We homeschool. It is a choice Papi & I have made for our family. Each family needs to decide what education model is best for their family, and often times for each individual child. And, those choices need to be made each year, on a year--to-year basis. This is not about what I think you should choose for your family (I don't know, you know your own children best), or even why we have chosen to homeschool our children (which I may choose to write about in the future, but not today), rather the fact that we homeschool is more like background knowledge needed for this post.
Typically, we school year round. That allows us the freedom to take breaks as needed, rather than when someone else thinks we should. This year, however, we never really picked things back up after we moved home. Of course, there is always reading going on (the kids completed the reading for 2 different library reading programs) and nature studies for all of the wonderful things they discover while playing outside, but we didn't get back to the directed lessons and seat-work. So, we decided that August 1st would be our start date. Now, that decision was made at the beginning of July, and several things have happened since then. I am going to physical therapy for my wrist (an injury I've had for - ugh! - 19 years!), the box clearly labelled "school stuff 2012-2013" has gone missing, among other things. So, tomorrow won't be the big start I had planned. Then, as I was beginning to show JA some of the things she would get to do this year for 2nd grade, she begged to begin today. So we began.
JA worked on a Formalibro from the Prensa Libre in Guatemala. They are the best little booklets that the newspaper publishes for grades K-6. We're grateful to family that saved a year's worth for us, and JA has enjoyed them immensely. JT and I painted with water outside on the driveway. We practiced letters, numbers, and even some words (he got ambitious and asked for a 3 syllable word) and had a great time. I'm glad because he has been concerned about beginning kindergarten. His concern is that he doesn't know as much as his sister, and it has been difficult for him to grasp the fact that she is 2 years older and didn't know all this stuff when she began kindergarten either.
Now, we have added in history, language, and math. JT has discovered that math isn't as scary as he thought, and he does indeed know enough to be in kindergarten. JA has learned that school work is, well, work, and it is not just going to disappear. We're still working on her understanding that though reading is wonderful, it can't be the only part of her school day. (Sound familiar to anyone who knew me 25 years ago?) We are also working on figuring out the routine for our day that works best for everyone. Right now, it seems that our seat-work is best accomplished while JMC naps.