Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Home Learning

My son made the cutoff for kindergarten this year by nine days. For many reasons Adam and I decided that official kindergarten wasn't going to start until next September. The biggest reasons are that he would be one of the youngest in his class and we want him to be 18 when he graduates not when he's already on his way into a dorm room.

I thought this would be a good opportunity for us to try our hand at homeschooling. I like everything about schooling my kids. Still I find myself very intrigued by the idea of unschooling but I'm not a fan of that term because to some it sounds the same as not schooling or not learning. (Even though that is not the case.) 

Last August I picked a couple of curriculum books that work on both pre-reading and pre-writing skills as well as a set of pattern blocks.I did get all excited at first and schedule out a curriculum of what we were to do on which day (generally three days a week) and had success with that but now we seem to just find things that he is interested in and take those on as they come. We make sure to do letter sounds and sight words often and math with legos and just try to make it fun for all of us, two year old included.

So far so good. It's possible that my son is just making this easy for me because he's very eager to read and is a motivated learner at the moment. He does it on his own for the most part. Yesterday, he really read to me, really reading the words! He loves playing with his calculator and enjoys finding numbers that he can add up to make the same number. Like 4+5 and 8+1.

It's funny because I notice most of the learning happening not from anything I'm doing or teaching but mostly from his initiation. All I do is provide an environment that encourages learning and attempts to make it fun.

There are a lot of teachers in my family and I know that a public school education is good, even great. I turned out decent and everything! If we choose not to go this route for our children we are by no means saying it is not good. We are making choices based on our family and individual child’s needs as their parents. I like to see his motivation, determination and even frustration. Scratch that, I LOVE it!

Is it going to be more work? Yes. Am I sacrificing me time while my kids are at school? Possibly. Are my kids going to have gaps in their education? Probably, there certainly are in my own. Am I going to regret it? Absolutely not!

We may not make the decision to homeschool every year and we plan to keep our options open to what the future may hold. Honestly, I'm not going to miss the lack of me time. In 16 or so years I'll have more of that than I want!

No longer will I say that we are sort of homeschooling or just trying it out, we are on this ship and ready for the next adventure.


Tesa said...

Congrats on your new adventure!

Nicole McGraw Dorr said...

We are doing the same with Hannah and Isaac. Maybe we'll end up together at a homeschooling conference sometime. That would be fun!:)

Mom said...

Awesome! He actually read! Yippee!

TulipGirl said...


It's been a good "fit" for our family for most years. And this year the boys are older and it is just SO much fun.

We modify the outline from for our primary structure. Even if you don't use their "program" they have links to a lot of high quality literature, free online!

I love my kids' excitement!