Thursday, January 25, 2018

Six years of adventures with Jude!

It's hard to believe that we've been homeschooling now for six years.  School began for Jude and I back on January 23, 2012.  A lot has happened in that time.

Enrollment: Jude was a school of one.  Now we're up to three current homeschoolers, one homeschool graduate, and one in-schooler who will be homeschooled starting this summer.

He's gone from creating faces with stickers to building (and labeling) his own spine.

It took Jude forever to learn to read - almost three years. It was a major accomplishment for him when he could read the simplest of Bob books.

Now, he's casting spells in Hogsmeade shop windows that he learned from reading Harry Potter by himself.

Curriculum: I still seem to spend a lot of time looking for the right programs, but it's nice that much of our work is fairly well organized for us.  When we started, I spent every weekend looking for work for the next week, printing it out, and collating it.  I was constantly searching for things that "fit."  By now, while we still enjoy trying new things through reviews, we also seemed to have found things that suit us well and have become favorites.

Weekends are either for relaxing or catching up on things that would take a large chunk of the weekday.  One of Matthew's favorite things are his Chemistry projects from MEL Labs, and often Jude wants in on it, too. Last weekend's theme was, "OOH, which should we do first? Light stuff on fire...or light stuff on fire?"  My overarching rule is "Don't make me explain anything to an insurance company - homeowner's or medical." Experiments completed and the house is still standing.

Bookshelves: When we started, I had a small storage box in the dining room that held a few books and a folder with printed materials.  Toys were in the basement playroom.  As the kids have gotten older, they've outgrown the oversized toys and we've taken over the playroom into a school suite.  But we've also run out of shelves, especially as our home library expands.  Last week I ordered some bookshelves, and Luke has spent most of this week putting them together.  I'm in the process of sorting and organizing, but I'm happy with the way things have begun to come together. Of course, one of the first shelves to be filled was the one with Jude's beloved Magic Treehouse books.

Favorite Activities: When we first started, one of Jude's favorite activities was cooking. Luke took up the mantle during his homeschool days, and now Celia enjoys experimenting in the kitchen.  However, Jude still has food as a recurring theme.

For a long time, Jude has said he wants to work in our family business, but he did not want to go to college.  Now that Luke is in college taking online courses, Jude has figured out he can just homeschool that, too! Six years down, eleven to go!

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