Thursday, October 8, 2009

Introducing: The Academy!

Dressel Academy sounds pretty fancy, doesn't it?!

In reality, the instructor at Dressel Academy is a first year teacher making all the 'first year teacher' blunders and the pupils at Dressel Academy wore their pajamas to school today and barely brushed their hair (though they DID brush their teeth...that is an absolute requirement!).

Dressel Academy is the formal name for our homeschool...to be used for things like tax-exemption applications and accreditation procedures.

This blog is intended to be a record of our homeschool journey...where it takes us, what we do, what we learn and who we become!

Here's some commonly asked questions...


1 - Why homeschool?

This is a question with a multi-faceted answer. But suffice to say, we felt God prompting us to do it...and He opened the doors to make it happen. Within that large and quite spiritual answer exist all the logical things like: wanting to give my children the ability to 'catch up' academically after a start in life that left them devoid of academic pursuit and the last couple years feeling like a failure at every single subject in school because they were the worst student. There are also things like our desire to even further the bond and connectedness of our family...and how the ability of being together so much more often could really facilitate that. There was my feeble belief that I could probably, hopefully, maybe? do this...I did get my degree in Education after all, right? And the children were totally game for the homeschooling idea...which kind of surprised me! I was excited and terrified before we got started, but now, well..., I nearly entirely love it! (most days...) :) The children are equally as enthusiastic...and though I don't allow Pajama Day every day, it is nice when, on a day when everyone is feeling a bit under the weather, we can declare it a Pajama Day and get on with it!


2 - What KIND of homeschooler are you?

As I began to research homeschooling, I learned that there were a variety of categories of homeschoolers. There were the traditional textbook styles, Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unschooling, etc. As I read about these styles I found there were elements of each that I really liked and wanted to incorporate into my homeschool approach. I learned there was a term for that too - Eclectic! So I guess we are "Eclectic" homeschoolers...we do a bit of everything!


3 - What curriculum do you use?

Per the question above, as 'eclectic' homeschoolers, we do not use an 'across-the-board' curriculum. In addition, with children that are in a variety of grade levels in various subjects, an entire 3rd grade curriculum would have only been helpful in a couple subjects. So we do a lot of different stuff.
For Social Studies: I use Story of the World: Ancient Times. The kids are loving that and so am I!
For Math: I am going through a 3rd/4th grade workbook by SchoolSpecialty Publishing with John and have started over with the basics with Laura. She is currently flying through a 1st grade Harcourt Family Learning workbook...will be moving on to the 2nd grade workbook in just a couple of weeks!
For Language Arts: I am making up my own curriculum with the assistance of some phonics and spelling workbooks as well as online writing and handwriting resources. We are reading some classic books together this year - right now we are reading Tom Sawyer and the kids (and I, again) love it!
For Science: I will again make up our own curriculum with the assistance of workbooks. Right now we are currently working through a unit on space and the solar system. It has been very fascinating so far!
For Spanish: I make up my own curriculum with the assistance of online and library resources
For Bible: We are working our way through a book called "Every Day with God" as a family.
For Music: John is taking trumpet and Laura is learning to play piano
For PE: the children get this at our co-op meetings, but in addition, John is taking Tae Kwon Do and Laura is in a Cheerleading/Tumbling class.
For Art: I love art and can incorporate art projects into nearly every subject! But in addition to that, the kids are taking Studio Art through their co-op this year too.


We also are a part of a great co-op (KNEEL Co-op) and do a lot of field trips with them and on our own.

So there you have it...an introduction to Dressel Academy...and you will learn more about our journey, adventures AND mishaps as time progresses. Stay tuned!

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