Homeschooling: What it does and does not look like

What it looks like:

  • Use a worksheet or something I think the kids will find SO EASY; they can’t figure it out.
  • Spending a day at a kids museum, or the library or outside at a park.
  • Eating. A lot. A common refrain in my house is, “I’m hungry.” It usually means “I’m bored.” Regardless, I have a supply of cheese sticks and apples that are readily available. When we go out, I take crackers and raisins.
  • Researching curriculum and types of homeschooling for hours at a time. Buying something that looks extremely promising. Discovering the kids hate it, or it doesn’t speak to their learning styles.
  • Making an eclectic curriculum that might work for us. Changing it up, constantly. Wishing there was some boxed curriculum that taught everything I think they should know.
  • Finding ways to stimulate My Masterpiece and The Informant while I work with Animal and Mineral.
  • Playing Blokus and Quiddler. Building card houses and dominoes houses.
  • Wondering why I’m homeschooling — not why I believe in homeschooling, but what do I want the kids to get out of it. What do I want them to know? Are there things I think are more important than other things? How will I teach things I don’t know (like, really, why IS the sky blue? I have a bachelor’s degree from Michigan, and I honestly have no idea why, although I think it has something to do with photosynthesis.)
What it does not look like:
  • Sitting at a table while my children listen to me attentively, teaching them all about the things I wish I’d learned.
  • Teaching them about music, fine art and other “cultural” things.
  • School at home.
  • Congratulating myself at how advanced my children are, under my tutelage.
  • Playing dominoes.
Animal and Mineral spent a year in public school kindergarten, and then we spent a year doing some curriculum. The year after that I “unschooled,” which works really well for some (motivated) children, but didn’t work so well in my family. The kids did very little and learned very little, as far as I can tell.
However “as far as I can tell” is an important homeschool concept — they could have learned a LOT but I just can’t quantify it personally. I believe that homeschooling is a process, and even though I follow my state’s requirement of yearly testing, I don’t use those tests as a complete picture of what they’ve learned. I know they’ve learned, although exactly what I’m not sure yet.
So, I’m proceeding this year a bit differently, and choosing some curriculum for the kids — basic math skills, reading (for Animal and The Informant, who can’t read yet), writing and history. I’m using Singapore for math, Explode the Code for reading, Ambleside/Charlotte Mason for copywork, Serl’s Primary Language Lessons for language arts and History Odyssey for history. Also, Handbook for Nature Study for science (weekly) as well as Song School Latin and a weekly co-op. I can already see what works/doesn’t work — for example, Animal has the attention span of a psychotic ferret, so he needs things changed up quickly plus ZOMG IF THAT KID DOESN’T LEARN TO READ SOON, I’M GOING TO HAVE FAILED AS A MOTHER.

2 Responses

  1. “…the attention span of a psychotic ferret…” bwahahahahaaha!

Comments? Thoughts? Streams of Consciousness?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: