Over the last two years, I have been slowly getting into teaching Oscar. We started with letters and counting when he was 2 years old. Then whilst we were on home assignment in the UK, Oscar could join a nursery and he learned so much there! Not just songs and crafts, but also a lot of new vocabulary and social skills and the idea of school and listening to a teacher.

I had a hard time taking him out of the nursery when we moved on last December. Oscar had made friends and all those friends would stay in the same class moving on to Reception and the rest of primary school together after nursery.

My ‘boefjes’ (Dutch for ‘little burglars’ ;)), Alice sitting closest to me

Now it was my job again to teach Oscar. It was so good he knew ‘school’, so we could continue doing ‘school’. He had to get used to my being his teacher (again). We did really short activities, just things I came up with. It was a bit of a challenge as we moved around quite a bit between December and April. But then in April we moved back to Kovol and we got back into a proper routine again. We reviewed letters, started learning numbers and made maps and flags. I introduced a carpet time first thing in the morning where we all sing songs together (with Alice and Millie and often the Stous and Hansen kids joining us too). Lots of fun, but no pressure whatsoever, because he was still nursery age.

‘drawing’ with dry spaghetti, black beans and cotton wool

But now came the time for Oscar to move on to Reception. This is the first mandatory school year for Oscar. It is still very low-key and I am slowly transitioning him from playing to sitting and listening/doing exercises. We brought with us a UK curriculum for Reception and during our last break, I took time to familiarize myself with it and come up with a schedule. Then on Monday, we started with our first official day of homeschool!

Reading about a proper pencil grip

Last weekend I felt very stressed and nervous. I felt a big responsibility for the education of my child and was not ready for it!

But this first week went well; it went really well actually. We had fun; we did all kinds of activities:

We started off with a listening walk to learn to distinguish different kinds of sounds (the Stouses’ washing machine, bugs, the wind rustling banana leaves, birds, a crying child and pigs snoring) and we continued on the week, making music with shakers, spoons and pots and pans, figuring out how we can make sounds with our bodies (Oscar suggested ‘burping’, yep good one! Though that wasn’t in the school book ;)) and we finished off by making a megaphone today. We also worked on counting to 5, which Oscar can do really well, but when the items to be counted are hidden in a bag and you have to count by feeling them it was harder than I imagined! We also got ready for writing by making shapes and patterns outside in the dirt and drawing with our fingers on a plate of rice. And lastly for the subject “understanding the world” we learned about some animals and what their babies are called. Lots of animal noises in our house this week 😉

As I said, it was a lot of fun! I think both Oscar and I have to get used to the fact that the number of activities we do is more than what we were used to. I have to make sure I don’t push Oscar and myself too hard and slowly increase the time we spend on school. It also helps so much to have the Stous kids here, who all know what school is like and are happy to join in sometimes. Oscar loves doing school together with them, but they are going to start their new school year again on Monday, so then we’re going to have to do more alone again. It’s been such a blessing to have Stacie here too. She’s been homeschooling for many years already, so she knows what it’s like. I don’t feel alone 🙂 She helped a lot last weekend, looking after the kids so I was able to prepare.

So, it’s been a good first week. Many, many weeks are to come. A big job, but it doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it did last Sunday 🙂 I would love to put Oscar in school and let him experience all the benefits that come with that, but that’s not possible and I actually also see the benefits of homeschooling him, spending much time with him and seeing him learn. So I’m ending the week feeling positive, but very, very tired and ready for a sleep 😉

Carpet time extended reading books in a tent one morning this week, with Alice and Wyatt

1 Comment

Bobbi Acholl · 05/08/2022 at 8:47 pm

You’re going to do great Gerdine! This is such a fun age to homeschool but also exhausting. 🙂 I think of your family so often and pray for you all!

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