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The “Why Homeschool?” guest posts are a way of connecting with others out there and learning their stories. Each one is unique and wonderful. Our reasons are all varied, yet this method of educating our children connects us. Each of these has inspired me and I hope you feel the same. Today we are hearing from Patricia! If you are interested in writing a post for this series, you can see more information HERE.
Hi, my name is Patricia and my husband and I have made the decision to homeschool our three children. I’d like to thank Karyn for this chance to share a little about our journey. I also blog about our adventures over at lessonsinhomeschooling.
Exploring the Grand Canyon
I was homeschooled for two years: 2nd grade and 9th grade. I loved the first experience and hated the second. When I was an elementary teacher I had several students come to the classroom after being homeschooled. Some were right on grade level or above and transitioned beautifully. Others (most notably the child whose parent confided, “We didn’t really like math so we skipped it) had a more difficult time. And now I find myself homeschooling my twin daughters. The first year, Kindergarten, we did on our own. This year, we’ve joined a charter homeschool…and we love it!
Field Trip to the Petrified National Forest
Waiting for the Space Shuttle
The big reason we homeschool is all our children have disabilities. At this point, between my three kiddos, we see seven therapists, many specialists (honestly I’ve lost track of the number of docs), and have hospitalizations that routinely must be worked into our lives. I’m also a school teacher by training so it just makes sense that a classroom with a teacher to student ration of 3:1 (my six year old twins and a 2 year old) will receive better instruction than a classroom with a ratio of 30:1 especially when we don’t have to yank them out of school constantly because of medical appointments.
Walking on the Bonneville Salt Flats
I am so happy with our particular homeschooling decision this year. Our school district actually has a charter homeschool which we enrolled the girls in. We are assigned a supervising teacher who checks in with us once a month to get paperwork and see how learning is progressing. There is a wide latitude given to the types of curriculum or teaching styles you wish to use at home and the school provides the books and access to support materials. Since it is a public school that means it is free (well, yes, I realize you pay property taxes and all but you get the idea). The kids have to take a standardized test every six months to prove progress has been made but there is no drill for the test like you see in some of the traditional public schools. Twice a week the kids have the option to get together with all the other homeschoolers and participate in enrichment classes or field trips. The class sizes are small and multi-grade. They have lessons in science, art, writing workshop, and other topics. The environment is really wonderful. My daughters look forward to seeing their friends so the social aspect is very nice. My girls struggle with writing so having a different (and very good) teacher teach writing workshop is such a stress relief. I also love the fact I know I have a teacher I can call or email if I run up against any challenges and she will make a house call or pull additional curriculum from the school library to address the concern. Speaking of libraries the school has their own and the kids can visit to check out books to their heart’s content.
The other parents are also a wonderful support network. We stand around after classes and watch the kids playing and talk about different issues we might be having. I know sometimes people feel like homeschool can be isolating. I am so happy to be part of a charter homeschool like this that I’ve recommended many friends who are looking into homeschooling to see if there is something like that in their school district.
Visiting the elephants at the Oakland Zoo
If you would like see our homeschooling in action please visit my blog (which is linked above). You can see how we wrapped social studies and science into our road trips, incorporated sneaky math into art projects and cooking sessions, and there are also reviews of resources I’ve found super helpful. All the pictures you see are from our adventures in traveling this year. Homeschooling is providing us the flexibility we need to deal with some very tough medical issues, the chance get out and explore the world whenever we can, and the ability to nurture a high quality learning environment at home. We’ve had a great year with great learning experiences and at this point we’ll be homeschooling next year as well.
Museum hopping in Balboa Park, San Diego