If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me posting using #homeschooling, missed my cute first day of school pictures and made the guess that we’re choosing to homeschool this year.
If you didn’t, here’s my big announcement: We’re homeschooling my oldest son this year.
When we considered who he is as a person and a student and what he needs as well as what his school was able to deliver, the choice to homeschool was the best choice now and we’re committed for this year. Honestly, it wasn’t a decision we made lightly. The biggest reason that we made this choice is that he’s what’s considered double exceptional, meaning gifted as well as receiving speech services. His previous school wasn’t challenging him as much as we would like. We considered several other schools, public, charter and private but there were drawbacks for each choice. As I transition to being a full-time stay at home mom, this was just the plan that made the most sense for us. We’ve enjoyed the summer learning that we did and I thought I was up to the challenge.
I keep mentioning this year because our family has decided to consider each child’s education annually and individually. We were trying to make decisions for him based upon what his brother might need but that isn’t the best choice for these two people with very distinct needs and personalities. That means that my youngest son is slated to enter Kindergarten next year and I’ll probably register him for a traditional school setting. Let me go on the record as saying I am not opposed to traditional public schools at all. I just know that for my oldest child now, he needed a little more than they could give him and I consider myself incredibly blessed that I’m able to deliver it through homeschool at this point in time.
What kind of homeschool are you?
After we made the decision to do it, I realized that homeschooling covers so much and many different styles of education. There are children who attend virtual/cyber academies, which is a school much like any other public school that just happens to have classes via a computer. Then there are hybrid schools, where students go in person a few days a week and receive instruction with their parents providing support at home. Then you have unschoolers, coop programs, etc.
We’re using a traditional book based curriculum that I ordered from Bookshark. The curriculum includes reading, language arts, science, history, spelling, math and handwriting. It’s complete and provides some guidance for lesson planning but that’s really my biggest pain point. I’m lesson planning for one student. I’m making sure that I coordinate all the different pieces of his day with the extracurricular classes he’s taking (art, tennis and speech) to get all of his work completed.
With just a month into the year, I feel like I made the best choice ever. I had some suspicions about his teaching style and how he was learning based upon working with him at home. I confirmed them over time. I wasn’t seeing them during homework because that was really a review of his classwork and he had worked out the problem. Now being able to spend all day really working through different areas, I much better understand him. If he ever goes back to a traditional school setting, I’ll be better able to assist him at home.
Another bonus that I would have never anticipated is that I’m really getting to hear all my son’s opinions about the world. He has some strong ones about everything from the election to colonial America to even the current state of the economy. Because we never really brought him into these decisions, it’s really shocking me in a great way. I keep asking him “Who said that? Where did you hear that?” and he says “I did. I just think that.” I knew he was bright and a strong critical thinker but these conversations are just amazing.
Since we’re new to the homeschooling journey, I’d love to know what you think about homeschooling. Did you consider it for your family? What decision did you make?