It is finally official: we are homeschooling! This has been in the works for several years but not official until this fall since my eldest would have started kindergarten if he was attending public school. Although, based on our homeschool, this is his first grade year.
It is a huge amount of work but I really enjoy it and fully believe that this is the best decision for our boys. Teaching one student one on one really allows for the curriculum to be tailored to their learning speed and learning style.
And, it allows for a huge amount of hands on learning activities. For example, in our science unit we've been learning about the states of matter and how the application of heat energy can transform something from a solid to a liquid, liquid to a gas, etc. We first did this with ice which became water, then we boiled the water to make gas. Well, after that we made plasma in our microwave! (Plasma is the fourth state of mater, an ionized/super heated form of gas, our sun is mostly plasma).
That huge glowing thing in the microwave is a ball of plasma - it only lasted a few seconds but it was amazing.
We started homeschooling last year in full force last year. Our eldest was really ready for school but not old enough for public school. (There is a list of other reasons why we choose to homeschool but that is a topic for another post.)
This is the curriculum we completed last year for Kindergarten:
Explode the Code books 1, 2, 3, 3.5, and 4
Beyond the Code book 1
ZB Spelling Connections level 1
First Language Lessons level 1 (we only made it to lesson 60)
several lapbooks for favorite books
Singapore 1A and 1B
Lollipop Logic books 1,2, and 3
homemade curriculum with lots of note-booking pages and hands on experiments (planting a garden,
hatching butterflies, tracking weather, etc)
This year our plan is to continue with a lot of the same curriculum, add in a few new things, and we joined a homeschool co-op where D takes Lego engineering, Science Experiments, and Animal Encounters.
Explode the Code books 5, 6, 7
ZB Spelling Connections level 2
complete level 1 of First Language Lessons then move on to level 2
reading a chapter books a month
Singapore 2A and 2B
a ton of logic and analogy books from the Critical Thinking Co.
lapbooks for monthly theme (Johnny Appleseed, Columbus, Pilgrims)
Based on our list, it seems as if we are doing work all day long but in reality we have seat work four days a week that lasts about 1.5 hours (we take 5-10 minute breaks between subjects to clear the mind and get the wiggles out). And the we have science experiments or art projects that we work on for 1-2 hours twice a week and go to co-op classes on the fifth "school" day of the week. (Although, with homeschooling everything can be turned into a lesson!) We do school about 12 hours a week (including swim and soccer class) which is much less than would be spend in a classroom AND we are doing a lot more learning. Homeschooling also does not mean we are home all day. We have a weekly playgroup, swim lessons, soccer lessons, co-op, story time at the library, and regular playdates with friends in addition to the kids going on all the normal family outings (weekend family trips, weekly grocery shopping, etc). It's been an eventful and educational journey for all of us.