School’s Out is probably the only Alice Cooper song that I sing on any type of “regular” basis! And I’ve been singing it a LOT lately!! ….Because, schoooooool’s OUT for Summer!!! YAY!! We MADE it through another year!! Homeschooling is TOUGH y’all!! I’m not even “gone” lie!!! But what a sense of accomplishment we all have now that our year is complete. Schooling my children at home is one thing that I knew God was calling me to do even as a child. It’s kinda like the bang thing….sometimes you just know “that’s my style!” And I’m so glad He has called me to this task…most days . By the way…if my children attended public school Ruthie would be a year behind where she is and she would have already been in 3 different school in 2 different states and 3 counties and Tobin would have been in 2 different schools…..God so knows what is best for us!
I get to see amazing things happen in the minds and lives of my children first hand. I’ve seen every first letter written, the first time they wrote their names, the first time they solved an addition or subtraction problem, I get to feed their thirst for knowledge of space (did you know that astronauts can’t land on the planet Jupiter because there is no solid surface? It’s just gas), dinosaurs (did you know that there is no such thing as a brontosaurus?) , electricity, volcanoes, constellations (can you spot the star Betelgeuse-pronounced Beetle juice—which is more than 1000 times larger than our sun by the way….and has an orange tint to it?).
School is about so much more than studying for this week’s test and then on to next week’s test!! It’s about cultivating a lifestyle of learning and instead of teaching them how to take and pass a test, my goal is to teach them to learn. I’m a researcher by nature…LOVE to research (and it’s a good thing too) and I can tell that’s something I’m passing on to my children. If we don’t know the answer to something…we look it up; if not in a book, then on-line. But above all of this, I get to pour God’s word into them daily. I LOVE pointing out the constellations to them (well…they pretty much point them out to me now and sometimes find them before I can) and telling them about the great and mighty God we serve. Not only did He create those stars but He put each and every one of them in it’s place and He has a name for them all. There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone and He is aware of each and every one of them and yet WE, the human race, are His masterpiece…..mind blowing!
Ruthie has read right at 20 books this year for school (not counting the many we get from the library and book mobile!!!) Some of these I have read to her and some she has read to me… and we have laughed and cried through them all. Some of our favorites were…All Of A Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz, The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (bought this movie at Dollar General after we read the book…at $8 it was WAY over priced!! Disney should take on this project!), Helen Keller’s Biography, Happy Jack Squirrel by Thornton W. Burgess. We read LOTS of Burgess’ books this year and last. 6 of them were for Tobin. We LOVE LOVE LOVE these! We really enjoyed our history books as well. Boys and Girls of Colonial Days, American Pioneers and Patriots and Stories of the Pilgrims. The pilgrims did quite an amazing thing – all in the name of freedom.
Tobin has read 16 books. Well, I have actually read all of his to him. He was not quite ready to read on his own during our school year. BUT he did learn the sound of all the consonants. Over the summer we are doing a little reading program here. If they fill up 3 of these handy-dandy books read lists that I found here at www.kidscanhavefun.com they will get a treat!! I’ll be using those little tin cans again here!! All of that to say, with this little incentive, Tobin has started reading!! I checked out the first collection of Bob Books from the library (I highly recommend these!! I used them with Ruthie as well) and he’s gained some confidence and learned that reading is FUN!!
We’ve had a good year but it has had it’s tough moments where I feel like the biggest failure in the world and we can’t get over this math hurdle or Tobin despises putting a pencil to paper…etc. but I’m so thankful for this privilege and count it a joy to home school.
Here’s a little snippet of our year in pictures.
A sweet video of Tobin reading his first book….this was after he’d read through it a couple of times. Lilly and her “cheese”! They see me with my camera often!!
By the way, the “children’s choir” in Cooper’s School’s Out gives me the CREEPS!! Just something about a bunch of white kids with English accents and the mental picture of a dark recording studio with 2 inch deep orange shag carpet….creepy! I know that’s way politically incorrect but….just sayin’.