Homeschool plunge for Kindergarten!!!
So after MUCHHHHH kicking and screaming (mainly from me 😉 for years on how I am NOT going to homeschool my kids, I have come to the decision to do just that. My son will be age 5 come February 2018, and he just has a thirst and strong desire to do school!! I have done a lot with him up until now. Teaching him basics- colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet, phonic sounds, taking him to museums, zoo’s, STEM classes, gymnastics, church youth programs, etc… My husband was homeschooled for 7 years, I have members in my family that homeschool their kids too. So I have been around the buzz of it for about 10 years already. Would you say it was inevitable then for me to get caught up in it? HAHAHAHA
Over the years, I have spoken with numerous wise homeschool veteran mothers. I have gone to a handful of homeschool conferences about how to begin and what the different curriculum programs there were to use and ALL the FREE resources too!!! Watched too many YouTube videos about all the million different ways to schedule your day with your kids, all the different curriculum reviews out there at our fingertips to help our children have a successful homeschool experience and actually, wait for it, LOVE learning and school!!! I should back up a little bit though and explain something. Like some of you may already know, we are expecting baby #3 in May 2018!! So I will have kids age 5, 2, newborn!!!! Lord help me 😉 So naturally, I was thinking there is NO WAY I could possibly do homeschool with a new baby and learning how to manage 3 little people all day on top of all my regular mommy duties! So my husband humored me and we went to visit 2 private schools in our area. Our public school is known to be very good and I did call to see if we could take a tour and they said “no we don’t do that, you need to wait until May with everyone else.” This is my first go around with any school, so I was really taken aback after hearing this. Mind you when I called the 2 private schools, they were nicer and sweeter then honey and let us tell them what worked for us to come visit! In any case my husband and I were not the happiest to send him to public school anyways, but I was just thinking it would be for just 1 year until the new baby was older and I got my bearings of being a mama to 3 kiddos. After visiting the 2 private schools we were impressed with them and all they offered. Obviously! I mean the whole idea of being able to drop my son off and leave the teaching and planning to someone else sounds glorious!! We finally come to the end of our tour. We get handed the schools information folder with the tuition sheet properly placed in the very back of all the other papers. We peek inside once we get in our car and I about fell outta my seat. I was shocked especially for Kindergarten. I am well aware any private education would be a lot, but truly I did not expect THAT much. Private school was quickly nixed off the list, for probably ever!
Back to the drawing board.
I really started to look more into teaching my son at home and how much he really would need for Kindergarten. I kid you not, there are millions of different ways to homeschool! The beauty of it is catering to what your child needs and what direction you want to take it. You can be super structured like a real classroom all the way to the very extreme of un-schooling. You can teach 6-7 subjects throughout the year or focus on the 3 main ones, reading, writing, and math! Now this can vary state by state, depending on the laws. In our case, Illinois is totally free to do what we want. For example, there are no requirements for curriculum, schooling hours, or testing. You can check HSLDA for your states requirements at this link. HSLDA stands for Homeschool Legal Defense Association which is an organization that provides legal knowledge and resources.
I am still learning about this whole world of homeschooling. I truly believe homeschool has become apart of the mainstream now and we are finding more and more positives about it. We are absolutely blessed to have as many resources, support groups, co-ops, libraries/places of work/fire departments/police stations/gyms/nature centers/restaurants/bakeries/bookstores/zoo’s and museums that are opening their eyes to homeschool families and creating basically FREE to super cheap programs and catering to this niche of people wanting to educate their kids the way they want to. I am extremely excited and extremely overwhelmed at the same time! Also teaching at your child’s pace, not having to keep up with a schools schedule and other students, fearing your child gets left behind in the dust frustrated, wanting to quit and hate school. Oh, and that little fact about having to rush out the door and get everybody ready so your kids not late by 7:30am!!! I mean that is when my kids waking UP!!! Please do not misunderstand me. I know homeschool is not for everyone. I am not knocking anybody for the choices they make for education for their kids! Everybody needs to do what’s best for them!!
For our family, and since my son will be in Kindergarten, I will be focusing more on having him master the 3 most important subjects- reading, writing, and math. I have a lot of other reading material on science, geography, social studies, etc… that those subjects we will just be reading about and his actual work will be just the 3 main subjects. I also believe in keeping Kindergarten simple and still fun and not bogged down by school work. ****Nerd alert***** I just ordered his Kindergarten books last night so when they arrive I will be posting about them as well. I hope you all come along with us on this new journey and keep cheering me on cause you know I am gonna need ya’ll 😉