"Shouldn’t you be in school?"

It boggles my mind that at least one person asks B that every time we are in public on a weekday. And 9 out of 10 times, it is the cashier or check-out person that asks. I may be curious about the situations of strangers when I see them out in public, but I certainly would not go up to them and ask them personal questions. Maybe the asker is just protecting his or her immune systems and wants to know if I am dragging my sick child out in public. Perhaps some people feel they have a right to know everything about everybody due to so many reality TV shows and a media that does not respects any boundaries. But there are plenty of school-aged kids roaming about and if someone will ask my son, they are probably asking other people’s children, as well. So, if you got the same answer from a few people, wouldn’t you get the idea that there is a good number of homeschoolers in the area and then not need to ask any other kids? Or maybe at least phrase it differently, like, “Are you homeschooled?” That would be better than the accusatory tone used when they ask B, “Shouldn’t you be in school?” Maybe there is a rampant truancy problem in our county so the school system has deputized volunteer truancy offers in every store. ;o) Who knows.

The first 4 months of homeschooling were filled with discovery and trial-and-error. I didn’t want to invest tons of money in curriculum that did not work for us, but I felt I needed a little more than what I had on hand. One of my new homeschooling friends, T, is a “veteran”. She’s been HSing for at least 5 years and her style is classical. So she is very curriculum-based and teaches her children several subjects each day. She recommended a great book to me: 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy. The book helps you define your teaching style and figure out your child’s learning style. Once you do that, you can match them with her top 100 picks of curriculum.

I picked out one that looked interesting, was not expensive and said it covered Art, Science, Math and Social Studies. It’s called Five In A Row. When it arrived, it was not as challenging for B as I had hoped. But it is something we can do together, everyday, while snuggling on the couch, and that is very important to B’s well being. :o) It only cost $35 so it is not a huge loss.

I chose a math curriculum that was more expensive, Math-U-See. Although I was eager to get started with it, I decided to put it on my Christmas list and my parents got it for us. Ben really likes Math-U-See! In addition to the workbook, it is hands-on with blocks similar to LEGOS. The other book I bought that has worked out well is the Handwriting Without Tears. B’s handwriting has really improved with that.

Also for Christmas, my parents bought B a DSi XL. My brother gave him 2 games – LEGO Harry Potter and the Scripps Spelling Bee. A friend of mine gave B a Math game, as well. When he opened the Harry Potter game, he played it for 3 days straight; however, he has not gone back to it since. He just LOVES the spelling bee and math games! We’ve had difficulty with B’s laziness when it comes to reading. He does not want to take the time to sound out new words. He’ll glace at a new word, see a couple of letters in it that belong to another word he already knows and just say the known word and move on. But then he has no idea what he is reading! I make him go back and sound out the new word. He would just prefer that someone read to him instead of him reading it. However, once you read a book to him once, he can then go back and read it to himself b/c he has heard all the correct words. But I want him to figure new words out on his own. Well, this Scripps Spelling Bee game has done the trick! He is learning how to spell and read so many new words and having fun at the same time. And I know he will get great pleasure out of all the levels in the math DS game, too, as we progress through our Math-U-See lessons.

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