June 24, 2011

Homeschool Lite: Transitioning to the Southern Hemisphere

Right now I'm trying to figure out how to make the transition from not just homeschooling in the US to homeschooling in Argentina, but from homeschooling in the northern hemisphere to homeschooling in the southern hemisphere. It's a little tricky with the season change.

So this is what we've decided to do this Transition/Homeschool "Lite" Year...

[although this is what it's ACTUALLY looking like so far... LOL!
{credit: Todd Wilson: Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe}]


Art - nada (hey it's homeschool "lite", right?)

Music - nada  (they are not required to be taught every year, you know, at least per our homeschool law... which we won't be under after the move, by the way... insert hysterical happy laughter here)

Science - nada, or at least nothing formal. We're huge lovers of science, so we are ahead of the game here, and I rest in that knowledge. Science is never anything I have to force. They always find some science-y thing to pursue on their own, anyway. I'm sure we'll continue a bit on the dinosaur trajectory - maybe branch out into dinosaurs of Patagonia?

Phys. Ed. - finish swim lessons at the Y; weekly free swim this summer at friend's pool that actually has a deep end (very important as we get older:)); evening basketball with Papi; lots and lots and lots of walking in South America; and, you know, riding an Argentine bus could actually be considered strenuous physical activity, because you can break a sweat just holding on for dear life.

Teaching Textbooks math
Math - start and finish next year's Math this summer (the start part was my idea, the "do-3-lessons-a-day-and-be-done-by-August" was the kids' idea) - they want to be done everything before we move (I almost fainted with delight when they announced this to me); we LOVE and use Teaching Textbooks, by the way, and will maybe never use anything else as long as we and the kids both shall live. As a fellow homeschooling peep of mine says, "Teaching Textbooks saved our lives!". And since I value life and don't want anyone to lose theirs over Math, we love love love Teaching Textbooks! [UPDATE: the 3 lessons-a day-thing not going so hot... mostly what I hear permeating from the other room are groans, moans, and loud exclamations of "Curse you, Teaching Textbooks and whoever invented math!". Like I said, we'll see how doing one year's worth of math in one summer plays out, lol.].

Language Arts - both kids (3rd and 6th grader) will do A Reason for Handwriting T at the same time. I decided a long time ago I would just do cursive with both of them together because, well, I value our lives. Why get someone killed over cursive?? Beside, my boy is a boy, and my girl is a girl. Which means he is just now ready for that kind of sit down work/fine motor precision, and she has probably been ready for a while - so we'll just kill two birds with one stone there, see? Smart, huh? Maybe I'll make them do some actual writing later (like essays in cursive entitled, "What I like most about living in South America" or something like that). Maybe we'll just wait until our next Fall (March, that is), and pick up our writing composition stuff then when my son is a junior high-schooler... (okay, weird, somebody stop the aging train - mine, that is!)

I'll pick some historical/spiritual/classic literature I've been planning for, oh, years, to read aloud to them, and that will take care of that. So far I am thinking we'll attempt: The Pilgrim's Progress (Young Readers), The Hobbit, Aesop's Fables and Stories from the Bible: Old and New Testament (both Great Illustrated Classics that I can usually find for 50 cents or a dollar at used book sale somewhere).

(See how easy that was? Five subjects all rolled into one: handwriting, reading, history, literature, and Bible/spiritual growth. That's how I roll.)

Foreign Language/Social Studies/Geography - We're moving to Argentina; I think that will cover most of this. Lots of TV and cartoons in Spanish (hey, that's how I learned a lot of Portuguese - those Brazilian soap operas are really good for that). I think Social Studies this year will be mastering the Argentine greeting. Quite the study in social norms and mores, if you ask me. Hopefully I can get some video of that later on... :)

Bible - Tony went through Matthew with the kids this year. He said we'll do Mark this year. Sounds good. I do like that in A Reason for Handwriting, they copy Scripture every week. But mostly I feel we're really bad at this. We're trying to get better, but I guess Bible is just something we try to live out more than teach as a subject. I do, do, do want my kids to read the whole Bible through before they graduate (or they won't graduate my homeschool), but I confess we need to be more disciplined and purposeful in this area. I know, I know, this is terrible! We're going to be missionaries and we don't have daily devotions with our kids. Neither Tony nor I grew up in Christian homes, so this is simply not a learned habit we have. It's something each of us does faithfully every morning, we just haven't figured out how to do it daily with the kids. We were just proud of ourselves when we began to pray as a family before dinner. That was huge. A new habit is hard to form, especially for old dogs like us. :) Mostly, we don't want to be hypocrites and have our kids be able to recite 100 Bible verses with references, but not ever do them. So we just hope we live it out louder, and that will help speak for the validity of what we profess to believe and try in our own feeble, flawed way to teach our kids. So, anyway, I'll stop rambling now because everyone I know does daily devotions with their kids but us and obviously I feel guilty about it because I just can't seem to stop going on and on about it. So there.

{make a model of a cell with clay}

I'm not big into accelerating kids academically just to accelerate them and make us look really smart, but I've decided that accelerating a bit this summer is better than taking a year off and them being "behind" or having to "catch up" (whatever that means). This way they can be done their school year by Argentina's summer break, which will be by December this year. Sweet deal. We plan to do LOTS of stuff this summer (again, meaning December :)) like Christmas outreach, a mission trip with CCC to the Mapuche, lots of ministry and evangelism, hopefully begin showing the JESUS film, or starting up our own ministry. We can do so much there, we will just have to see how it all unfolds. SO, all that to say, I don't want to have to be homeschooling come summer in the southern hemisphere. I want to us all to be free!

Which we are, anyway... Because there's no restrictive homeschooling law in Argentina.

Let me rub that in some more... THERE'S NO RESTRICTIVE HOMESCHOOLING LAW!

I love that.

(Did I mention there's no homeschooling law?)

So, we'll be free... ahhhh. I've dreamt about this moment for six. long. years. Free, free at last to homeschool the way we want to, and not have to jump through restrictive, suffocating loops. Ahhh... I'm so excited.

So that's our homeschool "lite" year in a nutshell.

{credit: Todd Wilson}


1 comment:

Denise said...

I love Todd Wilson. I swear he must be a fly on our wall!

My only problem with Teaching Textbooks is that they only do math. Why can't there be Teaching Textbooks for *all* subjects??

Oh yes, and I'm still jealous over that no homeschooling law thing. I'm working on it, but the jealousy is definitely still there. :)

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