Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

Edumacation like stuff

on September 30, 2008

I am a homeschooler.  So are you, really, whether your kids get on the big yellow bus and ride to a big building with lots of other kids, or whether your kids are at home, you too are a homeschooler.

It’s funny when I think back to when we first thought about homeschooling.  It was the lovely Heather who first put the little wee worm of possibility in my head.  I believe way back when I had commented how we didn’t know what to do with Zi for school.  She said, well, you don’t HAVE to send her to school… you can homeschool!

After my brains exploded with this new thought, and I cleaned up the (sadly small) mess, I started researching.  Why?  because I research everything to death.  When a new idea hits, I feel the need to read every possible thing there is about it, and bombard poor Ja with little facts that probably make absolutely no sense to him at all.

We talked about it.  We read books about it.  We PRAYED about it.  Do people really DO this?  People really educate their children at home?  Do those people end up with weird kids that no one wants to talk to??

And THEN after making that whole decision, there’s the curriculum decision to make.  Just type in “homeschool curriculum” and in .5 seconds Google will come up with about 585,000 possibilities.  So, overwhelming?  Yuppers.

Keyzia is just in grade one this year.  We’ve been taking it relatively easy the past few years.  Doing a lot of reading, playing, etc, etc…  I never bought a curriculum, nor did I feel the need for one after the initial, “Oh my gosh, what have we done!” feeling.

Grade one seemed… more official.  She was already reading, already doing grade one “free curriculum” math.  Already writing stories and you name it.  I felt like I needed a curriculum for my sake.

And then came the overwhelming crushing feeling again.  There are a lot of choices out there.  Sonlight was one that we looked fairly carefully at. b  I loved that it was literature based.  As an english major, literature is so important to me, and I love the way it winds history into reading, science into reading, and you name it.  I liked that you got an entire years worth in one shot.  That really appealed to me as well.  Unfortunately, we really didn’t have the money this year to put into something like that.

After much talk and much research.  Putting heads together with other homeschooling families that I know and seeing what they were deciding to do, we decided to focus this year on Math and Reading.  Anything else that we can add in is just gravy.

Because I’m trained in English, and also trained to teach reading (not that you need to be trained in anything to homeschool), we thought we would just read as much as possible, play reading games, have fun with words.  No curriculum necessary!  But, because math is my weakest subject, we opted to go with the Math U See curriculum.

THIS is the way that I should have been taught math!  What an awesome awesome program.  The hooligans all love the manipulatives.  It’s a reward to be able to play with them after finishing the worksheets for the day.

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The premise behind Math U See is that they BUILD it, WRITE it and SAY it.  They go on the number line from 0-9 instead of 1-10.  The first thing taught is place value.

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I am so very very pleased with this program.  The video is a little dry, but the kids don’t care too much.  The teacher manual is actually so detailed that it doesn’t really matter if you use the video or not.

I have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed with life lately, and yet the one constant, the one thing that I feel like I am doing well is the homeschooling.  I can see them learning all.  the.  time.  I love that if it’s a gorgeous day outside, we learn just as much by playing in the yard.  I love that every little moment can be something that they learn from.

And I especially love that every little moment is something that I learn from too.


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