Monday, February 28, 2011

setting foot in the homeschool store…

Ok, I did it. I actually went to the local homeschooling bookstore. Everyone applaud now. =)

Seems like it took me a long time to take this step. I’ve always known that I wanted to homeschool my children one day, but I’ve been hesitant to dip my little toe in waters that I know can be huge and overwhelming to a newbie.

You’d think that being homeschooled would make this easier for me. Well, maybe it does. I’m familiar with some curriculum authors and methods. BUT, I have boys, and I am a girl. A lot of the things that I remember liking as a child DO NOT apply… workbooks, etc. I still have to figure it out as I go, just like anyone else.

And this may sound crazy, but it can be a little intimidating when your mother did a really excellent job of teaching you at home. Those are big shoes to fill… and I’m choosing not to fill them in certain ways to give priority to other things. Am I ok with that? Sort of. Depends on the day… =)

Anyhoo…. I made it in the store. I wandered around, pretending I had a clue what I was looking at for a few minutes… and then I finally mustered up the courage to ask the lovely homeschool mom who was running the store to help me out.

After sitting at a table covered with books for a couple of hours, I came away with two things! I talked to a couple of moms around me about what I was looking at, and by the time I left, I felt like I’d made good choices. And I was relieved. I feel like I just needed to dive in and made a decision. I’d heard about different curriculums for teaching your child to read, and I just needed to get one and start trying it…

I looked at several, and I ended up coming away with… “The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.” Seth is interested in letter sounds, but he doesn’t know all his lowercase letters. He is also not the least bit interested in worksheets. This curriculum is simple, straightforward, and it looks like it takes about 5-10 minutes a lesson to do. It doesn’t require him to recognize all his letters to get started, and there is no writing required. I want to capitalize on his interest without overwhelming him, and we can do a few lessons and stop if he’s not ready right now…

I also came away with a simple book of science experiments by Janice VanCleave. Seth is interested in this kind of thing, and I thought it would be good for his reasoning ability. These require very little in materials, and there is a clear explanation of the scientific principle for each experiment. I was so tired of books that did the experiment without explaining why it worked! The Usborne Science Experiments series looked good, too, but they didn’t have any of those used, and I decided to quit while I was ahead. =)

So there ya have it. The maiden voyage seems successful. Hopefully I won’t be moving to Step 2 of the new homeschooling parent experience soon: Discovering that the curriculum you just bought and agonized over is a total dud for your kid. Stay tuned…. =)

5 comments:

Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

You have a homeschooling bookstore?? Crazy! I thought those only existed online. :)

I don't know about your science experiments, but I have heard various mothers rave about that teaching reading book, so I bet you will be happy with that one. :)

Ellen said...

Thanks, Brandy. I am just now looking through your reading blog (sheepish smile). If this doesn't go well, I may come back there... =)

Ellen said...

Oh yeah, and it is great that we have a local homeschool bookstore. There sure wasn't one in my area growing up... we had to rely on the big NCHE book fair every year. I am thankful for it...

Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

Perhaps I shall own such a store when I grow up! ;)

Please don't feel obligated to look at my blog. Sometimes books are a lot more helpful than blogs. :)

Momma B. said...

This is what I did for letter recognition: I found some flashcards that had capital and lower case and a sound picture. Then we went through the cards and sang the abc song until they could do it with out my help. Then once that was mastered I would have them go through the cards and Identify the letter. Then we would scramble them up and they would put them in order while singing the abc song for help. Then we started adding the sounds with the letters. Then we used some magnetic letters to put small words together and if they wanted to continue we started on some readers that Diana gave me from her Kinder class. Well, that was more than I intended to tell you but it worked for all three of my girls. My sister used the Bob books for her son and it worked well. Have fun! THis was my favorite part of mothering so far!