Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Start of School (Formally at Least!)

My goal for the next two days is to finish unpacking the house so that on Monday morning everything is unpacked and neat and then (before Sunday night is over) to have a freshly created lesson plan in place to start our little home school back up with a more formal schedule (or slightly more formal at least).

This summer Sadie has been a sponge, soaking up information and constantly surprising me.  Her fascination with geography, which began with a giant floor puzzle map before our move out to Florida, and expanded when I attached two huge laminate maps to her wall above her bed, has blossomed as we visited 23 states this past summer on our cross country adventure.

One of the things I've loved about this summer is watching her understanding of the places she's looked at on the map grow.  Back when I was in grade school I loved geography.  I loved the yearly geography bee and cramming my head full of geography facts.  But despite the fact that I excelled in the subject in school, while studying and reading books, I found that the pictures that I had in my head as we traveled west and then east, and south and then north, this past summer, were limited.  The actual places we visited had very little in common with the picture I had in my head from studying them.

Sadie, on the other hand, spent most of the time in the car peering out the window and cuddling with a quilt map that I'd made her in the days before we left California, while asking repeatedly about which state we were in and then which states we'd already been to and then reciting there names and talking about what had happened in each state.  Yesterday she announced that her favorite state was California, and then Wyoming and then Michigan.  Most of the time lately however, it's been Michigan.

When we get in the car she shakes her head now and then and says, in a concerned tone:  "What states did Cabrini break down in?" and then, after a pause, answers her own question:  "California and Nebraska.  It was California and Nebraska..."

She brings up states and talks about them pretty frequently, and I love that she has a picture in her head of what they actually look like.  And I guess my memorized information came in pretty handy too, since I was able to answer her questions, for the most part, as we drove along routes 10 and 80 (and all the many, many questions when we were stopped for accidents in Tennessee and Kentucky and I felt like I needed a botany book to pass along all the information that she wanted to know).

Now to start delving (again) into the piles of homeschooling books that we have accumulated over the past five years since we found out we were expecting that first time, when I started hoarding homeschooling materials every time I saw a sale (and sometimes when I didn't because a book was just so awesome looking...).

I have to say, love the most recent articles I've been reading lately about homeschooling.  This one was my favorite.  This one was pretty great too.  

And for those days when someone I run into asks why Sadie isn't in school (yup, it started when she was barely three...) and then launches into a socialization tirade about homeschooling that is amazing in so many ways, I feel like printing out this not so little chart (source) and carrying it in my diaper bag:

I guess this whole homeschooling idea isn't that crazy after all...


  1. Oh I hate the socialization question! I mean, have they talked with a public school kid lately -sheesh. A well-socialized person is able to interact/talk with everyone they meet, not just 30 of their peer group.

  2. I'll be starting homeschooling for Susi in two weeks too. Here everyone homeschools, so I don't get a lot of weird looks, fortunately. And Susi is finally warming up to the idea of homeschooling (she always wanted to go to a brick and mortar school, because she saw lots of kids having fun on the playground). Now all of her friends homeschool, so she likes homeschooling too.

  3. In my experience, the socialization of persons has more to do with the nature of their first few jobs than anything they experienced in school or childhood. You can be public schooled and still be a recluse and an introvert - it happens all the time, and I certainly was.

    The difference is that I as a person made a conscious choice to change that, and I think my work reflects that I am a far more outgoing and gregarious person than I ever was previously. Where you go to school makes no difference.

    If it did, there would be no accreditation for homeschooled teenagers.

  4. Hey Cam! What a timely post! I have pulled 3 of my 4 kids out of the Catholic School to begin homeschooling them Monday! I am scared to death/so excited!! Please say a prayer for me! I read your blog everyday!

  5. Oh yes... I can vouch personally. I homeschooled for several years, and then for a variety of reasons we put them in school. My son has attended public school a whopping 2 years (he is 15 and will be entering the 10th grade) and will testify strongly that he was far more knowledgeable about almost everything than his classmates who had been in school all the years. To this day he never studies for vocabulary tests and consistently gets 100%, proclaiming the words to be painfully easy as he did words of that level in the 4th grade. As he has been in school his drive to learn has dropped and his attitude has worsened. No, I can't bring him back for several reasons, but honestly he was so much better off being homeschooled! If circumstances were different I would push to bring him home, but that is not to be at this time. Sigh... he says he was a nerd before he went to school. Oh yes, he has become much more like other kids and it has not been a good change. :(

    Absolutely homeschool for as long as you can!

  6. Our daughter and SIL plan to homeschool their little one (he's just 16 mos. so it's a little ways off until anything "formal" starts). They already read to him and are naming animals, colors, numbers, letters... so much early learning happens that way.

    For "socialization" they will enroll him in CYO soccer and the local swimming team where his dad swam, should he be interested in those things. We traveled as much as possible with our girls when they were little and they hope to do the same with him;homeschool is ideal for that.

    Geography rocks!!!


  7. Personally I haven't run into the socialization question much but I know it is out there. It is like the abortion-to-save-the-mothers-life argument. It is so rarely a real problem and yet it used like the standard against it.

    I haven't had anyone ask me if I was concerned about socialization but I'm afraid if they did I might be less than ideally charitable about it. I'd probably blurt out something like, "Oh you mean am I worried they will be able to socialize with people other than their own age and won't experience the trama of being bullied?" Maybe that is why God hasn't had anyone ask me yet. ;)


I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!