I am super excited to be starting our first year of full-time homeschool. Tractor Man will be in Kindergarten and it is a very exciting time for both of us. He gets to really dive into his education and I finally get to make lesson plans and be a teacher again.
The biggest obstacle that I have found with homeschooling, aside from the overly high expectations of mom, is my yearly school budget (here is my Kindergarten Checklist). Last year I really did not have to worry too much as I was able to purchase everything that we needed for a solid introduction for under $350 (see this post if you are interested). Prior to that I was a public school teacher and I was given a decent budget to work with, plus I was able to utilize grant money to cut costs for students. A full-time school year at home is new to me.
My goal for the homeschool conference this year was to get Tractor Man’s books and supplies for under $400. I had no idea if that was going to get me anywhere close but I was hopeful.
I was able to get all of his main books and keep within that budget. But to be honest I really felt that my curriculum was lacking fun in a big way. I had reading, writing, math, science, and all of those good things but I needed something to really engage him. Something he could find fun in while not really noticing he was still being educated.
If you saw Tractor Man’s last birthday picture, you would know that he loves to cook. As luck would have it a blog that I like to follow showed a link to Kids Cook Real Food. At first I was skeptical and even thought that I would never need to purchase an online course for my child, after all I’m a teacher and I cook three times a day so I can handle this.
After looking at her online information that is provided I realized that the instructor is someone just like me! She is a former teacher, turned stay at home mom and simply wants her kids to have a solid foundation in life skills so they don’t go to college and live on Ramen Noodles.
The style of teaching is very Montessori based and stated in a way that is easy for kids to understand. So easy in fact, that Tag Along now can get the measuring cups and measuring spoon that I am asking for. He is only two! I cannot remember but I’m pretty sure I never could have done that for my mother when I was his age.
After seeing just that one lesson on the measuring spoons and measuring cups and how the kids responded to it I decided this was something we would do as a family. We decided to purchase the lifetime membership. This is good for forever and gets us all three levels of the cooking courses. My kids are little so this just makes sense. And honestly at under $70 how can you not.
We are able to use the course as much as we want. The instructor also strongly encourages those that purchase the program to share it with others. We are planning come September to do mini-cooperative lessons with a neighbors’ children. How amazing is that?!?!
I’m thrilled to say the kids are looking forward to the class and are learning a ton as we go. We are going very slowly right now and practicing each skill for several weeks before we move on. I want to make sure that Tractor Man has the directions well ingrained in his head before we move on to the next step.
It is thrilling to see him making his own food. A new sense of independence has come into his life and now Mom is no longer needed for peanut butter sandwich making (although we did have to talk about not licking the knife and using it again).
I can comfortably say that I really look forward to our educational choices for the coming school year now. Tractor Man will be learning all of the basics and several life skills as well. Being able to watch my children grow and learn is amazing and I look forward to what they can do in the kitchen soon too.