We have been discussing homeschooling our daughter for the past several months. Our discussions have ranged from whether it was the best option for our family, to the financial impact this decision would have on our family, as I would be leaving work to do this. The impending arrival of our second child this summer, coupled with relocation to a different state for my husband’s job, has really put us in a position to move forward with this decision. I will not be working once we relocate since I will be so far along in the pregnancy. I am also wary of putting such a small baby into daycare just to rejoin the workforce. We were able to juggle our schedules when our daughter was small, so we did not have her in daycare until she was six months old. So this move has really put us on the road to becoming a homeschooling family.
Our four-year-old is currently in preschool, and once we move, we will continue a preschool-level school plan for her at home. This will be a comfortable way to adjust to homeschooling, and will be more relaxed, which I will need at a late stage of pregnancy.
I plan to move into a kindergarten-level curriculum starting in the fall. Our daughter will turn five in November. In the public school system, her late birthday would have her in pre-K for this coming year, and starting kindergarten next Fall. I don’t think this is necessary, as she is already excelling at many things, and I think starting at this level now can only help her succeed. I really like the idea of not being limited by a school system’s calendar, and expected milestones. I also like the idea of moving along at the pace that is needed by the individual, not by the needs of a diverse group of students.
Now that we know where and when we are relocating, and have committed to the idea of homeschooling, I have begun to research and organize the vast amount of information available on the internet. While there are general home schooling sites out there, dealing with discussions ranging from organizational approaches, different teaching styles and curricula available, there are also state- and city-specific sites dealing with laws regarding homeschooling and parents’ rights to educate their children at home. Additionally, there are many wonderful blogs out there, with insight into daily struggles, successes, curriculum ideas, etc. I am slowly assembling my resource page and organizing many of the sites available, as well as a blog roll of homeschoolers I enjoy reading.
I am really looking forward to this experience. Our daughter is excited that once we move, mommy will be her teacher at home. She’s already asked me if she can call me Miss Mommy! I feel lucky that we are starting this at the preschool/kindergarten level. In my opinion, it will be easier to adjust and adapt, rather than starting at a later grade, or mid-year. While I will have some structure to my approach, I will not be using a packaged curriculum for kindergarten. I also like having a little time to explore what curriculum approach I will take for later grades. Most importantly, I am taking this one step at a time. I’m willing to try new things and see what works best for the family. My first step (before even getting started with the actual teaching) will be to draft a written statement of purpose. I think sitting down and really thinking about what is most important in what we hope to accomplish as home educators is vital. It will ground us in our planning for the future and keep us focused on what we want to get out of homeschooling. It will also establish what approach or philosophy our family will use in planning our home education.