You guys, its been so long since I’ve blogged I’m almost embarrassed. Almost. Ha.
I’ve been fascinated with the idea of homeschooling for a while, and when John brought it up in conversation last month (super casually, like this-is-a-thing-that-I-keep-seeing way) I started to seriously consider it as a possibility. And the more I thought about it, the more excited I got, until I could basically think of nothing else. No lie- every time I got on the computer to write a new post I got distracted looking up homeschooling stuff instead! Long story short: we’ve decided to give it a try.
I’m calling it the Kindergarten Experiment. Kinder isn’t even mandatory in Alberta, and its not super academic anyways, so this feels like a really low-risk way to go out on a limb and try something a little different. If for whatever reason it doesn’t work out for our family, we can always send Porter to school for grade one and he wouldn’t have missed out on that much. But if it does work for our family, it could be the beginning of a whole new beautiful way of life for us.
Here are a few of my reasons for considering homeschooling for kindergarten:
- I love the flexibility it gives our schedule. I can let my kids sleep in, we can work on school for 1 hour or 3 hours, how ever many days a week we want. And if we want to take a week off and enjoy off-season travel, we totally can without it effecting our schooling.
- In fact, travelling would become part of our education. Talking about dinosaurs? Take a trip down to Drumheller. History- a trip to the Ukranian Village. Have you ever heard of world-schooling? Taking a year off (or even a season) to travel, immerse ourselves in another culture, and learn about another country is basically my dream.
- Thinking more local: A trip to the zoo? Devonian Botanical Gardens? Classes at Telus World of Science? Berry picking, a corn maze? A field trip to the art museum? A walk down in the ravine? These things are all “school”.
- There is a huge homeschooling community in Edmonton and I’m super excited to meet other moms, attend park-days, and go on field-trips with other homeschoolers.
- If we want to go down the rabbit hole of a particular subject- like space or sharks for example- we can spend a week learning everything we want about that one thing. We can learn about space travel and do space related math games, we can use sharks to talk about science and geography.
- I believe the best education comes, especially for such young kids, from being out in the world and playing and experiencing. I like that I can incorporate more hands-on learning and fun life-experiences into our every-day life and it counts as school.
- I can tailor what and how I teach to each individual child, working at their own pace. If Porter is excelling in Math its fine if we finish our kindergarten work and move on to grade one, but its also okay to take a little more time working on phonics and reading if he needs it.
- I can choose a literature based program that includes lots of great books. I so love the idea of using good books to teach my children. (In fact, before I even starting thinking about homeschooling seriously I looked into a literature based-curriculum called Five In A Row and was so fascinated with the idea of teaching through story-books and all the ideas that people had to implement it that I’ve never been able to forget.)
- Game-schooling. Did you know this is a thing? Because its totally a thing. Using games to teach children math and reading and telling time on top of the turn taking and gracious loosing/winning skills. How fun would that be?!
- I have the freedom teach what I think is important. That includes beginning our day with a religious devotional and including service projects and character development as part of our education. This includes teaching logical thinking skills,cursive writing, and coding.
- I love that with homeschooling its so easy for school and learning to just become your lifestyle- school doesn’t end at 11:30 when we finish our math lesson, we incorporate learning into almost everything we do, life becomes the classroom.
- Our family will be much closer because of it. We’ll spend so much quality time together, make so many memories, and have lots of inside jokes. We’ll be learning together.
- And last, because I just think it will be so much fun. I also think homeschooling is something that I’d be really good at.
I guess my reasons really boil down to two things: the fun factor (think of all the field trips and child-led learning experiences we’ll have), and the philosophy behind it. The more I look into homeschooling the more I see how my own philosophies align with popular homeschooling approaches. From Charlotte Mason I’ll take the importance of using living books and nature studies, but I also want to incorporate game-schooling and a unit study approach, and I like aspects of classical education too. I also believe that kindergarten doesn’t have to be super academic and rigorous. Children learn best through playing, and will learn more enthusiastically when its about something they’re already interested in.
I’m super excited about homeschooling this fall, I can’t wait to jump in and get started. I’m also excited to share our journey on my blog. I’ll keep you posted on how things are going. Two upcoming posts I have planned are: what I plan on using for our curriculum, and our summer plans.