Thursday, September 5

I got schooled

Tuesday was Ethan's first official day of kindergarten. We decided to give homeschooling a concerted try, so it was my prerogative to go California-style and start after labor day. We do NOT do school in August. Gross. Also, no shoes, no pants, no problem!

So, homeschooling. Fulfilling my lifelong dream of raising a weirdo. Just kidding. I didn't think I'd be the homeschooling type (how many homeschooling families say that? All of them, except for that one family that has like 22 kids?), but when Noah suggested the idea a few months ago, I immediately felt good about it. I enjoy teaching. I like the idea that Ethan will get one-on-one attention, a freestyle school day, and no pressure to move at any pace but his own. I won't lie; keeping him protected from some of the unhappier aspects of school life is also a factor. As is not having to get out the door by 7:30 every morning.

I had planned an easy day for our first official: A photo, an interview, a self-portrait art project, practicing writing his name, practicing his address, some reading, some activity book pages. Honestly, it wasn't tremendously different from what we do most days anyway. Just with more direction and focus.

Yesterday we did some more name practicing, some mazes, some activity book (phonemes, letters, counting, matching, rhyming), and an art lesson on warm and cool colors with a painting project. Yesterday was Rosh Hashanah, so we talked about that as well. Because why not? I think that might be my homeschool motto. Because why not? How to succeed in homeschooling without really trying! 

I guess I could gather some neighborhood kids so he could practice walking in a straight line quietly, or play some loud music and TV while we're reading to simulate a classroom environment. <— way more jaded than I intended.

Actually, I have a good number of friends who teach elementary school, including a few who teach at a public charter school, and I think I'd be happy to send Ethan to that school if it wasn't across town. The difference is I know each one of them very well, they know us, and while I'm sure the majority of teachers try to know their students and families, I'm just not ready to send Ethan out into an environment where he's not cherished.

Really, I think I'm doing kindergarten teachers a favor; after our first "lesson" (name-writing practice), we went outside to play (because why not!) and he put on a teacherly voice and instructed me how to color in the shapes he'd drawn on the driveway. I have a feeling every time I teach him something, he's going to teach right back at my face.

I only have myself to blame. And Noah a little bit.


Mouse said...

Enjoy the journey and keep it chill! We kinda backed into homeschooling, too, and re-evaluate every year, asking the kids what they want. So far, they've always demanded that we keep homeschooling. I feel like it's the best decision we've made as parents (and it was by accident). If you ever need/want to talk ideas/worries/curriculum, I'm here!

Unknown said...

I've been quietly enjoying your blog for years and laughing with you along the way. We homeschooled our kids for years and they turned out alright, weird but alright. haha :) I want to encourage you and wish you well on your new journey. You are so right, you will be learning from your kids every bit as much as they learn from you. I'm looking forward to reading about your homeschool adventures and what Ethan teaches you each day.

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