Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hi ho...

...Hi ho. It's back to work we go! Go on and whistle. You know you want to.

Unschoolers who plan? Real Learners with exceptions? Oh, I don't know what we are. But that's OK. We like to live outside the box and think labels are only good for washing instructions.

Our school year begins tomorrow so normally I would be spending all day at the learning table trying to figure out what the heck we are going to do. This year will be different. I think I am a fairly creative person so I am allowing myself the opportunity to be a little more creative with my teaching. I want to figure out my children's learning styles and really cater to them as individuals. That freedom is one of the the arguments I use most to defend homeschooling and promote it, so now it is time to really explore it.

This summer I discussed the naming of a home school with some of my Forum Friends and thanked the Good Lord that Texas is such a homeschooling friendly state. Some of the hoops these ladies have to jump through would land me in the loony bin which is probably what the law makers hope all that hopping will do! From these conversations (and a good amount of prayer) we have placed our home school under the patronage of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. At our Blessing Mass, Father blessed a couple of pictures for us and I am hoping Bl. Pier will guide us by his excellent example (and prayerful intercession) to be "in the world but not of it".

We are switching math programs for the second time but this will be the last. We started with Saxon which I liked, but felt overwhelmed by, switched to MCP based on some advice from CHC and have liked it so far. However, Husband has a co-worker who works in the finance department (read: liked math enough to voluntarily study a lot of it) and has been hearing him rave about Math-U-See. We have decided to try it. The children are very excited about it and so am I but should it not fit well with our family, we will head back to MCP until we can move to upper level Saxon. I am not expecting it to fail, it's just that math is one of those subjects that I don't want to "mess around" with.

History and Science are going to be done as a family group with the biggest focus on having fun, hands on experiences, exploration, and, oh yeah... FUN! I really want to do a history time line and have a 17'x12' wall just begging to be covered in paper. I am determined to overcome some perfectionist tendencies that have been holding me back and JUST DO IT so I expect everyone here to keep bugging the heck out of me until I do it checking on our progress.

A few extracurricular activities this year are going to be new adventures. Our first Blue Knights & Little Flowers Club meeting was Friday night and the kids had a blast. The Professor was a little concerned that he wouldn't find it very interesting, but considering he carried around his newly crafted shield all Saturday morning, I think it safe to say he enjoyed himself. There is also a weekly PE group getting together at a local park and possibly a monthly book club depending on the capability of the hostess (yikes!) and the interest level generated by our upcoming meeting.

I look forward to starting off the liturgical year with Cay's Catholic Mosaic and hope to incorporate more Real Learning into our lives. But time lines and math manipulatives aside, what I am most excited about is getting to begin my year as a member of this wonderful community of like minded moms who have encouraged me, restored my confidence and taught me that successes and trials come one at a time and should be faced that way.

So here we are, jumping in feet first and hoping we don't find our knee caps at the bottom of the pool!

*Husband brought the pencil in the picture above home for me as his sweet way of saying he respects the job I do here. A little teacher appreciation from the principal. No paycheck in the world could convince me to give this up.


  1. We're trying Math-U-See for the first time this year, too. We're trying to learn which color is which block with out counting them, but I think we've got it down.

  2. Saying a prayer for your new year! I hope it is a wonderful one. :)

  3. No cricket chirping here, Matilda; this is a great post. As always, I love the ease of your narrative as much as I appreciate your sound advice.

    Still can't convince my husband to let me try Math-U-See, though.


    PS. Tell your husband that his (your) pencil made for an awesome photo illustration!

  4. I'm glad the Prof had fun on Friday. I was a little concerned for him too, since there are mostly younger boys in the group. Glad he's going to stick with it. We'll try not to be too lame for him!

  5. Daddio,
    The benefits of being homeschooled are that I don't think he really thinks of these things as "lame" yet. I think he was being his usual self... say no first and ask questions later.

    He had stuck it in a bag of pencils that he brought home for the kids and didn't know that I had noticed it until I showed him the post. I think he was pleased to see his surprise prominently displayed.

  6. We start next Monday, along with the big boys. Have a good first week! We're waiting for the "PS" man to bring our books so mama can get planning! (Fortunately most of it is planned for me.)

  7. I love the pencil and the story behind it even more.

  8. Yay! We love Bl. Pier Giorgio over here! He's awesome, isn't he? Blessings to you all in this new school year.

  9. Your year sounds great. We use Math U See here and love it. I hope you will too.


  10. Matilda
    Sounds like a lovely year planned:)

  11. Love this post. You have a great sense of humor, Matilda.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!