Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Homeschooling: A Reflection

We are almost at the end of the school year and our first year of homeschooling. I can honestly say this school year has passed very quickly!

Here are just a few things I have learned along the way:

  • School is to be taken seriously, but I don't need to stress myself about it
    • If Th gets a concept, I don't need to keep going over it just because the Teacher's manual says I do. At the same time, if Th needs a little more time with a concept, I don't have to move on until he has reached mastery.

  • Flexibility is the name of the game
    • Some days we get started at 8am and work straight until he's finished with all of his subjects, other days we start and he works for a bit, then we take a break and bake muffins or run errands or go to the park and simply finish later on in the day. I LOVE that about homeschooling!
    • Along with flexibility, if Th shows an interest in something that I might not have planned to study in-depth (i.e. the Gold Rush), I can go ahead and allow him to pursue that interest anyway. That has happened on more than one occasion and honestly, we both learn more about whatever the topic is that way.

  • We take awesome field trips, and lots of them! Here are some of the fun places we've gone this year:
    • behind-the-scenes at the Post Office
    • panning for gold at a gold mine (and actually struck gold!!)
    • Th spent a day as a school boy back in the 1840s, attending school in a one-room schoolhouse and did chores in the way they were done back then
    • visited our State Senator and Representative for Homeschool Day at the Capitol. We also toured the Governor's Mansion and State House grounds, listened to the legislators while they were in session, and visited the Confederate Museum to learn more about the Civil War.
    • toured Carolina's Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC
    • toured the RH/YC Airport and got to see all that happens in aircraft maintenance (my favorite!!)

  • Although I liked the curriculum I used, I think there are some that are better suited for Th as a learner and myself as his teacher. I am especially excited about the science curriculum I plan to use for next year as it is very much "hands on/bottoms up" and will entail Th keeping a science journal to record all his observations/findings. My science professor would definitely give her approval for my choice, and I honestly can't wait to start using it! I would have done it this year if it wasn't already so late in the school year.

  • I love having Th home with me. He is a great kid, and he is growing up so fast! Homeschooling allows me to spend time with him, but more than that, foster our relationship as mother and child. I love to hear about his ideas and views on the world, and I love to watch him interact with his younger sisters.
In case you haven't figured it out, I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!!!!