We haven’t talked homeschool in a while, so I thought I’d give a quick update today.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of homeschooling is inadequacy. If I had to narrow down my fears, it would come down to this one feeling. I wasn’t caught off guard by it – I expected it. I was warned.
According to the hundreds (that may be a slight exaggeration) of homeschool parents I’ve talked with, everything I am feeling is normal. I took JP out of public school because I did not feel like it was the best learning environment for him. My problem is, I can’t seem to get the public school mindset out of my brain. It baffles me that JP can sit down and learn in a couple of hours what it takes kids all day to learn in public school. I am a lot more relaxed now than I was in the beginning.
One of the things I have enjoyed is we can learn ANYWHERE. We are not confined to a room and a desk. You guys know how much we love to travel and be on the go, so this works out great for us. This past week JP asked to go to Bald Rock, so we picked up and drove to Bald Rock for the afternoon. He was able to watch his video on Alexander the Great on top of the rock, as well as if we had been at home. And the scenery was so much nicer!
This homeschool thing has definitely been more of an adjustment for me than it has been for JP. He has rolled with the changes pretty well. I, on the other hand, continue to question every single decision I make. Every lesson I plan.
I put a question box on my Instagram Stories about homeschooling, so I’ll go ahead and address a few of those now.
The most frequent question I get asked is about curriculum. So far, I have pieced together my own. I downloaded the SC Standards for Science, English, Math and Social Studies, printed them off and follow those when I plan. I have three different sixth grade workbooks I use and purchased IXL (Greenville Co. uses this program) to keep track of his progress. Another thing I’m having to get used to is JP’s learning might not look conventional. I find that he tends to learn just as much when we are on the road or visiting one of the state parks, etc. as he does when he’s working out of a book or on the computer. Mark Twain said it best when he said, “Be careful not to let school get in the way of your education.” I agree.
Several of you asked if we are part of a co op. The short answer is no. The longer answer is, we used to be. We were part of a really great co-op in Travelers Rest. Unfortunately it turned out not to be the best fit for JP (it had nothing to do with them) and we’ve not joined another one. At this point, I will probably wait until the fall.
What do we do about extracurricular activities and related arts. Extracurricular activities are not an issue. I feel like we provide him plenty of opportunities through my job and travels. Related Arts… hmmm. Well, we get out and walk the dogs and he plays with them constantly in the backyard. We go on hikes and he swims in the summer, so that will count for P.E. I will eventually try and incorporate more arts and music into the curriculum. Honestly, it’s taken me THIS long to get the academic side of things together. He will begin his coding club again in the fall. He really enjoys that.
What does our homeschooling schedule look like? I’m sorry, but I laughed out loud at this one. I would love to sit here and tell you that we have a schedule. The truth is, I am the most unorganized person on the planet. To answer your question, I let JP sleep until he wakes up, which is usually around 9. He eats breakfast and plays on his electronics for an hour. After that, he sits down to work. He will finish probably half of it before he’s up moving around doing whatever. Close to lunch he lays back down and naps for an hour or two (his ADHD medicine makes him sleepy). Once he wakes up, he’ll eventually finish what I’ve assigned him. If I am working from home, we do not stick to a schedule and I do not care how long it takes him to get his work done. As long as he finishes it, I’m good. All of this is subject to change if I’m on the road or teaching – I still sub every now and then. Maybe next year we’ll be better at a schedule.
Since we are now over eight hundred thirty words, I’m gonna pause this post. I’ll save the rest of the questions and write up another homeschool post in the next week or two.
I appreciate your support. You guys are the kindest community of readers and I am so thankful for you!