Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All Aboard!

Welcome! If this is the first time you're visiting WigLife, I'm so glad you stopped by! I'm currently in Iowa visiting family, but wanted to take a minute to welcome any visitors that stopped by via "The Times Reporter". Many thanks to Julie Watts for a lovely story, I'm honored to be included!

My husband, Ben, and I have enjoyed living in New Phila for ten years now and are looking for another house in the area (one with some acreage). I hope you'll peruse the recipes and deep thoughts (see Zerbik in the side bar) that are contained in this blog. I love to hear your thoughts and every blogger loves to get comments, so if you have the time, do share!

Book Review

I just finished Lisa Whelchel's, "So, you're thinking about homeschooling!" She's the girl who played "Blair" on "The Facts of Life". It was a quick read (less than a week is a quick read with two little ones!). She interviewed over a thousand homeschool families by e-mail and picked one hundred to interview by phone. She aggregated the information and created 15 composite families to demonstrate the varied approaches to homeschooling. Her writing style is casual and slightly silly, but I did enjoy getting a glimpse into the different ways people homeschool. I learned about different stlyistic approaches, curriculums, ways people make homeschooling work with difficult situations such as a single mom and people who own their own business. Throughout the book she tossed in helpful ideas such as make sure you choose a style that works for both your child AND you as the teacher.

After reading a little about the principle approach, literature based curriculums, the classical approach, unit studies, and Charlotte Mason methods I have a little better direction in which way to research curriculums now. I'm starting early, Z isn't yet 3, but I don't want to wait till the last minute to get my feet wet. As with most subjects, there is too much to learn in just a few weeks and I don't want to go about it haphazardly. The unit studies seem like they might be a good fit as I like how they take an area of interest, such as astronomy, and then all the subject areas reflect that area. So, math, science, language arts, etc. would all be about astronomy somehow.

For the record, my reasons to home school are two fold. #1) It's the road less travelled and that defines our family to a tee. It's no coincidence that we do family bed, wear our wedding rings on the right hand, and own hairless dogs. We just like to be different. #2) Most teacher's biggest complaint is that parents aren't more involved with their kids education, well, we want to be involved....100%! (I might have borrowed that line from Lisa Whelchel.)

All in all, this was a good book for people contemplating homeschooling their kids and for people, like me, who are really really green and don't know where to start.



Kristina said...

Hi Becca! I love how I always learn something new about you. So... please, do tell, what is the reasoning behind the rings on your right hands... other than being different??


Anonymous said...

Hi, Becca!
I can see unit studies working really well for you, and you being good at them, too! I will offer only one bit of experience, and that is that unit studies have the potential to be overwhelming. On the other hand, kindergarten is pretty much all one big unit study, if you think about it, even if you decide to go with no strict curriculum. For instance...say you decide this is pine cone week. You can teach observation (does it move? where did it come from? describe it!), you can use pine cones to make big letters on the floor, you can count pine cones, if you have a really inquisitive little one, you can teach about Fibonacci sequences, you can do crafts with them, etc. And that's all just the obvious stuff. But some "unit study curriculums" have a lot more to do, and a lot more legwork than is truly necessary at this stage. Anyway, I think the most important thing is that you and Z both truly enjoy that first year, so smile and laugh a lot, take a break when you need it, marvel at what God has created that little mind to do!

Anonymous said...

wait a second...did I say I would only offer one bit of experience?! Sorry I wrote a book, instead!

Chris said...

So glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did! Can't believe my roomie is FAMOUS!! Hope your Iowa visit has been fabulous. So close, and yet so far. If I weren't this pregnant I'd drive out and crash the party. Thanks for the sweet card!!

Nicki said...

What a fun adventure on the trains! I'll bet you are having a fantastic visit with our family. We really need to get over there sometime soon.

I have read so many books on homeschooling that they all run together in my brain. The next on my list is When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling. I found it really cheap somewhere and it piqued my curiosity.