I’ve hesitated to share much about our homeschooling. For… many reasons. One that I am still a little nervous when I so publicly proclaim We.Are.Homeschoolers. Secondly, I am such a new homeschooler that a all I can offer is what we are doing, and has worked so far, but ‘so far’ is only a year and a half. We’re babies in this! I realized my hesitation was keeping me from documenting a time that is important, will be deep and heart pulling to look back on (one of the main reasons I love to blog! my baby book! for better or worse.), and? I feel like we’re doing a pretty awesome job!
Life lately has been full, rich, and really fun. Ages 4 and 6 (nearly 7…what?) are magic feeling. They’re old enough to really communicate and have intense and deep conversations with, but their big love of play and unabashed enjoyment of imaginary adventures is very much intact. It’s amazing to be in a world beyond baby; no naps! They can understand waiting/delayed gratifications/the beginnings of empathy! (!!)
We’ve been adventuring around, playing hard, spending hours upon hours reading and dancing, story telling, and reading aloud (these past two weeks we read The Magicians Nephew and The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe). My homeschool curriculum for this year is a lot of reading, and talking, reading, and talking some more. Their ability to synthesize and grow in reading comprehension has grown exponentially since adding reading aloud to our days.
Our classes at the school program we utilize are fun and engaging, and we all adore school. N is in school for two hours, three days a week and then we spend at least another hour playing on the playground with all her buddies. Running around zooming about as witches, or playground games that are still around 25 years later (Grounders! Hot Lava!), and really deepening her friendships and social skills. My big concern, the most asked about ‘homeschooler problem’, was “will she have enough social outlet? will she develop social skills?”… that is now throughly laughable. We turn down social activities time and time (and time) again in favor of “we need a home day!”. At school she is in a classroom of her peers, and after that hour she’s playing and running, wrestling, and pretending with a wide age range of kiddos on the playground for hours.
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that there isn’t a division of age in the same way that there is in a typical classroom. Children are expected to be capable of (or learn to quickly with the help of parents) playing and communicating, sharing and watching out for, the toddlers on the playground just as much as the tweens! The same goes for their adult interactions. They are as likely to be chatting with their Mom, beloved teacher, or a peer’s grandparent who is there with a friend for the day. Seeing the older homeschool kids in our community (around 13/14) help babies out on the slide and then go on to talk about new apps they like with their peers, and then join right in showing the primary kiddos how to really use the pogo stick is incredible! Everyone works and plays together. I value that so deeply, as that is a far more accurate representation of life after k-12. I’m rarely just with my peers, need to have the social skills to talk to many ages, and love seeing how my girls are learning to enjoy and engage with a big range of people.
Once we got through the first month of getting back into the groove, things have felt better and better. We still don’t really have ‘a groove’, we’re changing what works for each of our subjects each week sometimes. I’m seeing N meet goals and blow the “norms” out of the water, and feeling really excited by her. Some of the best activities we’ve adopted into our homeschool routine are; Tea Time (every day, but once a week it includes cooking and baking together). Recipe writing, coming up with the idea and writing their own recipes, or transcribing recipes from the internet. And bathtub science experiments (bonus! clean tub at the end!). I am planning on sharing a bit more about each of those weekly adventures, soon!
(Goldie Blox= Engineering)
We’re only in year two of homeschooling, but I feel like I am much calmer than last year, but still not quite sure what I’m doing. The best advice I can give to a brand new homeschooling family, is if you are reading a lot, talking a lot, and listening more, you’re doing just fine.
It’s been quite an adventure for us, and one I am so thankful to be on.