Okay, don't jump to conclusions that I wear denim jumpers, have hair down past my booty or that I don't like my kids socializing with traditionally-schooled kids. We educate our children at home - GASP!!!! Actually, this is our first year and we absolutely love it so far. Robert is in the first grade and after 2 years in private school (Jr.K and K), I see all the benefits of being able to customize his curriculum to his ability. Robert is very advanced academically, so I am providing him a pretty rigorous curriculum this year and he is soaking it up as fast as I can give it to him. We like the flexibility. Some days we spend several hours straight in the school room and some days we break it up. I like that we can get our work done and go out to a museum or the zoo or to the park to play with friends. It seems to be a really good fit for our family so far. Andrew is in Pre-K and he goes to preschool 3 days a week from 9:30 to 2:30. I do a little "homeschool" with him on the days that he is home. He plays with playdough, practices reading and writing, counting, matching shapes and colors and working puzzles. He thinks he's the lucky one because he gets to "go to school" and "homeschool". I'm sure the homeschool purists will be over to stone me later for farming my son out to a part-time preschool.
"Are you going to homeschool your kids forever?" is a question I get asked a lot. Here's the deal-i-o: I enjoy home-educating our kids. I have committed to one year. At the end of that year, we will decide what is best for our kids and go from there. Isn't that really what all parents want for their kids, what is best for them? Is that the same for every child and every family? Absolutely not! Bottom line is I've been afforded this wonderful opportunity to stay home with my kids and teach them instead of having to get a job outside the home (likely teaching other peoples' bratty children). I get to teach them about Jesus and about following Him. I get to instill the values that our family holds so dear and I get to spend my day getting STICKY with glue, playdough, paint or some science experiement that we've whipped up! It's definitely a lot different than we thought it would be, but we all love it!
FAQ: Yes, we get dressed for school (sometimes I allow pajama day, but they have to earn it). Yes, we have a start time. (end times are variable) Yes, I give tests. Yes, I have lesson plans and I keep a record book although it cracks me up to have one child listed on my template. Yes, I send them outside for recess and take them to the gym for P.E. (when's the last time your school kid got to swim for P.E. class?). Yes, homeschool is legal. Yes, I am using an umbrella school (so technically, we are registered with the state as attending a private christian school). Yes, I hand-picked our entire curriculum. No, every homeschool family does NOT do it just like us - and that's okay. Yes, they are socialized; my kids play sports, take music lessons, go on field trips, meet friends for a playdate and go to chess club. (and lots more!) They have friends (and honestly most of them are not homeschoolers- shhhh, don't tell the homeschool purists).
We're normal. We like to wear modern clothing. I wear make up and jewelry. We are just one sticky family who happens to actually like love one another and it is a joy (and a lot of work) to educate them at home. I take education very seriously and I have high standards for my kids' education. As a sweet mama friend once said to me: "Why would you think that anyone else would have YOUR kids best interest at heart more than YOU?". And with that, I'll leave you with a few pics of our school year so far.