So. Yeah. Homeschool. How did that happen?
I am not sure when the first thought of homeschool was entertained. It would probably have been when I was considering sending Aubrey to preschool about 10 years ago. I made up a little preschool program We did tons of art and I taught her to read. But it stopped there. I am not sure why I didn’t consider homeschooling for kindergarten. My best friend did it. I thought it sounded fun. But some fear or some nagging sensation that traditional school was the route to go pushed me into enrolling her into a charter school.
And that was that. We moved to Alaska halfway through Kindergarten and they went through the public school system. I don’t have anything awesome to say, but I don’t have anything superbly negative to say either. Some teachers were fantastic, they loved their jobs and it showed. Some teachers should be beat with canes for what they allow to happen in their classrooms or for squashing the love of learning for young minds.
And then we ended up here. I guess it was baby steps. One of our children was scoring really well, but we would look at their work and it just wasn’t on the level we would have expected. We talked to the teacher about it and they basically scolded us and said at this point they just focus on keeping learning fun. That’s great and all… but… after the 2nd grade, I really want some learning too. I want chapter books, I want some decent spelling, life skills… something! I mean, work with me here. Then there was the STARR testing. I’m all for standardized testing to a point. This point was well exceeded with the STARR. And during all of these little thoughts and exasperations the homeschool seed was planted. I could do this. I started researching. Looking at blogs filled with wonderful ideas. Making mental notes. But I balked at the thought of starting with the older children. They had already started on the more traditional path. They would have to bear with my growing pains, I would have to teach them. them. The children that I fight with on a daily basis for things like brushing their teeth, picking up their book bags from RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR. How could I teach Algebra to these children? So I committed to starting fresh and homeschooling the younger three. And then I started. And then it spread. First the 5th grader. And then the 10th grader. The 8th grader gets to stay in school because of the rules with sports.
So. There were definitely some growing pains. Some learning curves. But, we made it through the first day. The first week. And goodness gracious, I freaking love it. And they love it. It’s still a little too early to measure some things, but, I feel we are on a good track and we can shift and adjust as we need to move faster or slower.
Our 10th grader struggles to get up in the morning. To say she is not a morning person is to put it mildly. Allowing her day to start a little later has made such a difference for her mood. She has been happier, smiling, freaking hugging. My high schooler is hugging me. Daily. She hugged her freaking brother when he was sad. Like, aliens have come down and replaced my child with the grumpy cat posters in her room. If all goes according to plan she could end up with college credits this year.
Our 5th grader gets up and without prompting knocks out all of her morning workbooks, starts her math lesson, does extra Latin lessons, and loves to read outdoors at the park.
Our preschool? Well. lol. That’s going. Somehow in my head I thought the older children were more insolent than my younger crew, but… they are a lippy bunch. But we are working on our letter’s of the week. Taking trips to the library. Making messes everywhere. It’s good stuff.
I am so so so in love with this journey. There are some twists and turns. I may have spent a bajillion dollars testing out homeschool materials and curriculum, figuring out what programs and systems I wanted, and of course purchasing for three different grade levels all at once. I wanted to lean on some pre made materials in the beginning to alleviate stress. So far I have zero regrets in this category. I’ll post more on these as I formulate some reviews and experiences. I may have underestimated exactly how much less time I would have to cook and clean, but we’re working through it.