So Bella will be 6 this fall. I can hardly believe that. 6 years.
While last year we dipped our toes into a bit of kindergarten with her age being so close to most state’s cut off Sept/Oct – I quickly realized she just wasn’t there emotionally. It took me a while to wrap my head around that. Like half a year lol. She’s always been so independent with everything she does – teaching her became a power struggle between us. I kept thinking, “I taught a classroom full of kids her age a certain way and by golly, she’s no different.”
But when I finally let the, “BUT THIS IS WHAT I PLANNED” deal go, it seemed to work out better than I imagined.
Oddly enough, this year is the one I’ve been met with the most opposition to homeschooling her. Even my mind wanders to continually reevaluating our choice to do this now that she’s going to be legally of school age (or at the point where it would put her way behind not to start this year). I think it’s because so many people around us know we’re struggling lately with Bella’s behavior. While I don’t want to get into details (because I think that would require a thoughtful, careful post on my end and not just a dump in the middle of the blog) it’s something we’re working hard on. For a really wonderful look at some, not all, of what we’re trying to balance, Jamie from Simple Homeschool wrote this post that resonated with a lot of parents.
I find that saying to people, “We plan on homeschooling,” leads to raised eyebrows and the standard response, “With all you having going on/coming up, don’t you just want to send her to school?” Which makes me a little mad because most public school parents I know don’t “just” send their kids to school because they have a lot going on. These are big decisions all the way around.
In a way, it would be easier to send her to school this year. Initially. But in the long run, I think that it might actually hurt us trying to reconnect as a family and team. I want to be with her. I miss her when I’m gone or she is – and I need to follow that tug on my heart because God hasn’t closed this door, even after asking if sending her to school was His plan instead.
Then of course come my own thoughts on making sure she’s not getting a one-sided education because of her behavior.
The strange part of homeschooling one child (or one child at a certain age) is that you suddenly are faced with incorporating a lot more of their preferences into your day than a teacher would in a classroom. I waver between respecting that in our homeschooling and not wanting to raise a child who just expects every part of her education/interests/our day to revolve around whatever mood she happens to be in or likes at that moment.
This year we chose Oak Meadow as our curriculum. Over the past year, I’ve gone back to their site time and again to look at what is offered, and always felt drawn to the more art/nature, Waldorf inspired methods. We chose their first grade year because she’s ready for what they offer, but really it’ll be her kindergarten year everywhere else. Sam and I are getting ready to do a bit of an overhaul on the homeschool room, thinking that we may bring most of it out into our connected living room that now serves as a playroom. We’d turn the homeschool into my office/move the guest room there. Then the guest room would eventually become Charlotte’s room.
Mostly I like to just plan and organize. I have to remind myself that part of homeschooling is actually schooling, not simply moving furniture and looking for planners.
We’ve also joined a homeschool co-op that meets weekly starting in Sept and offers classes (learning about bugs! Bella will love it) and she’ll be in Girl Scouts every other week again. She’ll also be at her hourly class one-two times a week for a few hours since she loves that so much. We’re trying to decrease activities with not having a firm timeframe on Charlotte’s arrival and what will happen after, while still getting her out of the house with other kids often.
So that’s our plan so far. I’d love to know about your ideas or days if you’ve already started. Feel free to leave me a blog link in the comments (I love reading homeschool blogs) or a note here about what you’re doing.