May 02, 2012

How does your garden grow?

Why is it that every time this happens to my onions I feel gifted at gardening?

It literally brings happiness to my heart when I neglect something sitting on a shelf and it produces life.

Same with potatoes.

In other gardening news, the boys and I planted watermelon seeds and some flower seeds on May 1st.  It's a sort of super launch into what I would have called "I've lost my ever-lovin mind" a year ago, but in the last month or so, I've come to call this new adventure of ours.... wait for it... waaaait for it....


Oh snap! Sharon's done gone off the deep-end! First she didn't go to the University of Florida when her tuition would have been covered 100%, then she went and moved to another country,  and now this.

There are many many reasons why this week, as of May 1st, I chose to start preschool homeschooling my kids. But who would want to hear them all?

So the first reason. Isaac's Preschool was just a test run. And we knew it from the beginning. Since him starting there in January there were several things like teachers quitting (or being fired?), suspicion of some bullying going on from some older students, and us paying a lot of money for not a ton of awesomeness, and us not wanting to pay double the money to send Isaiah for double the non-awesomeness. (in case you're wondering what we would consider awesome, THIS is awesome... and nothing even remotely close is coming from his school)

Now, I know what you all are thinking...and you are thinking that we could just talk to the lady in charge and get answers about the teachers quitting thing and about the bullying. That pulling him out might be one giant leap of over reacting.

But what you don't know is the one gazillion cultural things at play here. The general non-questioning of people in authority (like teachers), "indirect communication" which means you don't confront, lying as a go-to knee-jerk reaction to save face, and the language barrier where NO ONE would be speaking to the other in their first language. Then if we could overcome those obstacles to find the truth AND find some sort of satisfactory compromise that would make us feel good about the amount of money we were spending for a program that seems lack-luster on average, there's the "Your white kid gives this school status and we don't want word getting out that he's been taken out so I'll tell you whatever you want to hear so he'll stay." factor. 

Magellan couldn't have navigated through that.

Next reason is we found an at-home foreign language dvd set to help replace the "immersion" of Mandarin speaking teachers (which the bits of lessons I overheard were all in heavily-accented-poorly spoken English. And I haven't seen the Mandarin teacher for over a month) I give credit to the symbols he's learning in his workbooks, but to be honest the lady on the free iPad app is doing a fair job of keeping up with those at home!

On top of that, Isaiah is showing signs of a possible speech impediment. No details needed, but the environment that is Isaac's preschool would not be conducive to helping him grow in his speech abilities.

Not that we feel the need to justify any of this to anyone, but there ya have it. 

But those are just the reasons to not send my Mini-men to preschool.

On the positive side, the Lord has done what only he can do and has changed this ol' heart of mine. Instead of just yanking them out and watching Disney movies all day, every day (which has it's appeal, no two ways), the Lord has been laying down heavy the gravity of how big a deal it is to be the Mama to these Crazies...

Maybe preschooling my kids at home won't make them weird or be awkward in every sense of the word?
Maybe preschooling my kids at home can be a chance to not just learn ABC's and 123's but to also dig down deep and plant a God-sized faith in them from an early age?
Maybe planting that faith at an early age is EXACTLY what I should be doing?
Maybe I'll learn more about my kids and their personalities by teaching them school-type stuff?
Maybe I can use preschooling at home as an excuse to take my kids on really awesome "field trips?"
And maybe, just maybe, I won't start wearing socks with my sandals, broom skirts, and letting the eyebrows grow together in the middle? (anyone else associate homeschooling with the Amish?)

I have no pics of our first 2 days of preschooling at home. Besides the hypertension-inducing gardening we did on day 1, we went for our first swimming lesson (also taught by Yours Truly) today after making Alligator shaped "A's".  And I'm needing to figure out how to teach a kid who has to touch and eat everything he sees.

We've got a long way to go, but as I'm sure this will come up again on the ol' bloggeroo, I didn't want you all to be in the dark.

I'm preschool, homeschooling my boys.
I have not lost my mind.
I don't have it all together, but am actually excited about it.

And to prove it's really me writing this, we are having to figure out budget for 2013 which will include Isaac's kindergarten year... and we're researching schools around here to see what's out there.  Hopefully we'll find something that will work for him!
See? It IS me.

Here are some of the resources I'm using to get started... baby steps, folks. Baby. Steps.

Foreign Language- "Little Pim" which has an iPad app too, plus we live in Asia and can get easy exposure. We are doing Mandarin, but if it goes well, I might get the Spanish one too for when we're back in the states.
Bible Based Curriculum - 1+1+1=1 Christian Homeschool Mom who puts a lot of free stuff online- we are doing the "Rock Stars" curriculum.  I follow a lot of her links to get other ideas.
Basic Curriculum Units- I chose the "Garden Pack" on 1+1+1=1 as our first unit of fun learning. Just thought it was something I could manage. She does a good job of matching reading books with her packs...makes me miss living in the US with access to cheap Amazon shipping rates!


Heather Diaz said...

Love you Sis. You're gonna rock preschool homeschool. No doubt.

Emily said...

Every time things that aren't "supposed" to grow in my house, do indeed grow, I get REALLLLY creeped out for some reason. LIke I'm being invaded.

Is that weird? Anyone with me?

roger and courtney said...

This school stuff just sends me into a bit of a panic. So many different issues to think through and choices to makes. Ugghh...

Brandon and April said...

I want to be in your preschool homeschool. For real. Can I be four again, please?
You are gonna rock at it.
Will reference this again for all of your fun links. :)

Jason and Charity Palmer said...

I'm glad to hear your thoughts on this! And I agree with the above comments...I think you'll be swell! I'm interested in checking out this "Little Pim" app...think I'll go do it right now. Keep up the good work, mama!

Elizabeth said...

Preschool homeschool. You've totally got this one. Looking forward to seeing pics of all of your fun!

Bummer that Charity and I aren't learning languages that Little Pim offers. I was getting excited about the possibilities of it, but it's still exciting to know that we can hopefully use it for Spanish in the States one day. :)

Anthony & Sharon said...

The language we speak is 'bahasa melayu' and also isn't offered. So we just picked the next-most helpful one...that when China takes over the world and/or we go to Disneyland Hong Kong, we figure it'll come in handy!!