleased with the academic progress of our homeschool program  but nurturing the resiliency,  curiosity and belief in self of our kids feels so great.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lots and lots more

I've been eating more fruits, reducing fattening snacks, and the family has been doing workouts.
I've lost quite a bit of my belly that had gotten quite large. I don't have any good before photos but I'm still a work in progress. My goal is to post more 'after' photos as I trim down and get fit. I have no idea why I have allowed my weight to balloon. I think L.A. kept me inspired and I did lots of walking because our neighborhood had things to walk to.  Here in Oakland, I just drive.

Mr A and I and some other parents have started a home school co-op.  8 or 9 kids will be taking Spanish two times a week from a teacher the parents have hired.  Part of the plan is to let the kids play and to give parents a break each week.  The parents intend to let the kids go the park for 2 hours every day of Spanish class including the days it rains. So we're sitting at the planning meeting and I zoned out and zoned back in to see people looking at me. Mr. A said, "I told them the kids have rain clothes." I said, "their rain clothes don't fit anymore."  We've been in a drought, who needs rain gear?

Anyway people kept looking at me and I said we'll get them more rain clothes. The women exhaled and went back to discussing other things.  I guess they were afraid I'd say I don't let my kids play in the rain. We're the only brown family in the co-op but having been a part of the nanny life in L.A. I know that caucasian parents sent their kids and their nanny to the park to play, even on rainy days. 
I had a brown Latina neighbor and she let the nannies bring the kids to her apartment on rainy days because the nannies did not want to be out in the rain.


I've had a productive few days working.  It's good to have a goal to work towards.  Setting new goals and redefining my work purpose has helped me get back into my business mode.  Now I just have to make a list because I want to do everything at once.