Homeschooling: thoughts, tweaks and changes

I know homeschooling isn't for everyone.  I know that not everyone approves of my homeschooling the boys.  It's something we are taking month by month and looking at at the end of the year to assess where we are going with education choices and decisions.  I know some people roll their eyes or think it's dumb.  I know others think it's fantastic and some have expressed they wish they could do the same. (Which, anyone can home school, it's a different kind of commitment for sure, but that's another post.)  I do not know how far we will go with it.  I only know what we're doing here and now, month to month. 

Recently, I asked Kian for his thoughts on next year's schooling.  I said we could discuss public school or home school.  He answered that he would like to do it at home again next year.  I am all for that, but Kevin and I will discuss and see what we all think is best.  It definitely has some advantages, and allows us a lot of flexibility and wiggle room in our routines and our days that we all love.  We can do school at 8 am, or 11am or 3pm.  Right now, there's not a lot of requirement, as we're not yet under the school district's thumb or scrutiny in what we need to cover or record or count.  This is something that will come next year, as New York State's rule is that the homeschooling needs to be recorded when the child is six years old.  This will entail a lot more on my end, counting hours and curriculum covered, etc.  I will be in touch with other homeschooling parents to figure out that part and if it's going to work for us. And to be honest, the thought of getting a child up and ready for the bus that comes by at 7:20 am and enforcing homework after dinner, isn't my idea of a good day, I've been spoiled.

One major benefit, besides the scheduling, is the freedom in curriculum.  I can teach what I want, when I want, how I want. Kian can be part of choosing the unit studies and themes and topics. I often ask him what he wants to talk about the next month.  We can go as fast or as slow as we want.  This is true for the level and difficulty of curriculum as well.  I bought a book of addition and subtraction for Kian and figured he would use it through the entire year. Wrong! He flew through the book, often doing pages and problems on his own.  I had been giving him simple 4+6 and 5+3 problems.  He began doing double digit adding and subtracting on his own and sometimes getting it, sometimes struggling. I also had a money and time book that we would sometimes do. But, I figured out that the same old adding and subtracting problems each day were boring him and so we changed it.  I made up a new schedule: Monday-money, Tuesday-time, Wed and Thurs-adding/subtracting, Friday-fractions. It allows him to have some variety in the week of what he's working on, moving forward in each area, without being bored.  He seems to get things easily so far and his memory is great, which makes it a lot easier on me. He tries to do cursive writing and multiplication, but that I am pulling the reins back on, I want a firm foundation in basics first. 

I don't know where we are headed in this journey, but for now, for us, it works.  I don't think Kian would do well boxed in a particular curriculum and time frame, especially after experiencing the freedom of what we do here.  We have our moments for sure, when he doesn't want to practice some printing, or wants to do math on the computer games instead, or reads the adverb books ahead of time before I can get to them and then schools me with his factoids...but it's working.

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