About Me and my Minions

I have two minions, they are five and seven. Turkey is in 2nd grade, and Goose just started kindergarten. We have been homeschooling for two years now. We first started homeschooling when Turkey was in kindergarten because we are Americans stationed in Germany, and we lived too far away from base to be on the bus route and only had one vehicle which my husband needed to get to work at a different base where there was no school.

That first year was rough and disorganized. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know what I was supposed to be teaching Turkey, aside from the alphabet, colors, shapes, and that we're supposed to color inside the lines. And I was utterly unprepared when the school year began, because I'd had no intention of homeschooling my children. Fortunately, it was just kindergarten and he did learn to color inside the lines. But I spent hours every night for the first month or so surfing the internet to find stuff to use for our lessons every day. Things that would make learning the alphabet fun (and give him lots of practice coloring inside the lines.) I printed off so many worksheets that I should probably plant two trees to compensate for it (and we probably only used half of them in the end.)

Last year I was going to be more prepared though. I searched the Google to find a curriculum kit so I could make sure I was hitting all the important topics. We don't homeschool for religious reasons, so I tried to make the effort to find a secular curriculum kit (and failed!) I thought that the elite kit (because I want to be a top of the line homeschooling parent) that I ordered would be great, and most of it was. The math was awesome, the language arts lessons were straightforward, the art and logic activities were fun. But the world history and astronomy texts were so heavily religion based that I could not stomach teaching them to my child. I will mostly leave parents alone that want to teach those things to their children, but I prefer a more fact based approach to my children's education. So I hopped on Amazon and ordered used 1st grade science and social studies textbooks from Houghton Mifflin (I think. They were the same type of text books I remember using when I was in grade school.) I also ordered some used Reading Street (I think that's the series I went with) books because the curriculum kit did not come with anything like the reading textbooks I remember from my childhood (it did have a few beginner reader books, and then three farm based chapter books in the same vein as the Dick and Jane books of old, but nothing with questions at the end to test for reading comprehension.) While Turkey did well with the farm based chapter books, he seemed to like the Reading Street textbooks better.

And that brings us to the present, when I have not one, but two children at home to do school with. I abandoned the curriculum kit idea and instead ordered workbooks and used textbooks from Amazon for Turkey, and a few workbooks for Goose. We're still trying to find our groove at the time of this writing (we were on vacation the first week of September, and nothing ever goes back to normal immediately following vacation.) Turkey is becoming a more self-sufficient learner, which is helpful, and he seems to enjoy being allowed to read beginning readers on his own (which I have recently allowed him to start doing), but I wanted a way to test him on his reading to not only ensure that he is doing it, but also retaining information. Because beginning readers do not come with questions at the end, I have been writing them myself, and that's why I really decided to start this blog. While I will post about other things we do for our homeschool, my main focus here is going to be sharing the reading comprehension questions that I have devised for the various books that we own. I will obviously be starting with the beginning readers, and once I have gotten through all of those that we own, I will be starting to work my way through my library of children's chapter books that I've spent the past five years amassing. I hope that those of you who have stumbled across my blog will be able to find something of use here.

- Katie

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