Keith and I have been discussing educational options for Little Man. He will only be three in January (sniff, sniff) so we have some time, but we have been leaning more and more toward homeschooling.
There are a number of reasons for this, most of them being about our conservative faith and political beliefs. Part of them are about finances – do we want me to have to go back to work to put him in a private Christian school. Part of them are about God’s calling on his life and how we think we are supposed to be raising him.
(***and just because you don’t homeschool doesn’t mean I disagree with you. this is about OUR family and OUR son.***)
Suffice it to say, it is an ongoing conversation around these parts.
In the meantime, I have been researching homeschooling options. There are quite a few families from our church that homeschool, and I taught a number of children who were homeschooled in their early years, or are now being homeschooled through high school. We have cousins who are brilliant that have been homeschooled.
I have been drawn, mostly, to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. I love Lacey’s blog and admire her use of this program. I also have a friend “in real life” who homeschools her six children using this method (and her children range in age from 12 to 1).
What I am particularly drawn to with Charlotte Mason is her guidelines for early learning. I don’t want to put Little Man into preschool, but I also don’t want to sit a three year old boy down and force him to do worksheets. I love the suggestions and ideas from the website and the reinforcement of my beliefs that I don’t have to put my three year old into a formalized school setting to launch his love of learning.
(side note: yes, he is in parents day out one day a week. He goes for four hours on Mondays, and I use that time to run errands and meet with my accountability partner. Even if I decide to formalize homeschooling in January, he will still attend. It gives him time to play with other children, do art projects, have “gym” and be away from me for a while. We both benefit from it. However, Keith & I feel he doesn’t benefit from it enough to put him in a program multiple days each week.)
But because I am a teacher at heart, and because I love charts, forms, lists and the like, I have started lesson plans for January. After his birthday, I will attempt to work the following things into each week:
Bible reading & a memory verse
Music (classical composers played throughout the day)
Reading (or book time)
Nature & Science (he’s playing in the kitchen sink with water & soap at the moment – that counts!)
Math (or numbers, really, maybe)
We won’t work on everything every day (except Bible) (I hope!) and we may not even get through all of those things each week. And I am okay with that! I just want to take advantage of his natural curiosity and willingness to learn. Plus, people keep telling me he’s really smart, and he’s like a sponge right now. I want to make sure he’s soaking up things that are true and lovely and pure and good.
And I want to instill in him a love of learning. But I don’t want to force him into some sort of educational mold.
Elaine has been an inspiration in this as well! If you are looking for further ideas for learning letters and concepts, check out her blog.