15 Jan Our Homeschool Beginning
Several weeks ago, I announced on my Instagram, that we started 2018 in a surprising fashion: we began to homeschool.
Despite being homeschooled myself, this was actually not in our plans. I believe in education and I know incredible teachers, so it wasn’t an issue of homeschooling vs. traditional public school education, it was a matter of pursuing what we considered best for our son.
Our son started his kindergarten year at a great public school with incredible teachers. As the year went on, we began to notice subtle things that we were uncomfortable with: our son was stressed and very anxious.
We talked to his teachers, we encouraged him to spend time before and after school outside, we read aloud daily, we made sure he was eating well and getting enough sleep. Academically and socially, he was excelling. But after school, every single day, he would come home so upset and begging not to return to school.
We did all the things, but it wasn’t enough. The question we asked ourselves a lot was, What do you do when your child is thriving academically, but withering emotionally?
So….we began to pray about what to do. After a lot of prayers and conversations and seeking advice from a child counselor, we decided to withdraw him from his public school.
This was not an easy decision and any time you do something new and different, it isn’t easy.
Before withdrawing him, I did a lot of research. I studied the Georgia Depoartment of Education standards for Kindergarten, I considered where my son was at and what his kindergarten class had covered. I asked my son what he loved the very most from his school. Not surprising, he said the STEM Lab Teacher and class was his favorite. I also read blogs and listened to podcasts from My Little Poppies, Brave Writers, At Home Podcast, and Read Aloud Revival.
Then, I made a list of things we wanted to cover. I decided I believed in “more is more” when it came to reading and math. So, we use a variety of resources to review new and old material.
For organizational purposes, I write down our routine and what we will be doing. I do this the day before, so we can focus on accomplishing today’s school without distraction. We begin immediately after breakfast. Throughout our school hours, we include breaks for quiet play with legos, we incorporate exercise and time outside. Probably not surprising for folks who know me (or follow my blog), there is a lot of books. But there is also audiobooks, documentaries, picture books, science projects, art and history.
This is what we cover in a day:
We begin with classical music playing, then after breakfast, I send my kids outside for a run around the backyard. Then, we begin.
Our Morning Time includes:
Daily Scripture reading
Then, we transition to:
Math (we do Math drills, Khan Academy and a Math Workbook)
Reading/Handwriting (Handwriting practice, sight word practice, spelling, reading aloud, and a reading workbook)
History (reading aloud from Kid Authors, history documentaries and audiobooks based on the moment in history we are covering)
Science (a variety of either: science experiment, animal documentaries, nature study)
Art (Art Kit from Kelly’s Kit or drawing animals related to our nature study/animal documentaries)
The Olympics (yes, we are studying the Olympics)
Over the next few weeks, we will be including Music and Geography into our studies. Throughout the day, we take breaks, we play with Legos as we listen to our Audiobooks.
Once our school work is finished of the day, we do a few chores around the house and then we truly of free time to pursue our individual interests.
We aren’t ruling out that at some point, our son may return to public school, so I feel strongly that I do my due diligence to make sure he is ready when/if that time comes. I can tell you as we are heading into week three of homeschooling, we are watching the stress and anxiety my son was experiencing diminish. He is beginning to thrive. He is beginning to use his imagination, explore and enjoy learning again.