Did you know that I never thought I would home school? My mother was a teacher and later a principal, my sister went to school to become a teacher, and both my husband and I went to Public School. So how did we end up here?
When we had my oldest, we realized very early on he was ahead of the game a bit, so we started researching good schools and trying to figure out where we could send him. But then we had another, and another on the heels of that one. Meanwhile, we sent my oldest to the local preschool. He did well there but also got bored. So bored he was hitting and sometimes biting. His teachers there said it was because he knew what they were doing already and was not wanting to sit and review, yet again, his colors or days. I started to look for a new school but, anything worth my time was too expensive, or wouldn’t let him move up. So I thought, why not just homeschool him, and the others while I am at it.
We took a very relaxed approach when they were younger, letting all three boys play most of the day while explaining things as they came about. We would discuss everything from biology to math problems while still allowing the boys to just be kids. As they got older, we realized that they were doing well in this environment. However, it was time for a little more structure. I use the word structure loosely. We have never spent more than a few hours doing school. Most days we start at 10 or 11 and are finished by 12 or 1. One way that we can get away with such a relaxed schedule is by schooling year-round. With a year-round schedule, we don’t have to worry about getting too far behind because we never really end. I honestly don’t know what grade my kids are in because we don’t have a start or stop to our year.
We have two types of days at our house. The first is written work, math, handwriting, vocabulary, etc. On these days I work with each kid as needed and make sure they understand what they are doing. My older boys can do most of the work on these days alone which allows me to help my youngest. The second type of day we have is reading day. The curriculum we follow is heavy in reading, I devote two days a week just to reading. Aside from these two types of days, we have days for a science group, a hiking group, and then in the nice weather, I do playground school. Playground school is just what it sounds like, we bring our work to the playground and work a little then play a little.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we have rough days, sometimes no one wants to work or listen. More often than not, our afternoons are filled with playing, building, or just general chaos. I make sure we get together with other families and friends as often as we can so the boys get to interact with others.
If you are thinking about homeschooling your kids don’t be afraid to ask me more about what we do. If you visit my Resources Page, you will find a list of curriculums I have used and liked in the past. The most important thing you have to remember when you start this journey is that it is ok to be worried, it is ok to be doubtful, and most of all it is ok to pick a curriculum, realize it is not working, and switch it.