*my youngest, sewing while skyping with her friend*
Well gosh. I had such a hard time wrapping my brain around how to write this post. I had really meant to do it months ago when we began our school year and several of you asked how we did things. The truth is, I tend to tread lightly on this subject because it can really spark some strong feelings in people. I know you all have different ways you choose to educate your children and I don't judge any of them, or you. We all choose different paths, you know? I don't think one is the only or right choice. I truly honor our individuality.
If you're curious about how & why we started homeschooling, you can start with this post from a few years ago.
And now, some questions from you ~ answered by me:
How much time do you spend daily on school?
This is a tough one because my kids spend HOURS a day learning something through their many (many!) crazy, messy, creative shenanigans. Things that teach them volumes, but cannot be tidily put into a subject box. I value this tremendously. That being said, actual sit down time with me teaching them is somewhere in the two – three hours range, at least four days a week, between the two of them. We cover writing, math, spelling, reading, history & science in this time on any given day. We use a mish-mash of curriculum and guides, things I've found work well for my kids & for me as their teacher. They sometimes groan over things they don't love, but we still get through it. Sort of like they sometimes groan over chores, which still need to get done.
Do you have required reading time?
My big kids are voracious readers. However, when my kids are learning to read + practicing their new skills, we do try our best to have a short reading time every day during the week. Enough to read a short chapter in an easy reader or a few pages of a favorite picture book. You can read more about my thoughts on reading here.
Okay, so your bigger kids are going to public school. What was the matriculation process like, to figure out what grade they were to be placed in? Did they have to take a placement test?
Both my high school kids took standardized testing for math to be placed. Especially in New England, I was firm that my daughter did not need testing in anything else. I wanted them to meet her and talk to her and *then* if they had any concerns we could address them. Freshman level classes are pretty basic + required. So I felt math was the only one she needed to be "placed" properly in. It took a bit of back & forth but after they met her, they were totally okay with just the math test. Both of my kids entered high school to take "at or above" grade level classes.
How do you answer your children when they ask why you homeschool?
I tell them now that we homeschool for the freedom & flexibility. I'm trying to get them to tell people "I homeschool" instead of "oh, I don't go to school." We're still working on that. The latter statement results in a lot of funny looks from folks!
I've got a few more questions for you in part 2, which I'll publish next week. Tomorrow I've got something else in store for you. See you then!