Sunday, August 22, 2010

To answer some questions

Lindsey asked me a bit about homeschool. Although, I think she will do a great job with it and doesn't really need my answers, I decided to go ahead and answer anyway. By way of a recent post of hers I came to another article she wrote that asked some specifics, I'm reprinting them here, in italics. My answer got a bit long though not particularly insightful, but I always appreciate the connection of just sharing stories with other people in the same boat.

How is your child or children responding to the homeschooling environment?
I'm in the same position as you: My oldest goes to school, my middle child will be home school and my youngest will go to pre-school. I am eclectic in my preferences, but we are primarily montessori (and my oldest child now goes to a montessori public school) My oldest loves to learn so that part was fine - me being her teacher not so much! My otherwise independent child needed me right there constantly reminding her to do her work. She does have trouble focusing occasionally in class, but not like at home. I haven't started with my middle child yet, so that remains to be seen.

How do you prioritize your home life along with homeschool life?
When the other children are at school, then it is school time at home. One of the ways I fall into the eclectic category is that, like "unschoolers", I weave lessons into our life throughout the day. One of the things I like about montessori is that daily life skills are part of the curriculum.

What kinds of field trips, clubs etc. does your child or children get to experience?
We didn't get to the clubs and outings part since she was so young, but if we had stayed with it, we would have joined a co-op. There are some that are curriculum or religion specific and there are some that are more inclusive. Google and Yahoo groups are great places to start a search.

Do you feel your children are further ahead than they would be in a traditional public school setting or even a private school?
Is she further ahead... that's a hard one to answer since I don't have testing or whatever to compare her to. AT loves math and we've certainly gotten ahead of the state's curriculum for her age, but I'm not sure that I'd say she does better at it than any other kid who's been given the same lessons. However, I finished the entire kindergarten curriculum (set by my state) before winter break last year.

Are you currently a member of HSLDA advocates for homeschooling?
I am not a member of HSLDA, but I hadn't encountered any problems and my county is pretty supportive of homeschoolers. We're free to use the resource centers, computer labs, libraries and if we so choose, the state pays for K12 virtual academy. Now, I didn't use any of these resources, so I can't say that the access is really as easy as they make it seem.

I'm always happy to talk about my experience in homeschool if anyone needs some support. Frankly, I feel that as in most of mothering, if you care enough to be researching and asking for help then you'll do just fine.