In 2008, the children started in public school as soon as we brought them home from Colombia. I pulled them from school shortly after Spring Break 2009 for reasons mostly having to do with bonding and attachment rather than academics. School was a real struggle that first year for all of us for SO many reasons. So I brought them home and spent some time getting to know them better. We did basic skills work…number and letter recognition, etc., but mostly just having fun. It was valuable time that I spent establishing myself as mom–and all that means–and teaching the children what their roles are in a family. I had missed so much of their little lives that I simply was not ready to give them up!
After the Holidays of 2009, we re-enrolled the children at their new school across town:
- I felt like we had sufficiently bonded. The children had matured a lot in that time, and their language skills were much improved. They were better able to respond to change.
- The house we moved into was simply too small for me to effectively school. Call me a wimp, but at least I know my limits! :) Since we were in that house for longer than anticipated we decided to send them back to public school.
Now, two years later, we have brought them home again. This time around it looks more like “school.” We have a schedule that we adhere to. I follow a specific curriculum in each subject area, and I have everything laid out in my lesson plan book. But we also have enough flexibility in the schedule to deal with life as it comes. I am schooling four days a week, with Friday being a catch-up, organize, field trip, errand day. Actually, our intention is to school year round with small breaks here and there. I am hoping that a year-round consistent schedule will help the children to continue “catching up.”
We have been schooling for a month now, and I can honestly say that I have not been overwhelmed with the task at hand. It is fun and rewarding and actually super exciting. (that probably has to do with the fact that I LOVE teaching. Perhaps having experience in lesson planning, pacing, learning styles, etc helps. I know a common complaint of homeschooling moms is that they can never seem to get to all their material. So I took that into account when I was planning out our year. That has helped a ton.
Now that the kids’ language is improved, everything else is easier. I am better able to assess where the true holes and gaps are in their learning. I am able to understand better how each child processes a new concept. And the kids are just plain ol’ excited about learning–always have been. Of course, there are other reasons we think homeschooling is for us, at least right now. Yes, I have complaints about the current condition of our school district. Yes, I am one of those weirdos that prefers having my children near me instead of away from me. Yes, we put religion and God at the forefront of our learning and our day. Yes, I believe that my children will be better prepared for life if I am the one socializing them–not 25 seven year olds. But those are all points of discussion for another post.
I am hoping to be better at taking pictures and doing updates weekly. I know the kids will have a blast looking back on these posts in 20 years with their own children. That makes me smile.
When my children leave my charge as an adult I want them to:
*be caring citizens of their community, country, and planet.
*have a deep love of God, Country, and self.
*be able to debate intelligently, to listen carefully, to speak kindly.
*know who they are, and know what they believe, even when those beliefs are not popular.
*and of course, be super smart! :)