As the summer comes to a close (how did this happen) I thought I would share a Homeschool update with you guys.
My original plan was to continue school through the summer, but as you might have guessed (those who know me, anyway), that did not happen. Instead, we found ourselves sleeping in and basking in all things LAZY. I traveled back and forth to Charleston while JP filled his role of Dog Whisperer here at home. I simply didn’t have the mental energy to “do school.” While this didn’t thrust me into the running for any Parenting (or Teacher) awards, we’ve had a nice summer and JP thinks I’m “the best,” so I’m calling it a win.
One of JP’s favorite spots is Barnes & Noble. We’ve made several trips over the past few weeks. During the most recent one, a particular book caught my eye.
The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom is a great read for families who are looking into homeschooling for the first time. In other words, if you’re even HALF as ignorant as I was (and still am, to some degree) this is a book you should read. It addresses all the nagging questions I couldn’t shake. Working within the public school system for so long, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around the lack of sit-down-and-work-at-a-desk-for-six-hours a day instruction. I mean, how in the world can a child learn outside the walls of a public school?!
I told you. I was ignorant.
Having one year under my belt, I feel like I’m slightly more prepared for the fall. Not an expert, mind you, just more informed.
The biggest hurdle I’ve faced has been the questions and side-eye stares from well-meaning observers. Everyone always knows how best to parent your child. It bothered me for a while, but I’m learning to quietly smile and let JP’s knowledge speak for itself.
This semester, I have given JP a list and he has chosen what he wants to study. Knowing JP, I was not at all surprised by his choices.
SCIENCE – He’s chosen Anatomy. This is not shocking. We have picked out a textbook. Once I order his workbook from Amazon, he’ll be good to go. I’ve also ordered this book. If we like it, they have one for English, History and Math. I’ll let you know how it goes.
ENGLISH/WRITING – I have several grammar workbooks he will work through. Much to my dismay, he HATES to write. However, today he decided he will not die if he’s asked to write letters. For a few months, he’ll have a pen pal. I’m excited about this for several reasons. He’ll be expected to address all of the envelopes and mail them on his own. Also, he’ll be sending letters to our girl, Bailey, while she’s in Indianapolis!
SOCIAL STUDIES – Luckily, our partnership with SC State Parks takes care of most of this subject. In addition to the parks, he wants to study the Salem Witch Trials. Maybe a field trip to Boston is in order?!
MATH – Those of you who know me, keep your seats. I’m not even going to attempt to teach Math to JP. The thought makes me laugh out loud. He is working through an online program that gives instruction and tracks his progress. He’ll also do a lot of everyday life skills in this area – skills that definitely aren’t taught in schools.
He’s chosen a couple of books to read this semester and I’m requiring him to write in a journal.
Greenville (and surrounding areas) has SO much to offer families. I have several field trips planned throughout the semester that I’m super excited about. (My Clemson side of the family will be thrilled about two of them. You might even find a Tiger Paw and a little bit of orange on the site).
I think that pretty much covers everything we will be doing for the next few months.
I’m learning (slowly but surely) to just breathe. Every child learns differently and at different speeds. I’m very fortunate with JP. He is a natural learner. His curiosity makes it easy for him to learn most things on his own. I’ve not regretted my decision to pull him out of school for even a second and I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity to stay home with him.
I hope you’re still awake.
I’ll plan to post an update from time to time. The accountability is good for me. Feel free to email me questions anytime!