The pictures may not be a big enough clue for those of you who have no idea what we will begin this summer. Personally, I think the globe is a good clue.
If you can't tell, even by zooming on the picture, there are history, math, reading, and writing books on the bookshelf on top of the dresser.
Here's a picture of Lincoln playing with some marbles in the new room. Behind him is a poster of minerals and another of colors and shapes. Sorry if it's kind of fuzzy. I can't seem to get the focus on the camera to work lately.
Here's our reading book shelf. We've got our classics, fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Even Lincoln's bedtime stories are up there. It's our own little library. And then the whiteboard in front, of course.
And Lincoln, posing with the books and a few more posters.
So just in case you haven't caught on or aren't sure, we are homeschooling beginning this summer. At first, when the kids get out of school in May, we'll do it once a week so the kids can slowly get used to learning at home and get used to my teaching style. It will also help me get more comfortable with the curricula. In the fall we will begin homeschooling full-time.
In a recent post, I wrote about the school here. It's supposed to be fantastic, but isn't. I've gotten so frustrated with the school that I decided that I won't gamble with my kids' education and sit and hope they get good teachers next year. Granted, Jeremy's teacher isn't awful, but still I think they are watching too many movies. Too many movies and excuses and not enough reading and math. Too many classroom activities centered around Smartboards where all the kids learn is more about "technology." Lessons that easily could be taught in a more old school fashion where the kids learn more than how to drag their fingers against a wall are what is needed. It also astounds me what isn't even being discussed in the classrooms, like geography and history and civics. The closest they come is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents' Day.
When Megan was 15 months old, her pediatrician said we'd have to homeschool her because the public schools wouldn't be able to keep up with her. The thought terrified me. I didn't want to homeschool. I didn't know what it would entail, but I figured it'd be more work than what I wanted to do. As she got older and I discovered my love for writing, I realized that unless I became much more organized and deaf, I would never be able to really spend time writing my books. Unless I was alone in the house, I couldn't focus on my writing with all the kids' noises and having to constantly stop for diaper changes, arguments over toys, making lunches and snacks. So as the kids have gotten older and more kids have joined the family, my time for writing diminished greatly and my looking forward to a day when all the kids were in school full-time increased exponentially.
I only had about 3 years to go before all the kids were in school (Faye being in preschool, so only half day, but still). I was so close to having all morning to write. It's gone now. Yes, I feel sorry for myself. No, I'm not looking for people to say, "If you want to write, you'll find the time," because frankly I don't believe that's true. Yes, I could find the time, between the hours of midnight and 2AM I could get some serious writing done. I've managed it before. However, each time I attempt this, I become a horrible person to be around because of lack of sleep and I get sick more often. So, late night writing isn't really an option for me. After the kids are in bed is my time to see Nathan. Writing when he's around is distracting, too, so telling him to go away after being home for an hour and a half or that I need to leave to find a quiet place where I can be alone and write won't really work for us. Right now, Lincoln and Emma require so much supervision that I can't leave them unsupervised for 5 minutes. Already, while writing only the previous paragraph, Lincoln has gotten into the bathroom and flooded the counter, ruining a roll of toilet paper and dirtying all my measuring cups. I do have planned that we will write, or draw stories in the case of kids too young to actually write, every day. I hope that will afford me time to write my stories as I model it for them.
Saying nothing of the financial aspect of this, homeschooling will be a big sacrifice. I've gotten off Facebook in an attempt to have fewer distractions during the homeschool day. I won't be checking e-mail, answering my phone, texting, or on Pinterest. Facebook became too big of a problem. It affected my moods in a negative way when I saw certain posts and stories.
The kids are sacrificing, too. They are all sharing a room now. We took down Megan and Emma's beds and stored them in the attic. Our neighbors bought a new bed for their teenage daughter and gave us her old bed, a trundle. So the girls share a trundle bed and we moved the boys' bunk bed into the girls' room. As you saw in the first picture, their dresser is still sitting in the homeschool room. There's just no room for a second dresser in the girls' room and Jeremy and Lincoln still have clothes and toys in the closet, too. That's why I added the curtains in the picture--out of sight, out of mind.
I will have to learn to be more organized with my time and errands. I won't be able to run into town every time I need something, not like I can now anyway. We try to limit our trips into town since it takes so long to get there.
I hope to keep the kids busy enough that they won't really have time to argue and fight like they normally do during the summer and winter breaks. We'll all be in this one room for most of the school day. There will be times that I work with one or two kids while one or two are left to work on their own in a different room, but at least for science and history the kids' will be learning from the same text book. Art will be all together, as will music, quiet reading, free writing. We'll also start our day together with scripture study. Scripture study will be fun because I have multiple books for it. Bible story books, a heros of The Book of Mormon book, and a few kid books that tell scripture stories that we'll use.
I'll do a post later that will go over the curriculum I've chosen. I'm still looking at an LDS option to enrich what I've already picked. A friend who is also beginning homeschooling this fall is using the LDS homeschool curriculum, and I'm going to take a look at it when she gets it. I think I'd like to use it in addition to what we will be using.
There you have it, our next big adventure!