Monday, September 15, 2014

Trinity Academy

   For school transcript purposes, we chose a name for our homeschool going forward. In our state, a homeschool is treated like a private school. We'll be known as Trinity Academy. So many threes and that includes the number of reasons we chose it ;-)
1. All of the boys' education is based on the  Holy Trinity- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2. God has put in our heart that three is the number of children He has in store for us.
3. Our scripture verse we chose is from Micah 6:8 where God has three instructions for us. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

   We chose My Father's World kinder curriculum this year for our oldest guy.  The following reasons played in to our decision: 
1. The subtitle 'Seeing the world through God's eyes' pulled me in
2. It's a play based faith learning curriculum which is great for 3 hands-on, body moving boys
3. With three kids this year, I was ready for a full on box curriculum where I'm not pulling from multiple sources
4. Living book based with fiction and non fiction 
5. Integrated unit studies that include science, literature, bible, math,  writing , history, critical thinking etc etc
6. Light for kinder and 1st. Umm he's not quite 5, learning is not a race for us, but a journey . We may repeat next year or stretch it out over the next two years.
7. It's very missions focused through 12th grade. 
8. Seeing every day objects that will remind our kids of God, who He is, what He's done for us and what we can do for Him and others to say thank you
9. MFW Has a GREAT format for families with multiple kids

   We have loved ABC Jesus Loves Me for help with direction in preschool books, activities, crafts and play ideas for the last three years . We'll incorporate that still for our 3 year old, in addition to any MFW ideas I can tweak to be age appropriate .  It's also God centered play based learning .We actually heard about MFW through that group since they are  so similar . 

   We aren't ruled by the curriculum but use it for structure, schedule and inspiration . We supplement, skip or rearrange as what suits my teaching style, the boys learning styles and our family needs . 

   In case you're new to the blog and are curious as to why we homeschool at all and plan to do so for the foreseeable future; it really comes down to one reason:
1. My husband's fluctuating work schedule . If we did the traditional preschool then either public or private school , our boys would go days with out seeing their dad and we are just not ok with that. This happens several days a week, which fluctuate and he can't dictate which days. He starts work from home in his office around 11 and ends at 7. Our boys have a 7:30 bed time , that quality time math is just dismal.  When our oldest first reached preschool age, my husband was at a different job and we just couldn't afford the tuition. Once I started researching all the options, I started doing learning for a quarter of the cost at home. Once his job changed, the money issue was solved, but then it became a time issue. Sure, we miss out on being part of our church's preschool crowd, but it just wasn't a fit for us. Now, I love what we do and what it adds to our family.

   We don't judge what is best for others as we don't want what's best for our family judged either . We can't control comments from others either , but are confident in our decision after much prayer, discussion and research. We aren't supposed to be carbon copies of each other. Every family has different challenges, gifts and circumstances. Differences aren't a threat, living life at any one else, or about judgement. It's not a rejection or about excluding others. It's a healthy normal part of living life on planet earth. Talking about someone else's education decisions with respect and love is always welcome. Our educational decision is one part of our lives. We don't gain our worth, identity or salvation from it, it's just what works for our family . 

   Homeschooling has been a blessing to us (yes, these benefits can be present no matter your choice , but I can't speak to the others since we've never done them) in the following ways:
1. More family time. 
2. Watching my boys play, learn and work things out during the day.
3. Being the main influence for character, manners, faith and discipline.
4. Different age groups and how that reflects real world. Most of my friends are 5-10 years in age difference from me and I love them dearly.
5. I have grown nieces and nephews as I'm an older mom with little ones. I've seen how fast they grow. I want to see these little faces the most. The longer I do this I admit, I'm selfish and don't want someone else getting to be with them all day as the influence that spends most of the day with them.
6. We have multiple food issues, one that is still new and this gives me time to figure out what works best for our family . 
7. Slower, more organic natural pace to our lives and schedules . 

Challenges this year: 
1. Being in the minority, we aren't close with anyone else who does this. It can be a bit lonely. Thankfully, we do have several friends who do our church's preschool and are available for play dates during the week on their home days. We are looking forward to joining a coop next year when we qualify with having at least a 5 year old in September. Also, in the next couple years sports teams, instrument lessons etc will come in to play as well.
2. This curriculum has 6 day learning units and goes in phonetic order. Both of those were new for us this year. We decided to do 5 units, 5 days a piece and roll that 6th day of each proceeding unit in to a review week. We'll still have the same amount of learning days that way with out having a new unit start on a different rolling day each time.

   With only having two kids of preschool learning age, we are able to do our learning when #3 has his morning  nap. He's a great sleeper and this gives us 1-2 hours which is plenty of time to cover the 5 or 6 items on our daily agenda. The two big guys are used to this schedule and flow smoothly for the most part because this is their norm. We have our challenges sharing , taking turns, waiting. We have interruptions, and consequences that take precedent. As I tell the boys , all kids have their main job as learning . Some kids go to a building during the day and some don't. Simple as that. 

   Nope not getting paid for this post or doing what we do, well monetarily anyway. No mom does ;-) In case you are wondering, both my husband and I were public school educated and enjoyed our experience.  I am working out some issues not that I'm blogging via phone, please bear with me.

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