Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homeschool

My husband and I have made the decision to home school Cody this year for kindergarten. I had been planning to do Tot School with Luke this fall as a supplement to the two day a week preschool program that he will be enrolled in. Because of that I have spent a lot of time on Carissa's website (which is awesome, unbelievable amount of information provided there!) and various other homeschooling websites.

I first started thinking about homeschooling Cody when I became frustrated in finding a school for him to attend kindergarten. I have a few issues with our public school, one of which is that it is full day kindergarten. I do not agree with a full day program for five year olds, and especially mine in particular. I just can't picture Cody spending 7 hours in school right now. He is very active, and his preschool teacher warned me in the spring that his kindergarten teacher may view him as a "pain" and to give his new teacher her number so that she could fill her in on what's best for Cody classroom wise.

We started looking at private schools in our area. I found only one near us that offers half day kindergarten. We toured the school, and I was shocked at how small the classroom was. My memories of kindergarten are of different stations set up, being able to go from a home center to an art center. The class was full of two tables for the kids to sit at, storage for the teacher's supplies, and a teacher's desk. Adding Cody and I in there with the children, plus teacher and teacher's aid, and the class was overcrowded. And that was just with 12 students! I had a hard time picturing Cody doing well in that setting, even for just four hours a day. I was also disappointed that although the school is part of a church, religion is not included in the curriculum. Christmas is not celebrated. The Pledge of Allegiance is not said. While I wasn't looking for a full Christian based education, I was hoping to find one where it was included (similar to the preschool he went to last year).
All of the other private schools in our area are full day kindergarten.

After that I resigned myself to sending him to our local public school, although the full day program still bothered me. But the longer I thought about it, and the more I found out about our school (i.e. it is a "hard to staff" school), the more uncomfortable I was with it. Other issues dealing with academics added to my feelings.

It was then that I stumbled across Five in a Row, a literature based curriculum for grades K-3. It covers literature, language arts, geography, history, science and math. All you have to add in is more math and phonics.

I read and read and read everything that I could find. Could I really do this? I have a college education, but don't have a college degree. Could I teach him math, my weakest subject? How will I keep him socialized? How will I teach him while a very loud two year old is with us? I found that all of these are typical questions, and I had no trouble finding the answers. Each answer made me feel more confident that I could in fact do this. Books from the library have been incredibly helpful. Blogs even more helpful. I will soon be compiling a list of the resources that helped me.

I have my Notice of Intent ready to be mailed off to our school board. I have purchased a curriculum for kindergarten. I'm working on learning what Cody knows, and needs to know, before we officially start kindergarten. I'm learning that his preschool failed to teach him things that they should have, which has been a very disappointing discovery.

My biggest concern is that I won't be getting the one on one time with Luke that I had been looking forward to while Cody was in school. But I'm committed to making sure that each boy receives one on one time with me. It is also my hope that being around us while I'm teaching Cody will help Luke develop more language and begin learning more.



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