Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five in A Row

Not everyone realizes that I was a homeschooler - no not one of those crazy abnormal people. We were pretty normal and I did LOTS of outside activities and was/am very well socialized. Being an only child, my mom made sure I was involved in a lot of things like dance, violin, 4-H, Girl Scouts, co-op groups and we attended a large church. I went to Kindergarten and that's it. 1st - 12th grade I homeschooled. I'm proud to say that I now have a B.A. from the University of Washington and most people wouldn't guess that I was homeschooled.

When people DO find out that little fact about me though, inevitably the first thing they ask is "are you going to homeschool your kids?" Up until this point I've always said no, not because I had a bad experience, but just because I know how much work goes into as the parent/teacher and I wasn't sure I was up for the challenge.

My husband and I are still planning on going the public school route (he's pretty set on his kids toughing it out in public school), but I'm feeling more and more like I could do it if I needed too.

When I was in high school, a lot of great homeschool curriculum started emerging. I remember my mom piecing together a lot of different things when I was in elementary school. She would go to curriculum fairs and spend the day scouring the place for programs to use for different subjects - there just wasn't a lot out there. But these days, there are a ton of options for parents who want to homeschool their children.

One program that came out was Five in a Row. My mom was pretty intrigued by it and I've looked at it a couple times now to use with the Little Guy. They have a program called Before Five in a Row, which is created for 2-4-year-olds. It uses 24 classic children's books to make up mini-unit lessons.

Here is an excerpt from their website:
You’ll find an entire treasury of ideas to prepare children for pre-learning necessary for their educational foundation. These ideas are wonderfully effective without robbing your little ones of those special golden years of childhood. Those few brief years of early childhood can never be reclaimed later and many parents discover too late that they pushed too hard and too early for advanced academic achievement.

Before Five in a Row is passionate about teaching, but the teaching comes through the subtle forms of play that are intrinsic to early childhood. These lessons are the important pre-education lessons that will both build your child’s mind and fill your child’s heart while truly readying them for the deeper academic experience to come.
I'm looking into purchasing a few of those 24 books for the Little Guy for Christmas this year. Between my mom and myself, I think we only have a handful like, Goodnight Moon, Caps for Sale, Snowy Day and Corduroy. But I'm sure the Little Guy would enjoy We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Blueberries for Sal, ABC Bunny and other classics like that.

I figure that even if I don't end up homeschooling during his actual school years, I can give him the preparation he needs and spend some time doing fun activities and reading great children's books together. =)

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