Though we have not yet “officially” begun our school year (Canadians are on a different school schedule than Americans, we start after Labour Day), we have started up some of our subjects. We notice that after the first week or so of August the kids (and mom) are definitely ready for the start of a regular routine. So 2-3 days a week we are pulling off a close-to-normal school schedule, with still lots of time for playing outside and enjoying the nice weather.
Something I have wanted to do for the last few years is find a name for our homeschool. When you name something, you give it purpose and vision. But aside from cheesy things like “Mirecki Homeschool” or “Mirecki Zoo”, or “Homeschool Academy”, my creativity was lacking, so I left it as is.
My good friends and I just wrapped up a book study on Courtney Joseph’s book Women Living Well (I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you’re a wife or mother! Courtney gives so much in the way of encouragement and challenges, along with practical examples, humour, and all with a big side of truth in love). In the last section she talks about making your home a haven, and the meaning of the word haven.
“Haven” means a safe place, a refuge. That is something I have always wanted our home to be to our children. A safe place they can always come, no matter the storms of life. Haven Homeschool just seemed appropriate after reading that!
Not to mention we have been tremendously enjoying the Growly book series by Philip and Erin Ulrich, and the hometown of the main character, Growly, is called Haven. The kids were THRILLED by the name choice :D
Meet our Homeschool Students
The Boy – Grade 5
This young man has truly grown in wisdom, maturity, and stature in the past year! He has become a responsible, caring boy who really loves on little ones. He’s definitely a perfectionist (and I used to think he took after daddy, but it would seem he’s more like me :D) and likes things just so, inside his little box and generally within the rules.
We are so grateful for his leadership as the eldest in our family, and pray he continues to grow in his desire to seek the Lord and to protect and guide his younger siblings.
JJ – Grade 3
Oh, this boy. He is a bundle of energy, spunk, passion, and a whole lot of drama. He’s lovingly referred to as our Drama King (typical second born child, I believe :D). And my oh my, are we going to have a tough time with this boy when he’s a teenager – heartbreaker and smart, too!
Though he has a propensity for the dramatic, he is also very passionate about things – especially his expression of creativity, defending himself and having his opinions heard. Underneath all that energy and fire he really has a soft heart.
This past spring he accepted Christ and we have seen such a change in his heart and desire to follow the Lord. We pray he continues to learn to control himself and use his might and strengths for the glory of the Lord.
Keekers – Senior Kindergarten (SK)
Our Namers Keekers (childhood nicknamed assigned by big brother when she was a baby) – known for her hilarious faces, insta-dramatics, New York accent on some letters and words (we’re working on that!) and love of all things pink and princess (though she has a lot of tomboy thrown in there – she’s spending all her time at the park learning to master the swinging monkey bars!).
She’s totally a firstborn – loves to take charge, mother (or is that sometimes “smother”? :D) her little sister, be helpful and play by herself (though she’s learned how to rope the boys into playing ponies and dolls with her).
Last year we started some schooling with her and she was so thrilled to learn that she could read! Though she’s a bit more of a reluctant reader than JJ (he picked up at 4 1/2 and never looked back!), she’s eager when she needs to be and I have learned to take a more relaxed approach with the early years of homeschooling.
This girl is so hilarious, I’m looking forward to getting to spend more time one on one working with her and helping her learn to become a young lady, both in her actions and attitudes of the heart. She’s tender and kind, yet full of energy and fun. Our family definitely would not be the same without her!
Miss E – Tot School and general crowd control
And then there’s this little coconut. A hilarious ham to the core, she always has us in stitches over her antics, even at just 20 months old!
She is VERY busy, but also really good at keeping herself busy, and generally not in a bad way. She loves to be right in the thick of it all, and I can see our homeschool year being interesting. See the “First Day of” sign? She’d erased half the “Tot School” part within seconds of me handing it to her, refused to hold it the way I wanted, and had dropped it in about 10 seconds.
That pretty much sums her up ;0)
Favourite animal – cat
Favourite food – Cheerios and raisins
Favourite toy – stuffed cats and baby doll
Favourite activity – setting the table and colouring with markers
Miss E is also a big copycat – she’s taking a picture with a rubik’s cube and saying “cheese” in the background. What a ham!
We have been homeschooling for 7 years now! It’s amazing how time flies, how much has changed, how much we have learned and grown in areas of weakness and found our strengths.
Our grammar curriculum has probably changed every year, as we tried to find something that fit the needs of a growing, busy family, different learning styles, the ratio of available teaching time to independent learning time, etc. And that’s ok! We are still learning and still being challenged. Please don’t feel that if something isn’t working you have to stick with it year after year, especially if you’ve given it a good run and it’s starting to feel like a drag or the wrong fit.
What I am looking forward to the most in homeschooling this year is teaching Keekers to read, helping the boys become more independent, nailing down our literature, writing and history curriculum (all new this year!) and really getting on top of planning activities for Miss E to help her be involved but also occupied when I need her to.
That’s our Haven Homeschool 2014 overview!
What are you looking forward to the most for your kids this school year?
This post is part of a series blog hop on Not Back to School going on at the iHomeschool Network Blog.