Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Homeschooling 101

I'm Misty. I homeschool my two sons, ages 5 and 2. Perhaps one day I will blog about how we came to decide upon homeschooling. It was a long, twisty journey. I am not surprised that we have ended up here. It seems quite comfortable, like I was supposed to be doing this from the start, only I didn't trust myself enough to choose homeschooling from the beginning.

I don't know if I am a "stereotypical" homeschooling mom. I have a Fine Art degree and a French degree. I worked lousy jobs until our first son was born, at which point my dh's job allowed me to stay home with our son. I have no plans to rejoin the workforce anytime soon. I can't imagine doing any other job than managing our household, educating our kids, and enjoying seeing them grow up. So that makes me "conservative" in a strange way. But I am very politically liberal. I voted for Obama. I'm pro-choice. My dh and I belong to a UU church and choose mostly secular curricula and books. But I am comfortable teaching my kids Bible stories because I want them to be literate about Christianity. I teach them Buddhist and Hindu and Muslim stories for the same reason...I want them to be literate about all world religions.

We live in a suburban area outside of Washington DC, which is a fabulous place to homeschool. We are close to Baltimore, DC, and Annapolis. We are within easy driving distance of NYC, Philadelphia, Richmond, tons of historical sites and great museums. There are tons of co-ops, playgroups, support groups, and umbrella groups in this area.

Some of our homeschool challenges are living in a very small townhouse. Our boys share a room so that we can have a small classroom and office space. We are always cramped for space. Our oldest son is extremely bright but is a handful...He is already reading quite well, can add and subtract numbers up to fifteen, is extremely creative and imaginative, can memorize anything especially if it's set to music. But he is often very oppositional, and has a very difficult time transitioning. Getting him motivated to do anything is a fight. Often every step of our day, from getting dressed to doing a workbox to eating dinner is a battle. It's a little early to tell but it appears that our younger son has a very similar temperament. It's hard to tell if he's just mimicking big brother. There are days I want to run away, or even *gasp* put them in public school and go back to work. I miss my private time. I miss having time to make my own art and quilts and crafts, not just file folder games and lapbooks. But I do some yoga, play some bejeweled blitz, plan some workboxes, and start over again the next day with an open mind and heart.

I am decidely eclectic in my hs approach. I recently discovered the "workbox" system and have set up 12 boxes per day for Thing One as he is affectionately called around here. It is working extremely well for us so far (four weeks in). I'm doing unit study so far. He is choosing the unit theme. We have done dogs, cats, monsters and ships. I will slowly be incorporating Five in a Row, All About Spelling, Miquon Math and Story of the World. All in good time, Thing One's just starting Kindergarten in the fall.

I have a fabulous dh, who is totally supportive of homeschooling. He is the type of dad that is home each day at 5pm to help cook dinner, bathe the kids and read them stories, and take off during the week for a field trip. I could not do this without his loving help and support.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am your newest follower and just found your blog. I love it, it is super cute! We seem very similar in our approach to homeschooling and I love your ideas!