Thursday, May 24, 2007

School Bus...iness

Benjamin recently asked how old he would be when he got to take a bus to school.

"Well," Ethan said, "You might not ever ride a bus to school. Or if you do, it might not be for a while."

Benjamin pondered this for a second and then jumped back on his four-wheeler to "mow" the lawn. And really, with a Power Wheels four-wheeler Papa got from the thrift store and a real dead Suburban to play in, who needs a school bus?

Transportation was the least of my worries as I contemplated curriculum for this coming year. But a long talk with Ethan helped to ease my worries, and I think having settled what we are going to do for the year has lifted a large burden from me. This is what we will be doing for this coming year:

Bible: finish Catherine Vos's The Child's Story Bible; begin Gertrude Hoeksema's Suffer Little Children with Covenant Home's day-to-day guide. One of my friends, who is contemplating using this program, looked at my guide and commented that they expect a lot of prep work from the parents. While this is usually a reason for me to shy away from a curriculum, I think that Bible prep work is absolutely necessary for parents. I need to be well-prepared in this area anyway, and I appreciate that Hoeksema gives so much attention to helping the parent understand biblical truths.

Language Arts: Benjamin -- continue with Dolores G. Hiskes's Phonics Pathways; Lily -- continue with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons; supplement with Walmart phonics workbooks and early readers.

Math: Math-U-See

Memory: continue with Bible Memory Association's The Bible ABC's, Kids' First Catechism, the Lord's Prayer, the Apostle's Creed, and various hymns.

Life Skills: these are the basic things they need to learn, like tying your shoes, wiping down a bathroom sink, cleaning the kitty litter, loading the washing machine, etc. I need to compile a list to go through this year. I have loved Montessori materials for teaching these sorts of things.

We will also be doing a lot of read-alouds. We are currently on The Horse and His Boy in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and will finish that, along with a lot of other books. We were given many of the read-alouds from Sonlight, so we will probably read those as they are high-quality, fun classics.    

Our history will be tied in with the Bible that we are reading. Biblical history is where it all started, right? And the science will be picked up as we go. Since reading Charlotte Mason, I have very much enjoyed being outside much of the day (lately, the kids stay out 4-5 hours MINIMUM during the day). It probably helps that the weather has been unusually mild and the bugs unusually...absent. And we have learned so MUCH just from observing and then looking up what we observed, etc. Ethan has some great books on animal/plant identification and is a natural whiz at science (or, as Benjamin puts it, "Papa knows everything and you know a little"). We also have various early science books that we picked up at different used book stores, and our library is outstanding.

I'm looking forward to this!


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and links for your homeschooling. As Jamie may have told you, Gabe and I are exploring homeschooling with AG. I are going to read Charlotte Mason (I tend to do the nature thing naturally) and I want to check out what you are using for bible. I can't wait for shoe tying.

    Loving your blog. You are a very talented writer in my humble opinion. I have read a bunch of them a lot to Gabe. Love your thoughts and how you link them to Scripture especially the Psalms.

  2. when our kids were real little, we'd go to the mall at back-to-school time because they always had a weekend they had a school bus on display, the kids would go sit on it and "pretend" they were riding to school.

    that and lunch boxes

    each of my kids had to have a lunch box and one day a week I had to pack their lunch and give it to them before school started... then they ate lunch at "school" that day... LOL... I got to be the cafeteria lady. :)

  3. Angela, thank you for your very kind comments. I think you will love homeschooling, if you decide to go that way. You will certainly enjoy reading Charlotte Mason. Just take her bites at a time :) But from what Jamie says, AG is a trip and you will LOVE that you are getting to spend your time with her. It helps me to remember that I don't have to be in this for life. If we decide to formally school them later, that's OK, too. But for now, I love learning with them. That's my .02 cents!

    Carpe Banana,

    What fun ideas! My kids don't even know about lunch boxes yet, so I might get to hold off on that for a while...but isn't that true -- when we aren't in "school," the things we think we're missing out on are cafeteria lunches (BLUCCCCH!), uniforms (DOUBLE BLUCCCCH!), and school buses (and to me, there is a "school bus smell" that ranks just above fresh puke).


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