Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Schooling At Home

I thought I better write something about our homeschooling. I know so many people are interested in how/ why we do it, and I forget sometimes that not everyone understands the draw behind our decision.

Maggie has pretty severe anxiety, and though it is much better now that it has been, public school just wasn't working for her. She was a great student. Quiet, obedient, and never a trouble maker. But she also got overlooked a lot because of her sweet demeanor. You know, the squeaky wheel and all that jazz.

So we homeschool now, and have been for almost a year. We chose to use Washington Online School, which uses the K12 curriculum. The reason I chose this was because I felt like I needed a little bit of structure to my homeschooling, at least at first, and this provided exactly what I needed. We have a schedule of lessons, and though we can do them as fast or slow as we'd like, there is a time line that most parents follow, that coincides with the public school schedule. We basically do school every day, though there are some weeks when I just don't get to it every day, so we make up a lot of days. Ahh, flexibility.

School takes us anywhere from 15 minutes on an easy math day, to over an hour on a more intense reading day. Maggie chooses what she wants to do each day. Some days we only do math. Some days she only wants reading. Some days she wants to do every subject. We have the flexibility to do that. Sort of like public school. They don't do every subject every day, at least not in elementary school.

I know some of you are like, "but what do you do with her the rest of the day?" Good question. I let her learn. She is so good at learning, she does it without even knowing it. Today for example, she printed off some pages of a story book of pictures, and then wrote the words to the story. She made it all up, and it was great. She uses big words, which I don't remember teaching her, and she does this all on her own. She also watches a lot of TV. Yeah, I know. Mother of the year here, but it's good TV. Granted, there is plenty of Disney Channel on at my house, but there is also a lot of Martha Speaks, and Word World, and NatGeo, all of which are great learning opportunities without the kids even realizing they're learning.

I know a lot of moms that say they couldn't be around their kids all day, and that sending them to school is a way to stay sane. I totally get that. There are plenty of days when I just want some alone time, or time to do the laundry or dishes, or even to sweep the floor and have it stay clean for more than 3 minutes. But I consider myself pretty lucky that for the most part, I love being around Maggie. She is silly, and talented, and very easy to hang out with.

I've tried to talk Emma into doing homeschool next year, but she has no interest in it, and I'm fine with that. I loved middle school, and I know she will too. I also have no qualms about sending Maggie to public school if she ever wants to go. It would be a hard transition for me, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

So that's how we do it. It's fun, and it works for us. I know it's not for everyone, but when it comes to knowing what your kids need, moms have a gift for giving them exactly what will make them become the best people they can be. And if homeschooling is it, then so be it.

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grannybabs said...

Like public schools, homeschooling produces varied results. Glad that you are pleased with how it's going.

DAY said...

I have found that with homeschooling the opposite happens...you think you are going to go crazy having your kids with you all day, but it's not that way at all. Like you said, there are times when some alone time would be nice, but overall, they become your buddies and you see that being at home they are able to learn all.the.time. in a safe environment! Glad to hear that Maggie is doing so well-any plans to preschool Gretta?

Laura said...

Mags is so cute, how fun to hang out with her all day at home! Not to mention you have a little helper when you need it.