Saturday, May 10, 2014
Homeschooling for Dummies: What One Day Taught Me
We decided to wean onto homeschooling, since I have ABSOLUTELY no idea what I'm doing. I did not go to college myself, yet always desired to be a teacher. The idea of homeschooling my boys seems like one I will personally enjoy, but I know that there are pros and cons to all situations. We decided to keep the boys in their international school for two days a week and have them home for three to see how they would do on a trial run. Would they like the schedule that I established? Would we have enough time (or too much) for all the things that I would want to cover in a day? How would they respond to my instruction in a teachers capacity? Will I have enough patience for this? These are all questions that ran through my mind the entire first day of homeschooling. And I have to say, I realized one very important thing. Not all homeschooling experiences look the same. There are also many kinks to work out. That first day, I did my best to prepare a lesson plan and schedule and took notes throughout the entire day as I saw things that did/did not work. For example, we did PE Exercises first thing in the morning because my initial opinion is that the kiddos would need something to wake them up and get them moving and thinking before we sat down to do computer work. After further review, I've decided that after an hour of computer work (Reading, English, and Math), my son needed a "movement break". It was after sitting that he needed some physical stimulation and that would be a better time to do our PE Exercise time. We adjusted the schedule for Day 2. I kept a notebook of all of the little things that I noticed all day long and I will use those notes to re-evaluate my lesson plans going forward. After day 2 and 3, I'm realizing we will continue to have more notes and things to change, and that's okay. I think the problem lies in seeing how one family/blog/curriculum tells you to do it, and not understanding that those insights are just a springboard into finding out what works for your family specifically. Homeschooling seems to be a learn-as-we-go process.
Here is our Day One Experience:
Overall, what I learned on Day 1 of homeschooling:
*The schedule you begin with will never be exactly the schedule that you end with. You may need to adjust the curriculum and routine to suit your children.
*Taking notes on how to improve is always helpful. Always be evaluating how you can make this experience better for your kids.
*Comparisons are not allowed. Seeing how this mom or that mom accomplishes this job of homeschooling and may seem to do it better than you, will only stunt your growth. You are learning right along with your child and with practice and an open mind, your Day 2 will be better than your Day 1.
*Your enthusiasm for learning the materials makes a world of difference in how the information you are teaching will be received by your child.
*PLAY is just as important as academics. Developing a love of learning early is important. Make every effort to make all the material FUN for your child.
*We are all doing the best we can.
One whole week of homeschooling is now under our belts and we are still very enthusiastic about it all. The boys think it's exciting to do their schoolwork in the pjs and so do I. We are learning a lot already and cannot wait for week two. :)