Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reentering the Homeschool world

I loved when we homeschooled Drew when he was in 1st grade.  I liked the freedom it gave us to explore ancient history, the world  around us, current events, art...whatever we wanted.  Drew was shocked one day when I told him to go watch some videos on TV during shark week.  He could not wrap his mind around that those videos were counted as school time.

Let me back up.  When my older son was in school he went to a private Episcopal school who embraced learning outside the 4 walls of a class room.  It was then that I understood that ANYTHING could be a learning opportunity if we let it.  We took Phil on a vacation to Albuquerque when he was in 7th grade.  His teachers supported this 110%.  They changed his assignments to that they fit within what we were doing. For science he had to be able to explain how a hot air balloon worked,  For history we traveled the Jemez trail and have some great family jokes that still get said all these years later.( I still swear tarantulas can jump.) I can't remember what was done for english.  This experience opened my eyes to a new type of learning. 

So now back to homeschooling with Drew.  When we did the first time parts of it were a disaster.  His Tourette's, OCD, Anxiety, and other issues were not yet diagnosed.  So consequently, what I expected and what he was able to do were two different things.  This time around it is different.  Drew has a better understanding of what is expected of him.  I understand his TS and his need for breaks, and more hands on experiences.  We have talked and  he understands that spelling and math will continue over the summer.  He is behind in math and we want him caught up. 

The Spelling You See is wonderful.  Today I ordered Teaching Textbooks for math. It is done on the computer and it is self directed.  I am really wrestling with history. Before we did Story of the World and I am seriously considering it.  I feel that history doesn't make sense if it is not taught in order.  How can someone understand The Fall of the Roman Empire if they don't have the years of history before it?  It has lots of hands on experiences with it and supplementing it with Art  in  History.  

While I honestly don't care what they are doing in public school I do think that on some levels I need to ensure that he does some of what they do so I am thinking about a civics type block on how bills become law and the branches of our governing bodies.  Maybe a trip to DC might top it off. (being a travel agent could come in handy)

I enjoy the freedom of homeschooling.  I also like that I can tailor what we do to his interests on many levels. Unit studies can be fun.  It adds something to the day other than the basics.  Field trips are also great.  They break up the monotony of the week. I feel like Auntie Mame opening up a new world for Drew.  hopefully we will embrace the philosphy that LIFE IS A BANQUET AND MOST POOR SUCKERS ARE STARVING TO DEATH!!!! and we are going to step up to the banquet table of learning and embrace it all!