Thursday, June 23, 2011

Maddy Finished Preschool!

Well, we did it! We finished Maddy's first year of homeschooling; she has finished preschool!! It has been a really fun year!! Homeschooling is totally out of my comfort zone, and I knew this year would be a new adventure as I put together lesson plans, taught Maddy her letters and numbers, and as we spent this precious, one-on-one time together doing activities and learning.
Overall, the year went better than expected! At first, it was a little frustrating because Maddy didn't always have a good attitude about school, especially with writing her letters. I think the main reason for that was that it was something new and foreign to her, and she wasn't good at it. So she would easily get frustrated with it and want to quit. I won't say I mastered how to change her attitude, but over time, as she learned to properly hold her pencil and as she got more skilled at writing letters, she didn't have a bad attitude about it. In fact, she loves writing now!
As a reminder to those who didn't read the post about our beginning with homeschooling in the fall, here is the curriculum we used this year for our letters:

I would highly recommend it! It is a great resource for putting together a lesson plan for teaching letters. For each letter, there is a corresponding verse, recipes, craft ideas, writing pages, and ideas having to do with each letter. Also, you pick a person/people with the first name starting with that letter, and you pray for them and find a way to serve them by the end of that week. We started out pretty strong, but by the end of the year weren't doing that part as much!! I would still highly recommend it!

Here is a link to that post with more info about our lesson plans.
Part of our makeshift area for school when we lived at Tad's parent's house.

Some more of the temporary school area.

Maddy working on decorating a Kleenex box for the letter "K."

We did have some hurdles this year and there are things I'm going to have to work on:

1. If we do school when Judah is awake, he wants attention and it's hard for me to give Madelynn my undivided attention for school. I don't want to be a distracted teacher, and I don't want to ignore Judah, so either way, I'm dividing myself among them.
2.We need to make sure we have time to get school done. I think school needs to be the top priority, and I don't want to load us up with playdates, activities, and other unnecessary things that will distract us and having us do school on the weekends because we are so far behind. I really got lazy at the end of this year, and I don't want Maddy's schooling to suffer because of my lack of discipline. I really want there to be even more structure to get her schooling done.
3. Sometimes there were issues with attitude with Maddy, and it really isn't fun to force her to do school. On the other hand, she doesn't get to choose when she "feels" like doing school, or what we are going to do, so I need to find an approach that works for her and I so that she can stay motivated. It's hard when you are with them all the time, and then switch to school mode, and they have to switch gears and do something they aren't used to.
4. I have a severe lack of knowledge when it comes to homeschooling. I wasn't homeschooled, and it is all my responsibility to make sure Maddy gets a good education. It is very daunting to me, and I want to make sure she has all the opportunities (or close) that she would get if she were in school. It is still hard for me to accept the idea of homeschooling, but Tad wants her to be homeschooled right now, so I still have a lot of research right now. Books. Curriculum. Activities. Co-ops. I want her to have opportunities.
Maddy working on a recipe.

The finished product!!

So, these are just some ideas for now, especially after finishing the year, and with Maddy finishing the alphabet. She was so excited! She thinks she is done with school now. We did have a good year, and I was pleased with how it went. I have a lot of preparing to do this summer as Maddy is about to enter kindergarten!! I feel so old!! I'm excited to see where this next year takes us!!

Please note that comments made on this post should be uplifting, considerate, and kind. I understand that people have strong opinions about schooling choices, especially in the homeschooling arena. As Tad and I embark on this journey, we have to make decisions for our own family, as do you. So please remember that our opinions, or my opinion might be different than yours, and that's okay!! Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, experiences, or advice, but in a loving manner. Thanks!!


  1. I can understand why you say homeschooling is challenging and rewarding at the same time. I came to realize it's that way for our "students" too! Blessings to you on this wonderful journey together.

  2. WOW, what an accomplishment! Go Maddy (and you!). And now you get a summer break...fabulous. :D

  3. Congratulations to you both! Enjoy your time off this summer!

  4. Congratulations! Being with a preschooler all day can be a challenge--I nanny a four-year-old who was graduated from preschool early because he was so smart. That has been a challenge.

  5. Yay!! That is awesome! This next year is our "homeschool experiment" year since my older one has another school year before starting K, and I'm not too certain that they read chapter books in preschool. =p I like that homeschool can be customized to fit each family, because really, in a classroom, there is a big range of skill levels and comprehension, as well as personalities. So it sounds like you're planning on homeschooling this upcoming school year? My hubby and I attended on public schools, so we have a lot to learn about homeschooling too. What an exciting journey for us both!

  6. Being homeschooled is challenging. I was there for 8 years. I can imagine homeschooling is equally but differently difficult. If you ever want to talk about it, I'm willing to share my experiences as having been homeschooled.

  7. I'm glad you're homeschooling! Have you looked at your K curriculum yet? I'll recommend Sing, Spell, Read and Write for you to look at. It comes in a bundle of K-1st... :) good stuff...

  8. Girl, it's amazing that you are homeschooling. I honestly think that kids need much more individualized education than our school systems are giving them so I love when I hear that parents are home schooling. You will learn and grow as a teacher just as she does as a student. You got this, girl! :)

  9. Thank you so much for all your positive comments! The encouragement is much needed as we take this step by step and as I still struggle through it. Thanks again!

  10. Congratulations on finishing the year, what a huge accomplishment!! Thank you so much for honestly sharing how the year went and how you feel about it. It definitely sounds like a challenge but like you did well. I'm so interested in homeschool but we're not sure what's right for our family yet (Archer will be 1 next month so we have some time). I love that I can read and learn from you guys!

  11. Katie,
    Thanks so much!! We are just fumbling through it all, but you can be sure to read about it all here!! We are just taking it one step at a time and learning from our mistakes! God bless!