Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Homeschooling Ramblings

I met a lady last night who is a public school teacher and thought it was really cool that we were homeschooling. She was full of questions and encouragement. It is not often that I meet someone so positive about homeschooling and yet does not homeschool and especially one that works in the public schools. My biggest critics are usually the current or previous public school teachers. Especially since we do not follow the public school curriculum nor do we have any intention of doing so. I even once had a lady checking us out ask me if I was a teacher and I told her I homeschool and she asked me shocked “They still let you do that”.

My latest joke is that my kids have an IEP (Individualized Education Program). If they were in fact special needs then people would be less likely to question that I teach towards their interests and current level and don’t follow the traditional public education curriculum. I love that we can spend days on their current interest and allow them to learn subjects intermingled (similar to real life) instead of teaching them separately at individual sittings. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my children’s great health and that they are not truly special needs.

It is amazing now that we call what we do “Kindergarten” how much more my critics are concerned about my children’s school progress. Truthfully it isn’t very different than what we did in December, Arianna was just at the Kindergarten level or higher in most things so we begin calling it Kindergarten in January. I still teach based on her interests and at her current level.

I recently googled some Kindergarten schedules to see what they looked like and how far off we are. It is amazing how we can cover everything and more than the the kindergarten calendars in a fraction of the time. I have read (can’t remember where) that all you need is 30 minutes structured instruction per day and you will be teaching the same if not more than they do in a public school Kindergarten. So much time is spent on other things such as classroom management, potty breaks, waiting in lines, etc. An equation I once read was 6 hours/day divided by 20 students=18 minutes per student subtract: Recess, Lunch, Fire drills, Art, PE, Music, unplanned interruptions, etc. Using that equation, my kids are getting tons more individualized instruction per day than the average public school kid.

I recently read a fellow bloggers post that encouraged me. Check it out at Life In Grace . I have added the book she discussed (Dumbing Us Down) to my reading list. Now if I could only find enough time to read the many books on my reading list…that would be a great accomplishment. Homeschooling does take away a lot of my free time:) Even if I only did 30 minutes/day with the kids, I also have the lesson planning, preparing for the activities, researching, etc that goes into each day. I am not complaining at all, I LOVE homeschooling and seeing the difference made in my kids is priceless!

Just remember that if you stop by my home, you are likely to see a mess! Cleaning tends to take a backseat to homeschooling!

1 comment:

Trinity Mommy said...

So glad that homeschooling is still going so well! The blessings are always there but sometimes we have a hard time "seeing" them! Its great to see that you are all doing well!