This week marks the start of a big transition for our family from traditional school to schooling at home. I’m a little nervous about taking this step, but we believe that right now it’s the best choice for my oldest child academically.
Why Are We Homeschooling?
My child enjoyed kindergarten quite a bit and he made a good deal of progress personally. He’s young for his grade though, and his teachers worried that he wasn’t ready for first grade. He’s an inquisitive kid who loves math and science. He loves books, but would rather be read to than exert the effort reading himself. He also is a high-energy kid who needs plenty of free-play and hands-on learning.
I know that he’s needs a challenging environment with his personality, but I don’t want him to struggle to keep up. Taking him out of traditional school, I’m hoping will provide an opportunity to give him a chance to still feel challenged and stretched by learning with the flexibility to take more time learning the subjects that he is struggling with. His teachers agreed that he would benefit from more one-on-one help and extra time with manipulatives.
I’m excited about the opportunity to provide a rich hands-on learning environment for my kids. Right now we are blending our favorite elements of different homeschool philosophies to find our kids’ perfect learning style. In fact we started out oull r homeschool year by learning about the ocean and then celebrating our first day with a field trip at the Georgia Aquarium.
We also decided to start our first year by schooling year-round. Schooling year-round doesn’t mean that we don’t take breaks. Instead we will just be spacing those breaks out through the year. Since we live in South Carolina where the summers are hot, humid mosquito feast fests, this structure will give us flexibility to have breaks in our pleasant fall and spring months. Of course, we will still take time off for vacations and play dates at the park in the summer as needed.
What Curriculum Will We Be Using?
Sonlight Core A (social studies, language arts, and science) – This Charlotte Mason/Classical blend uses “living books” as spines and features a long list of “read-alouds”. We’ve actually already read many of the books on the list, but my kids are really enjoying the living book selections so far.
Handwriting without Tears
Explode the Code (phonics & spelling)
Our first week went well. We even had quite a bit of fun. I incorporated quite a few hands-on activities to help keep the kids happy. Kids (at least my kids) don’t complain about school if it involves throwing water balloons or playing a game.
I’m hoping (fingers-crossed that I can do it) to share some of our positive and not-so-positive experiences this year as we dive right in and see how homeschooling works for our family. I’ll also be sharing some of the activities and book lists that we come up with for the different subjects that we cover.
Regardless of whether you homeschool or not, I hope that you enjoy following along and maybe even trying some of our ideas yourself!
Bethany is a South Carolina mom who enjoys learning with her kid. She is a weekly columnist for the Greenville News eGreenville, BHG.com pinner pro, and also runs Greenville’s top family website Kidding Around Greenville.
You are most likely to find her at the library, exploring a park, or in the middle of some sort of massive mess-making adventure with her kids.