Happy new week everyone! In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that we intended to begin homeschooling our son this week. Our decision to home school him was based on three factors:
- I feel bad sending him off to day care when I am at home and less busy.
- We have just relocated to Canada, and cannot say for certain that we have room in our budget for private pre-K. While we can afford it today, we do not want a situation where we have to pull him out of school because our budget can no more support the costs of pre-K/day care.
- I have always wanted to teach, so why not start with my own? Honestly, I never thought I was a good teacher but recent events suggest otherwise 🙂 I guess this will be the real test of my patience and teaching skills. If anything, I will become a better teacher at the end of the school year, so bring on the challenge!
I know that this is going to be a big challenge for me. First of all, I need to get back on a routine which will probably require that I wake up at 6am. I haven’t had to do this for over 2 months now. Also, given that we still have some running around to do, the schedule will have to be flexible to accommodate all of that running around, while still having the semblance of a routine (if that is possible at all). Lol.
DEVELOPING THE SCHOOL YEAR CURRICULUM
I was speaking with my sister in-law about homeschooling, and she said, “Oh! That should be so easy! I’m sure there are loads of online resources and articles that can guide you.” The latter part of her response is correct. However, we have found that the fact that there is so much online on homeschooling has been a challenge in itself for us. We sometimes feel like we are drowning in the resources.
So firstly, in order to be able to distill and sift through the information out there, we had to decide what we wanted our son to come out of this year having learnt. Analysis Paralysis was not going to hinder us on this occasion. So the structure we developed is as follows:
- We decided on a 36-week school year.
- At the end of every 4 weeks, we will have a week dedicated to recapping what we learnt over the previous 4 weeks.
- We will incorporate the Bible, and Bible stories as much as we can into his curriculum.
- We will be flexible to match his term times with our schedules. As such, if we go away on holiday in January, then rather than take a break for Christmas, we will stretch that term so that he will get January off. At least, this is the plan for now.
- We will try to be prudent with our spending on school supplies. So far, we have spent about $20 and have bought items mostly from the Dollar Store. I will do a separate post on the supplies we have bought. There is no point breaking the bank, when we are trying to educate on a budget, lol.
- Following from 4 above, and given that we already have an existing extensive children’s library, we will try to work with the books we have, only buying more if absolutely necessary. In any case, we have library membership and will also use that as required.
Since I am a former investment banker (I cannot believe I wrote that out, lol!), I think in Excel. So, I have put together the school year curriculum (well for the first 10 weeks completely, and the rest have some elements populated), as well as his Week 1 planner both in Excel. I have also now printed out the supplies we will need tomorrow. We will continue to tweak the process as we go along.
Here’s how the curriculum looks now:
And the Week 1 Planner:
There are still a few gaps here and there. Okay, who am I kidding? I have quite a number of gaps to fill out, but I will do that later in the week, God willing. I will do another post later this week once it is all completed.
GETTING READY FOR DAY 1 OF HOMESCHOOLING
Though a friend had suggested printing at the library for the first couple of weeks in Canada till we were settled in, Mr. O and I decided to get a printer. We found a Canon Pixma printer at Walmart on sale. It cost only $50, which seemed like a good deal. We also did not think it was practical to go to the library every time that we wanted to print. Perhaps our decision may have been different if we lived <10 minutes walking distance from a library. This printer appeared to have all the functionalities that we required, so we bought it.
Since then, we have had no issues at all. It sits beside me at my workstation at home, and I am constantly printing something or the other. Ever the review researchers, we quickly went online to check reviews and specs. They were decent enough, so we splurged. Can we say “splurged” for a $50 item? I think so. Every purchase outside of basic food and water is a “splurge” for new immigrants. Lmao!
It has also come in handy today as I have printed out his supplies for tomorrow. I want him to feel like he is doing proper “work” so we have work sheets printed for some of our lessons. As you can see from the weekly planner above, we are trying to integrate some arts and crafts into the lessons. We will also try not to bombard him with work. The aim is to have 3 hours each school day. Again, we will see how this goes.
WRAPPING IT ALL UP
Anyway, please wish us God’s grace for tomorrow. We really hope it all works out according to plan. It is past midnight, and waaaaay past my bedtime now.
Good morning everyone, and good bedtime to me!