Monday, April 21

on homeschooling :: year in review.

Everyday I'm in awe that the school year is fast approaching its end.
My goal is to do a little series outlining what we did during the school year, my thoughts on the homeschooling process, and some goals for the future.

This post will be mainly my thoughts on homeschooling in general, so I'm sorry in advance if I get a bit babbly (yep, I made up that word) and incoherent.
I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that taking the leap into being a homeschooling family has been the best decision that we've made this year.
It was a huge leap of faith,
but one that I knew we needed to take.

My goal in homeschooling has never been to get Audrey crazy advanced in all her studies,
but to provide her with the very best education that I could,
working at a pace that she and I set.
At this point in time she is on grade level in some subjects and has pulled ahead in others.
We are so incredibly fortunate to have the ability to tailor her education specifically to her needs.
It has definitely taken some bouncing around and dabbling in this routine or that, to figure out how her schooling works with my work schedule, but it's all been well worth the extra time and effort.

Being a homeschool mom, I totally understand where others' skepticism of homeschooling as a whole comes from.
 Especially in states like mine where homeschooling laws barely exist.
Although with this new wave of homeschoolers that has been coming out of the woodwork over the past few years, I'm hoping those doubts will be all but shattered.
Traditionally people have viewed homeschoolers to be in one of two camps.
Either you're an ultra-conservative who just wants to tuck your child away and never let them experience anything the world has to offer, or you're a liberal hippie who staunchly follows the "unschooling" principle and only teaches your child a few life skills and exactly what they want to be taught at any given moment.
From what I've seen, this is not a majority of homeschoolers.
Most people who homeschool just want to give their children the best that they can.
My children's educations are extremely important to me and I just honestly felt that Audrey wasn't getting what she specifically needed from the public school system.
And being that I am currently in the position, workwise, to be able to take on the challenge of homeschooling, I had to at least give it a shot.

I do wish the state of Texas had stricter laws though.
While it's super easy to begin the homeschooling process (which is a plus!),
there is also absolutely no process to make sure that parents are kept accountable for providing
their children with a good education.
No tests need to be taken and no transcripts have to be filed,
and personally, that saddens me.
While it would be more of a headache and slightly inconvenient to do those things,
I would gladly do it if it helped to ensure that other homeschooled kids were getting a good education.

One of the pleasant perks of homeschooling is the relationship that I've been building with Audrey.
Instead of sending her off to school for most of her waking hours during the week,
I'm spending those hours with her underfoot.
And while that can be trying at times (okay a LOT of the time), it's teaching me so much about her and the person she's turning into and it's also teaching me about myself, sometimes in a not so flattering way.
I definitely think that homeschooling is a character builder in both child and parent.

After getting a year of basics under our belt, I am so looking forward to expanding our homeschooling horizons even more next school year.
We have a few more things to cross off our list before Audrey's 2nd grade year is complete,
and then we'll be moving on to some fun stuff that I have in mind for summer school.
I'm also looking forward to adding in more preschool based stuff for a mini "Tot School" for Lawson.

As I mentioned above, we will be continuing our schooling through the summer.
One of the great things about homeschooling is being able to go year round.
I remember doing this for a couple of years in public school in elementary.
We had longer or extra vacations during the school year and went to school for a good part of the summer.
I think that this is ideal considering an 8-12 week break from learning is just too long in my book.
How many kids are stuck relearning stuff from the past school year instead of advancing when the new school year begins?
So we're able to be even more flexible in our schedule during the actual school year,
because it will all be made up for during the summer.
Audrey will continue on in some of her normal curriculum during our summer session,
but I'm also planning a really fun addition to our schooling,
specifically to make summer school feel less like actual school and more like FUN!!

At this point I've been asked multiple times what our plan for the future is.
What are we going to do with Lawson?
How long do we plan on homeschooling Audrey?
What about middle school? High school?
And my honest answer is I'm not quite sure.
I see pros and cons in continuing to homeschool throughout Audrey's childhood years.
I see pros and cons to homeschooling Lawson, or any other kids we may have.
At this point I'm taking it a year at a time, and I'm making sure to do my absolute best in both the education and socialization of my kids, so no matter what the decision is for the next year,
they'll be as ready as they can be.

 All in all, this has been such a wonderful experience and I really do feel that we've grown this year as a family that wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't taken the homeschooling journey. :)

To read more in this series click on the following links.

on homeschooling :: year in review :: spelling.
on homeschooling :: year in review :: math. 
on homeschooling :: year in review :: handwriting. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

speak easy. speak loud.


Template by