Homeschool Update: How it’s Going

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I shared a post last year about our homeschool space since we opted to homeschool Luke for this current academic year. There were a number of factors that played into that decision but one of the main ones was an intent to provide Luke a kindergarten education that didn’t rely on the computer.

Virtual school for Luke was originally his only option, and when it came down to it, Justin and I decided it would be best to pull him out of the school system altogether and do a classic homeschool year. I am aware and grateful that we are in a situation where we were able to make this choice. Without question, this has been a difficult academic year for all children and I fully believe parents and caregivers are doing their best along with educators!

I have to say, though I went into it homeschooling with great trepidation, it has been really wonderful.

A few things to note as I share my experience: our nanny, who happens to have experience in childhood education and programming, does Luke’s schooling 3 days a week. The other two days are split between Justin and me based on our weekly schedule. There have been times, for different reasons, that Justin and I have done Luke’s schooling for a full week for a period of time, but for the most part, our nanny is a key educator for Luke during the week!

David attends school and Emily is in preschool, so there are days that Luke has dedicated education time without a sibling present.

Before we started this year, I was worried that Luke would fall behind academically. My friends who homeschool offered me much guidance and direction at the start and assured me that Luke would be fine. It wasn’t until we were a few months in that I was able to really see that Luke is learning so much! He is a fast learner, and it’s really been enjoyable to see his brain work to understand something and develop a new skill. The one-on-one dedication that we are able to provide for him is really great!

Luke works through a program that involves a handful of workbooks and hands-on activities, and we also provide supplemental work that I buy and download from Teachers Pay Teachers. That site has been an incredible resource for printable worksheets and activities that Luke can do whenever David is doing any of his school at home.

I enjoy the flexibility that homeschool allows, and I really enjoy being able to scoot Luke ahead on lessons when he already has the skill or concept mastered. What I’m missing from a traditional classroom are the social skills, the practice of sitting in your seat and following directions, and the different “special” extras (like gym, recess, science, music, etc) that a school would provide for him. I am fully aware that these things can most definitely be established in a homeschool program, but for us, we just needed to tackle this single year as we have him enrolled to attend 1st grade at David’s school next year.

We are doing our best at providing a lot of variety for Luke and I believe I’m overly worried about this. 😉

Our nanny takes him to the library, they visit parks, there are opportunities for visiting museums, and more. There are also a ton of things we can do at home that feel like play but involve learning as well. Luke loves to bake so it’s fun to make cookies or banana bread and have him learn the measurements and count as we bake.

Overall, the experience has been really great from my perspective. Luke doesn’t feel left out or like he’s missing anything, and I think he really enjoys learning at home a lot. He’s a bit of a homebody so it works for him really well. I’m not so sure that it would be as successful with my other kids, so I’m grateful that it worked out for this year.

I think 1st grade will be a bit of a shock to him, but I also recognize that is a long way off from now. He’ll be nearly 6.5 when he starts so there is a lot of time for him to mature and be ready for a full day of school.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, this academic year has been unprecedented for us all, and while there has been significant loss and a worrisome ripple effect that we cannot even grasp the scope of, I’m so thankful and happy that my kids are in a spot where they (and we) are individually pleased with their educational program.

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Comments (9)

  1. Posted February 8, 2021

    I’m glad it’s working out well for your family! Cutest picture ever too! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Rachel says
    Posted February 8, 2021

    Great post Kate! As always, thank you for sharing your perspective.

  3. Michelle Blok says
    Posted February 8, 2021

    What a great bonding experience for the three of you (4 with the nanny). As a current elementary teacher I can tell you that kids at that age are SO resilient and accepting of other kids. Even though he wasn’t in school with those students this year, they will welcome him with open arms next year. That’s one of the things I love about this age! Also, do not worry about him missing out on other school aspects this year. Kids are not getting to be social this year because of distancing and plexiglass windows, not being able to share items, etc. They don’t really get to leave the classroom and can’t sit by friends at lunch (all school districts have handled COVID differently, this is how mine has done it). One last thing, in my state preschool and kindergarten are not required so there are students that come to first grade with no foundation. He will do just fine transitioning next year, do not worry!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 8, 2021

      Thanks for sharing your perspective! I hadn’t really thought about that so I appreciate it it so much!

  4. Kendall Cooper says
    Posted February 8, 2021

    The past year has been rough academically. We started doing virtual and that just didn’t work for us so we transitioned to full homeschool with our 4th grader. I too worry that he is falling behind but then remember that every other child is going through the same exact thing right now!

  5. Homeschool Mama says
    Posted February 8, 2021

    Thank you for sharing, Kate! I was a elementary school teacher, but made the difficult decision at the end of 2020 to resign in order to homeschool my Kindergartener and 1st grader. It was just too much for me to teach my students virtually and also manage my own children’s virtual classes. Thankfully, we’re 6 weeks into homeschool now and the atmosphere of our home has dramatically changed for the better! Like you, I know I am incredibly lucky to be able to make this choice and I thank God every day that I have this opportunity. I’ve rediscovered the joy of teaching and my children not only get to learn from an “in person” teacher, but they also have a happy mom again!

  6. Posted February 8, 2021

    It is wonderful to hear that things are going well.

  7. Posted February 10, 2021

    Love hearing your perspective! We’re in a similar boat with our kindergartener- our schools here in Bluffton, SC had only a virtual option this fall. So we’ve been fully homeschooling and it’s been a fun surprise to have sort of a bonus year together and get a front row seat to his learning. Also excited to hopefully be able to transition to public school in August and see him flourish with pother kiddos in a classroom 🤗

  8. Caren Ambrose says
    Posted April 6, 2021

    You seem to be doing very well!
    Homeschooling is a challenge. And I honestly envy those who don’t go crazy with it all. And I try very hard not to let my kids miss out on anything either.