Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting ready...

I am trying to prepare myself for what is to come in just a couple of days. On Monday, I take my daughter to her school orientation, and then on Tuesday, I drop her off for her first day at public school. I had a huge challenge put before me this week, as I took her to the front office. I was told that I would not be permitted to enroll my daughter in First Grade where she belongs, that she would have to be put into Kindergarten, since she had never been to school before.

It was pretty apparent that the principal of the school doesn't like homeschoolers. She would not accept any of my child's work from last year. She didn't think that she should just automatically be put in First Grade because of her age, either. So after much discussion, I went ahead and enrolled her, with the promise that my daughter would be tested and evaluated the very first day of school. Little do they know that the teacher is about to get the shock of her life. I was just testing The Oldest myself today, and she was getting 98% efficiency on 4th and 5th grade words in reading. She is doing really well in math too, even though she really hates it, she is counting by 2's, 3's, and 5's, and 10's (ready for multiplication almost!)

I can't say enough about how brilliant she is. She is one of those kids that when presented with a new subject, she just dives right in and absorbs every piece of information that she can find. Last year, being that it was just kindergarten for her, we ended up throwing out the standard curriculum from Sonlight and just did our own thing. The Oldest ended up studying and writing her own books about the ocean and the living things in it. And we did this for several months. When we go to the aquarium, she is able to look at a skeleton of a shark's mouth, and tell you exactly what kind of shark it is. She is amazing.

On the other hand, I am doing my best to get prepared for a year of homeschool with The Middle. She is ready. She is set. She is just waiting for me to go, go, go! I chose a different curriculum for her for Kindergarten this year, and I think that it will suit her nicely. My Father's World has lots of hands on activities for her and I to do, and it is slow paced, and very investigative, kind of like The Middle. Our very first 10 days, we will study God's 7 days of creation and then we launch into unit studies that go along with the letters of the alphabet. This is going to be so great!

I am, however, at a loss of my homeschooling room this year. So, I am going nuts as to what to do with our work space since the house is on the market for sale. I have secured a bulletin board of decent size, and have decided that it MUST be used. Classrooms have bulletin boards. That is just how I think about it. So, I have this bulletin board in my dining room, that gets stored behind the china cabinet when school is over, and pulled out when the morning routine begins. In theory, this should work, but we all know how theory goes.

How are yall's school plans coming along? Are you getting ready?


poetry4Him said...

Hello beautiful dahling one!!! Thank you for visiting my blog. I thought I would just get one going, like you, to keep my brain in gear and keep it from going to mush. I am just now learning to upload pics and it is difficult!!!! Goodness gracious I have spent more time on this computer than I care to admit!! Puleasssse could some techno guru make this a little easier????

Oh well, I have been sick and CRANKY!! I apologize! Good to see you girl!!!

Love you bunches and bunches!


Scooter said...

Jenny ~ I thought of leaving another comment on the other thread, but this seems to make more sense. I wanted to add another perspective to your misgivings (is that the right word) about enrolling your oldest in kindergarten. Here's my take:

When the Middle was 4 and in preschool, she was so obviously ready for kindergarten is wasn't funny. She could read and write and do math. Our state laws say a child must be 5 by August 31 to be enrolled for that upcoming school year, and she missed it by two weeks. I struggled ... I didn't want her to be bored, and her preschool teachers said they'd go to bat for me with the school to get her in early.

Then I talked to my husband's stepmom, a 2nd grade teacher for 39 years, and she said, very calmly, "don't do it". In her vast experience, she shared that it was always better for a child to be bigger, more advanced academically and socially, more mature than their peers. I took that advice, and was able to continue to stimulate my daughter with books and trips and all kinds of stuff. Now, as she heads into middle school all these years later, she is taller, more mature, and at the very tip-top of her classes. Her teachers adore her, and school has been good for her. Any time I've felt she wasn't being challenged, I was able to nudge the teacher or do more at home. She's well on her way, because I was patient enough to listen to the voice of experience.

I know ... long-winded, and shut up already, right? I just wanted to encourage you that if the school decides to leave her in kindergarten, it's not the end of the world. She will be the smartest, most mature, and advanced student not just now, but in the years to come. That, dear one, is a good thing.


Hilary said...

I think you are doing the right thing. Some very wise and experienced people have told me more than once not to rush Leah's education because she is smart. Education goes beyond book learning - the experience counts too. Maybe even more than the book learning. You are a great mom. :-)