Saturday, June 1, 2013

De-Schooling to Homeschooling

Homeschooling is something I have thought about and talked about for a long time. And now I am beginning my journey into homeschooling.

My oldest child is 6. She went to public school for kindergarten. She went for the entire year and I swear at least once week I would say, "Ugh! Just one more reason I should homeschool!" Don't get me wrong, there was nothing terrible that happened, I just didn't like a lot of what she would hear and learn from other kids, I didn't like the way the school handled a lot of situations, there were all kinds of nasty sicknesses going around and I MISSED MY BABY!

To start out I will say that I went to public school. I think they are great. I also grew up in a suburb outside St. Louis with one of the best public schools in all of Missouri. Every once and a while I actually think about moving back just so my kids can go there. But, I LOVE where we live now, in rural Missouri and we just built our "forever" home, so I'm not going anywhere!

My biggest reasons for wanting to homeschool...

1.) Our public school has a LOT of wasted time. I'm pretty sure my daughter didn't learn anything after 11 am, so I hated sending her away for 7 hours everyday. It felt pointless.

2.) We live in rural Missouri. We do NOT have a great school district, although it's not terrible. We also live far from school and my daughter rode the bus. (I drove her for the first few weeks, but it's hard to do with all the kids when it's such a far drive so early in the morning and in the middle of nap time.) The bus she was riding was the "bad bus." She is too young and innocent to see and hear the things that were happening on that bus.

3.) It may sound crazy, but my 6 year old still naps. And needs to nap. Five days a week she didn't get a nap and she was SO hard to deal with when she got home from school. She wasn't the sweet little girl we always knew. She was so tired she was mean to everyone.

4.) It kind of goes along with the last reason, but there was no time for extra curricular activities. Normally kids take dance, play soccer, etc in the evenings after school. My daughter was so tired we didn't have any time to do anything else. We finally signed her up for soccer this past spring. Her practices started at 5:30 and she would fall asleep on the way TO practice. It was terrible!

5.) The last reason is actually one of my biggest reasons. My daughter is very smart. Yes, I'm sure all parents say and believe their child is smart, but my daughter is just extremely smart. When her school tested the kindergarteners mid year she was number 4. There were 12 kindergarten classes with about 20 kids each. You can do the math. So, when the kids are in a class with 19 other kids the class has to move at the pace of the slowest child. It doesn't seem fair. I understand that there may not be a better way, but it's still not fair. So, aside from learning to read, my daughter literally did not learn anything at school. I know she can learn so much more and she already does...when she's home.

I hope I'm not rambling too much. I'm kind of just putting my thoughts down right now. I'm actually still trying to justify why I want to homeschool. One day I am 100% sure that it's what I want to do. Then the next day I am second guessing myself.

The first step in the journey is to "de-school" her. And with talking to her she sounds like she is totally on board. What we have decided to do is try it. If it works and we all like it, we will continue. If not, we'll go from there. In Missouri the homeschool year starts July 1st. I have the month of June to prepare and we are starting homeschool on July 1st. That will give us 6 weeks before the public school begins to try it out. In the meantime we are "de-schooling" our daughter. And I can honestly say in the week she has been home she has already changed for the better.

To prepare I am researching like crazy. I am finding local groups with other moms I can talk with. I am researching curriculum and their reviews. I am finding free online printables. I am coming up with a daily and weekly schedule. I am creating weekly themes and topics of study. I am pretty much spending most of my free time figuring out how to homeschool.

I am making a list I will post soon. A list of some curriculum I have purchased and some websites I have found useful.