First week down! :: Sprague Homeschooling


Well folks, we did it!

 We made our way through our first official week of homeschool. It's been a good week overall. We're praising God for that!

Here are five things we've already learned:

+ Co-op is the bees knees.  Eowyn getting to see her mom as a teacher for other kids really enforced the idea that this school thing is for real. Also having other children who are homeschooled is wonderful for my girl who loves to have a group to belong to. Elias has a hard time being away from his mom, but we're working on that.

+ Eowyn is, like a whole lot of other kindergartners, a gal who loves movement for learning. The activities and games really allowed her to lay hold of ideas. I'm a big fan of the curriculum so far.

+ Having activities that are exciting to Elias (but not totally exciting to Eowyn so as to not distract her,) are key to getting through some of the more concentrated bits of schooling.

+ Getting to see my girl build on new skills is seriously exciting for me. I knew I loved the planning element of homeschool, (I'm a researcher at heart!) but I was wondering if the actual plow-meets-the-field would feel a bit rough. While figuring out how to motivate my girl is something I'm still navigating, we're figuring each other out. Also, the ground work we laid in preschool really has payed off.

+ We had a really rough day out of the five. Even in that, it allowed me to see the absolute beauty of homeschooling. When you're a homeschool family, learning isn't confined to a certain set of hours. We have a 'field trip' that goes along with her unit happening tomorrow (saturday) and if she isn't able to complete her work M-F, we have saturday and sunday to make sure we're ready for the next unit. The flexibility in learning and commitment to making sure my kids understand concepts is what is nailing down this whole thing for me.

What we're looking forward to:

+ Each week this curriculum grows. We'll be adding more math elements as well as reading elements in the upcoming weeks. I think Eowyn loves seeing that she knows so much, but a good challenge will be good.

+ Continuing on at co-op. While there's only one other kindergartner in her class (the rest are 1st graders) I love the nature of the co-op and what it'll mean for her. I think being able to see what her 1st grade friends are able to do will spur her on to also try new things.

+The flexibility of being a homeschool family has me excited even for next year. We have Ben's fast pause (a month long sabbatical of sorts) that we plan to take overseas, Lord willing. Getting to do this and not worry about interupting her schooling (but actually enriching it!) is a gift I can already anticipate enjoying.

+ Elias learning right along side Eowyn. Tell you what, he is picking up little bits of information all along the way. I'm really curious how much he'll have picked up come the end of the school year. What a gift to be able to be exposed to these concepts early on. Also, he looks pretty great as a box robot. :)

+ Growing in confidence. I'm still working out kinks around when to do certain bits of schooling, juggling a newborn, and entertaining a toddler. All the while trying to keep our house from insanity. This week showed some promise for rythyms and I'm hopeful that come the end of the year we'll really feel like we know how to get on with our days and weeks. I'm becoming more successful in involving them in my daily activities of cleaning and the like, so even in that, it's been fun to see our kids grow in their responsibility.

It's been an eventful week. With Ben having to work through the weekend last weekend, and Eowyn needing to have her tooth pulled due to it starting to hurt last week, I'd say we rolled through the punches and are landing on both feet on the other side. One week down, several more to go.

To follow along on a more regular basis, follow my instagram @simplespraguehomeschooling 

Cheers to the weekend! While the learning doesn't stop, we'll be leaning hard into rest.

The Game Plan :: Homeschooling the Sprague babes


Here in Alabama, school gets started a little early. Now that we find ourselves in August, school supplies are selling out and in the next weeks kids will hike out and begin the school year.

This year, Eowyn is in kindergarten! It's crazy having a school aged girl. When we talked over what we hoped for her education and looked at our options (public, private, homeschool,) after considerable prayer, research and hours of conversation with eachother and those we trust to have a voice in the decision, we decided. We're going the homeschool route.

I think I've gone through all the emotions that are customary to taking on educating your little people. The anxiety of doing it well, the hightened stress of planning, the giddiness at the potential learning, the somberness at the weight of what we're doing. Overall, we've reached out into our community and chosen curriculum and we're all pretty pumped about this upcoming year.

We chose MFW (My Father's World) Curriculum and have already loved it. We were guided that the curriculum, like any, is lacking in some areas, so we'll be supplementing in math.  We've bought all our materials and begun a few test runs with some of the manipulatives / working with Eowyn while entertaining Elias. So far, so good.

One of my main concerns was how we were going to do this with my 2 year old tagging along. So far it's been incredibly reassuring. Having him around seems to put my girl's mindset into being the big sister and thus trying more things on her own. When it's just her and I (which I was intentional about when doing preschool work with her) she often would ask me to do things for her repeatedly. To see her take a stab at most things by herself, repeatedly, then try to teach her younger brother is encouraging. I think we'll see a lot of progress in independent learning and in actually absorbing the information. Nothing makes someone remember information more than wanting to teach it!

Since we're simultaneously adjusting to being a family of five, we've been trying to transition slowly into more structured days with a lot more deliberate outside time. We've had a few cooler days (high 80s) so we've been taking advantage. Right now we're keen on collecting bugs and examining them with our magnifying glasses. I had to laugh when Eowyn hollered to her little bro this morning "Come Elias! Quickee! Let's go outside! We don't want to miss a DISCOVERY!"

Perhaps having a little sidekick will make this year even more exciting.

We also joined a co-op where she'll be doing math, english and PE with several other kids. This was in part for her, in part for me. Having some other families committed to homeschooling and  seeing them weekly will be a great deal of encouragement. Especially so during the weeks where I question if we made the right decision.

Combine this with the field trips we have planned for the year and the couple of extra-curricular classes we're looking into and I think we'll have a good time. We're fighting busy and keeping realistic expectations for ourselves, so we're working hard to not structure her days drastically, yet still engage our girl enough so she can wake up excited (because E, like her mama, likes a little structure to her days.)

Thankfully my mom, who previously homeschooled us for a short season, continues to give her kind words to us. It's given a lot of courage and boldness to persue this in our moments of "can we do this?" Thank you being a wise and thoughtful cheerleader, mama.

We've had a few mamas, some of whom are also homsechooling, also give wisdom and encouragement. It's been a blessing to be surrounded by support.

Thank you all for that.

Cheers to making decisions "based on our hopes and not our fears."  And cheers to kicking off Kindergarten! Hope you follow along with us!

I hope to be posting here along the way, but you can also follow us on instagram @simplespraguehomeschooling for regular updates.

TWO MONTHS :: Rowan Grows