This year my oldest son hit “school age”. While I visited local pre-schools/kindergartens for months in the summer, I still came home with a feeling that there needs to be something more. In simple terms I just wasn’t that impressed with the preschools that I visited and wanted something more for my child at this age. So after weeks of debating whether or not to send him off to school, my husband and I agreed that I could homeschool instead. So officially this is our first year. He technically isn’t “required” to be in school until next year, but with his curious personality we couldn’t just sit back and not fuel his desire to learn.
I talked with fellow homeschoolers before I ever made the decision to homeschool myself and they all basically had the same message for me “you’ll love it” they said. So this is our “test year”. Both my son and I are feeling it out to see how we like this homeschooling thing. We’ve learned a lot from each other as the role in each others lives has switched from parent to teacher and child to student. We started homeschooling in August as everyone else began school as well. Over the last several months I’ve learned a lot through trial and error. I believe that is what most first years are like in anything that one starts.
With the power of the interwebs have discovered many useful online resources to enrich our homeschool experience and bring something new to the table each week.
Free (Christian/Bible Based) Preschool Curriculum*
Free Phonics/Reading Based Games
Handwriting for Kids
PBS Kids- games, coloring pages, & more
NickJR- craft & activity ideas
Preschool Learning Fun
Away from the computer we enjoy doing “book work”, playing, flashcards, crafting, and enjoying the great outdoors.
**Random House approached me at the beginning of the school year to see if I would like to give their Sylvan Learning Books (Grade K) a try. Since I was beginning homeschooling and looking for a good “workbook” type system for my child to learn from aside from our other homeschool activities, I decided to try it out. So far so good. My son loves the workbooks. Books are dedicated to Alphabet Activities, Beginning Word Games, and Reading Readiness. My son already knew all of his colors, shapes, numbers 1-100, alphabet, stuff like that going into the school year but was definitely looking for something to build on this already established knowledge base. What I’m impressed with the most is how much he has learned already in such a short time of homeschooling. Its amazing to me to see him change each week.
Flashcards (I found these or something similar at my local Walmart around back-to-school time)
Meeting others kids & parents in my community that homeschool as well for social interaction.
Being stuck in the house all the time is never fun, its good to get it out and meet other people. For months I’ve been searching the interwebs for a homeschooling group that my family could join that didn’t have a fee associated with it nor a deadline in which you had to join in order to participate. I finally found one within the last month on meetup.com. We went to our first meetup this past Friday at local pizza place to make Christmas boxes filled with candy for local residents. We had lots of fun meeting other homeschoolers. I felt welcomed and apart of the group almost instantly. It feels good to be surrounded by others that do and like the same things as you. I look forward to many more “fieldtrips” as the year progresses.
Overall my opinion of homeschooling is that it is a lot of fun for us. As a parent I like seeing my child learn something new everyday. I like seeing him grow as a person. There are rocky days but that is life, right?
Like many others new to homeschooling, I’m just trying to find my way. There is so much information out there about homeschooling that it can be very overwhelming, at least it was for me when I was doing the research in the beginning. My best advice to someone thinking about homeschooling is to talk to other homeschoolers that can guide you in the direction to go. Everyone homeschools differently so ask as many homeschoolers as possible or join a support group.
Homeschool Bloggers that we admire:
When it comes to supplies ***Clementine Art has some pretty cool products. They recently sent me a set of their Natural Soy Crayons to try out and my youngest kidlet, who isn’t ready for homeschooling yet, loves them. They are the perfect size for his little hands. So if you are looking for environmentally friendly art supplies, check out Clementine Art.
Are you a Homeschooler?
Any advice, links, resources, etc. you would like to share with us, please feel free to leave it in the comment section of this post. If you are homeschool blogger, twitter, etc. you may also share those links with us as well.