Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Moments: Looking Back

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Wow... We have finished our first year homeschooling. Kindergarten is over and 1st grade is upon us. We made it!!!! :-) I'm doing the happy dance. The I can do this dance. The wow what I have learned this past year dance.

I've thought a lot about this post throughout the year. What would I say to all those who kept up with us, and what I would say about our year in review. So many things are popping in my mind so I'm going to limit them to 10 for now. So here goes:

10 Things I Learned During Our First Year Homeschooling:

1. Virtual school does not work for us. It doesn't work for us right now.  I'm not saying that in a few years it won't work for us but for this year it was a total bomb. We learned that very quickly thankfully and we went solo pretty soon after that.

2. Our school doesn't look like your school. Big shocker I know! At least it was to me. I learned that comparing myself to others, whether I have met them in person or online, is no way to have our homeschool go. My kiddo learns on a different pace than your child and that's okay. My homeschool is not always regimented to a tight schedule and that's okay. Our homeschool class, methods, etc might look similar but different and guess what... That's okay!

3. A regimented schedule is more of a guideline. I tried the whole time this section and do it from this to this time and you know what? Didn't work. All it did do was stress both of us out to the point of just wanting to be done with school. That's no way to homeschool now is it? Homeschool should be fun and exciting. So that's what we made it. And... school doesn't have to take all day long. I mean you can be schooling all day but not the book type schooling. Does that make sense?

4. I need to relax. Just because my son is not reading at a 5th grade level at age five does not mean something is wrong. It does not mean that I'm doing anything wrong or that he is either. It's okay if it is a fight somedays to get him to read or to write because he's a boy. He's just now turning 6. That's what they do. I need to relax and stress less and play more.

5. School happens everywhere, all the time, everyday. I realized this more and more as we progressed through the year. Oh, I read all the lovely homeschool mom blogs that stated this. I read up on all the methods and how this actually does happen. But I really realized it when we were grocery shopping talking about money, talking about prices of items. Taking a trip to the bank or going to the toy store and discussing math on how much money he had and what he could buy with it. Love doing nature walks or just taking a walk around our neighborhood and counting by 2's or 5's or even 10's. School is going on all the time everyday. It doesn't matter if it was a planned lesson or not. It happens and I have to be ready for it ;)

6. How to have fun. Oh I can have fun with the best of them but this was a different kind of fun. This was an exciting wonderful type of fun with my son. He never ceases to amaze me. :)

7. That I can learn as much, if not more, from him as he does me. I can not tell you how much knowledge I have soaked up about animals in the past year. He loves to watch the Wild Kratts on PBS and that child knows more about cheetahs, kangaroos and any other wild animal you can think of. Some of them you might not even know about. I love it! He is always spouting off facts and I'm amazed at what he retains, what he knows and what I don't know. LOL

8. It's okay to stop a lesson and come back later. If you are both frazzled that's the best way to do it anyway. If you don't finish it all today there's always tomorrow to complete it. It's okay!

9. We are not just one method. I've learned over the year that traditional school fits us for some things but a more Charlotte Mason, Classical, unschooling way is how we work better at times. Oh yes, there's always handwriting, reading and math of some kind. Science too. But it doesn't always have to be sit down and write an essay type work :). I love it. He loves it. It works for us.

10. And finally... I am looking forward to next year. (or 1st grade. We start in a month or so). I am excited about continuing this journey. I am excited about the progress my son has made and that he loves this too. I am thankful for this freedom and the opportunity to do this. I'm thankful to my support system of my lovely hubby, family and friends we have made over this past year.

So dear 1st grade. Here we come! I hope you're ready cuz we are going to tackle you!

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