This Autumn marks lots of changes and growth for our family. Not only are we bringing a little one into the world almost any day now (I’m due in less than two weeks, woohoo), but we’re going “back to school” for the first time. Back to school at home, that is! We’re homeschooling, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been reading and collecting a few favorite supplies and getting everything in place to start sometime in the next month.
I’ve been reading about different methods and philosophies, and trying to decide what might work for us. I realize that much of what I *think* will work might not end up working…but I’m at least trying to do some research and come up with a loose plan. I am excited to dive into this world of homeschooling, and start blogging about it, too.
The girls are so, so eager for “official” school time; they’re inquisitive, busy, always asking about everything. We’ve partnered with Amazon to help prepare our girls for the start of school. We’ve been using our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet for a few years, mostly for road trips, and we love it, but we’ve recently tapped into the world of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited (btw, each new tablet comes with one free year of FreeTime Unlimited). FreeTime Unlimited provides access to literally thousands of age-appropriate (so key!) apps, books, videos, and games. What I love most about allowing the girls to use this tablet is the Parent Dashboard, which allows us to hand-select content for the girls, keep track of what the kids are viewing, and set screen time limits. I’m not going to pretend we don’t have screen time in our family, and we’ll probably see a lot more of it after baby no. 3 arrives and our schedules shift and we readjust our family routine (all while homeschooling for the first time).
In order to prepare for the official start of school next month, we’ve been gently reacquainting the girls with concepts we’ve been unofficially teaching them their entire lives. Colors, shapes, alphabet, animals, etc. We’ve been allowing limited screen time on their tablet to refresh the alphabet, phonics, writing, and more. There are some terrific apps to help with this, and I usually let them use the tablet after nap time while I’m trying to get dinner ready or the house neatened!
One element of homeschool we’ll be readily embracing is read aloud time. We love the variety of books available through Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. I don’t always have the time to sit down and read (at least not to satisfy their insatiable book appetites) to the girls, and I have a feeling bringing a new baby into the picture won’t give me more time, so this feature is one that we use now to prepare and will be using throughout the school year.
Joe and I were both homeschooled for almost our entire k-12 educations, so we’re familiar with the idea of parents teaching from home, and we know it works! But when it actually comes down to it, I’m pretty terrified. It’s such a huge endeavor and responsibility. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, especially with all the resources available on the internet. And actually starting is relatively paralyzing for me. But the more I research and the more I talk with people in the homeschool community, I feel equipped and inspired. And I know that utilizing the tools available, like our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet, will aid us immensely in this new endeavor! I cannot wait to share more about this journey with you all!
Sponsor Note: Although this post was sponsored by Amazon, all content, words, and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting the partnerships that help keep this blog running.
Photos by Abigail Gallop Photography.
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