Friday, March 19, 2010

Learning at home

I'd been thinking a lot about what we might want to do with Kayley's (well - and I supposed Maggie's -gulp!-) education. I've been told that the public school system here where we live is very good. I'm sure it really is. But, I've really been dabbling with the idea of having our kids attend a program that is more of a hybrid school. The kids go to school 2 days per week, then homeschool 3 days a week, with the understanding that, as a parent you guide them through their coursework and subsidize their education with things that you think are also important. (like scripture study, dance, karate, field trips, service projects, money management, computer skills, etc)

I really like this idea.
I like it for several reasons:
-Small class size.
-Individualized attention.
-Modest clothing (i.e. uniforms!)
-You also kinda get what you pay for in schools today... for example, many public schools are doing away with recess, music, art and other enrichment programs due to a lack of funding. Private school, your tution is paying for those specialized programs...
-I also feel like public schools teach to the lowest common denominator...(ie. the dumbest kids in the class) leaving the smarter children bored and more likely to cause trouble.

I am also weighing the cons.
Some things I don't like:
-Convenience of walking Kayley to the bus (in my PJs) and waving bye-bye
(private school would require me to drive her to class and pick her up - pure laziness & selfishness on my part really.)
-it's expensive
-The long-term comitment to driving and picking her up from school 2 days a week indefinitely.
-The fact that I will be held very accountable for Kayleys education...
what if I fail?

I am the kind of Mom that is pretty disorganized. I fly by the seat of my pants most days and really just do whatever I want. I know that this was subject to change as soon as Kayley starts school anyway, but I have wondered how these habits could effect my ability to effectively teach Kayley at home.

Well... I have decided that I'm not sure that they would.
I have realized now that I am being too hard on myself. I find opportunities to teach all the time, but just didn't notice. Simple things like, number puzzles...
Playing with things that are heavy and light...
Playing outside in the dirt...
(technically our flowerbed...where she just dug up a blooming bulb. lol!)
And role playing... They are all moments to teach.

We also read through the Friend, Highlights Junior, we have long discussions about anything she wants to know. We just learned a lot this week about germs and how they make you sick.

We have a chore chart where we are learning about responsibilities...
We do a craft project nearly everyday...just for fun.
We read tons of books, play computer games, and YES...we do watch TV. Mostly PBS. Lots of Caillou, Word World and Sesame Street. (Ok, and we watch Spongebob SquarePants, which is low...I know... I'm sorry).
We are learning how to tie our shoes and yes, even read.
Kayley can spell and write her name, she can tell you where your filtrum is located and what all the possible reasons are for a baby crying. She can count to 20, cough and sneeze in her elbow, use a napkin and feed the kitties.
She will say excuse me to a grown up when she needs to pass by.
She can tell you quite a bit about adoption.
She knows about eating healthy including what protein & vegetables do for your body.
She knows about the Holy Ghost, how to pray (she just gave her first primary prayer on Sunday without ANY help!!!), and what it means to be baptized.
She knows a LOT of things for a 3 year old.

I think I could do this.


The Wendler Family said...

You could TOTALLY do it!
I am so pro-homeschooling and my husband wants our kids to go to public school. That is until I read him this post about this "type of hybrid schooling." That sounds like the perfect middle ground for our family.
Would you find out the exact "kind" of school it is? I would love to research and find out if they have those in our area.

Bre said...

Sounds like you put a lot of thought into this, and know what kind of commiment you are getting into, so I think that you would ROCK IT! You are already doing it you know, you are a terrific mom and your kids are so lucky to have you! I would love to see another post about this as well.

Karinko said...

Hi! I have absolutely no idea how I ended up at your blog, but it is interesting to read about your life. I´m from Sweden and here you are not allowed to home school. I think it´s because although most parents oviously can handle that, some can most certainly not, and it can be crucial for a child to have other role models than their parents. But attend school certain days and be home schooled other days might be a good solution? In Sweden only a couple of swedish children every year are adopted and then it is always an open adoption. Why so few adoptions? 1. We have very few teen pregnances in Sweden due to a more frequent use of contraceptions I suppose 2. It is very possible to raise children as a single parent, both financially and socially here. 3. There is a slightly higher abortion rate in Sweden (21 per1000 compared to 19,2 for the US)
For the record I am a speech language pathologist working with disabled children, I am married and have two kids, Elvira 5 yrs and August (boy) 3,5 yrs. I hope it´s ok I continue reading about your very cute girls? /Karin

Dana Cheryl said...

Wow! You'll be a fantanstic teacher for your girls. Half of my friends, with kids, are homeschooling and loving it! Most homeschool using a co-op with the older kids take a couple of classes at public school once they reach the high school level.

I went to public school. I got on the bus at 7 am and got home after 3 pm. Bedtime was 8:30. One I add in my time playing with friends, playing alone, church activities, girl scouts, music lessons, etc... I only spent about three hours a day with my mom. If I ever have kids I don't want it to be that way. I want to build a stronger connection and foster a love of learning.

You rock!