HOMESCHOOL

 

So, we homeschool now. We’re pretty new to it. In fact, four years ago, I can remember the exact conversation in which I told a good friend that I would never homeschool my kids. But here we are. While I’ve got some hesitations, I’ve loved using my teacher brain again and look forward to sharing snippets of the coming year here.

A happy moment from our first day of homeschooling.

A happy moment from our first day of homeschooling.

Rapid-fire Q & A:

What kind of curriculum are you using?

We’re following a Charlotte Mason method, using Ambleside Online for our content areas, and I’m pulling from my own past classroom teaching materials to teach math and reading, with an eye towards Minnesota kindergarten state standards. Honorable mentions: good books, playing, and being outside.

How old are the kids you’re homeschooling?

I’m currently doing kindergarten with my six-year-old son. My four-year-old daughter joins in for our Bible time and tea / story time, but then I leave it up to her if she wants to participate in anything else.
She is in preschool a couple mornings a week, and baby girl gets tired!

Why is your daughter attending a preschool if you want to homeschool?

I think it’s super important for kids to have a construct of what school is and what it isn’t.
That way, when I tell my kids it’s time to do school, they get the general idea that this isn’t a free-for-all.

Are you a Homeschool Forever in a “Texas Forever” kind of way?

No. We’re taking this one year at a time, one kid at a time. This year is definitely a trial year. If we’re all happy, we’ll probably do it a few more years, at least. If even one of us is miserable, we’ll re-assess.

Are you part of any kind of co-op?

One of my closest friends and I started a nature-based co-op with three other moms.
It’s new, but I love this group of mamas and kids. We meet twice a month.

What do you have against public schools?

Nothing. I was a public school teacher and loved it. I look at schooling just like I look at birth, or feeding your baby, or the myriad other decisions parents make: Do what works for you and for your kids….breastfeed, formula feed, bribe them with M&Ms - just do what works best for you.

Aren’t you scared your kids won’t have friends or that they’ll end up like Nell?

Yes.

How’s homeschooling going so far? What do you like about it?

I love that we can be outside all day on these 75*-September days in Minnesota. I love that the kids and I are learning things together. I love being able to rabbit-trail into their deep questions and give their curiosity the time it deserves. I love that they have so many daylight hours to play.

What’s hard about homeschooling so far?

I was doing dishes until 9:30 p.m. the other night, and there is laundry everywhere. I’m still figuring out how to keep up with the day-to-day demands of running our house and life now that I’ve added this component to our life.

I’m thinking about homeschooling. Any recommendations?

Think about what days are best in your family. When my kids were little, I started noticing that the days just stayed home together were often our best ones. And that pattern has translated into these school days: we’re just a little more at peace when we’re not rushing out the door, going separate ways. But maybe you go crazy if you’re home all day. Talk to people who are already homeschooling, especially those who have been at it awhile. Listen to podcasts (I love this one). Read. Start with one tiny activity a week with your three-or-four year old and see how intentionally teaching them something feels (try any of the activities here or here!) If it’s fun for you and fun for your kid, keep pursuing, keep thinking about it. If you feel like you are going to pass out from boredom, start looking up your local public school enrollment dates. Just try to feel out what works for you and yours.

Again, I am super new to this whole venture, but I hope this helps answer any questions you might have!