Homeschool Update: How it’s Going
links + small things
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.