So, for some background:
I have been thinking about homeschooling for quite awhile now. I almost didn’t send Big Kid to kindergarden because I liked the idea of homeschooling and because I was nervous about what the school would “demand” of him. I ended up sending him for kindy and then started first grade as well. After we found out what the curriculum would cover vs what Big Kid already knew, I started looking into homeschooling again, a little more closely.
I thought about it for awhile and listed all the pros and cons. They came out about even so I was left waffling for a bit. Mr. Shannon wanted me to do a “trial day” for BK so he would know what school at home would actually BE like vs what he thought it would be like.
I had planned out part of a day but hadn’t gotten too far into it yet because I didn’t plan on doing a trial day for another week or so. As life would have it, BK got a stomach bug Friday and wasn’t back up to par this morning so he stayed home. Since he asked me about 400 times before I had managed to shower if we could do the “school at home” day I threw together what I could and went with it!
One of the biggest issues we had, right from the get-go (that will likely get better with time) is since he was in public school for a year and part of first grade, he is very schedule oriented. He wanted to know what was next and when it would be time to move to the next thing. He also rushed more than he should have despite my stressing we have ALL the time he needs and not to worry about it. I am sure that would adjust once we are full time.
The first thing we covered was handwriting. That is one of his weak areas. His hands aren’t terribly strong so he needs some practice. It took about 45 minutes (with wiggle breaks) to have him work on the sheets I printed off for him. He did them well and stayed on task really well for a young 6 year old.
Then we moved on to math. We covered chapter one in Life of Fred: Apples. It wasn’t anything too intense but he seemed to enjoy the story. On a regular day we could have easily covered two or more chapters, I was just keeping it mellow for today, get a feel for it all. Once he had done that chapter he also watched a video on Khan Academy on basic addition and then did the “representing numbers” practice on there. It was pretty basic but I wanted to start him out right at the beginning while I watch and keep track of where weak spots might be.
After math was done, we read together for a little bit from a poem book he made last year. Then it was play time until lunch! That was super exciting for him and gave me a chance to get a little housework done and to prepare lunch. We also picked up Little Kid from preschool so she could have lunch with us.
After lunch they played until rest time. In a normal homeschool day there wouldn’t be a rest time but BK was sick, LK had gotten back from preschool, and I wasn’t feeling too well myself so we all benefited from a chance to lay down and close our eyes for a bit (yay flexibility!).
Once rest time was over I decided to stretch things a bit and have the kids watch the season premier of Amazing Race with me. I figured this was “close enough” because it gave us a lot of talking points. There are many people on the show that come from different backgrounds and cultures, which is something that is severely lacking in my area, there is pretty much no diversity at all. It also deals with world travel (Shanghai, China in that episode), different cultural customs, team work, doing things even though they can be scary, etc. There are many things I can “teach” the kids with that show as a jumping off point. They really seemed to enjoy it as well.
At the end of the day Big Kid really wanted to “do science” and I didn’t have anything planned at all since it was such an impromptu homeschool day so I had him watch the Khan Academy intro video to evolution/natural selection. A lot of it went straight over his head but he did learn about moths after the industrial revolution and how that lead to natural selection, which is more than I can ask for at 6 years old!
Then we did a quick “review” of the day where we talked about what happened. He was SUPER excited to talk about what we did with me. This was perhaps the biggest change from a normal day at school. When he comes home from public school I hear nothing from him. I have no idea what he does at school unless I ask the teacher/read her blog. It was amazing to have him talking to me about “school” with such excitement in his eyes and voice. It warmed my heart right up.
So, overall I would say it was a successful day! It would take a little adjustment on both of our parts but I think it will go just fine once we get into the swing of things. Now I just need to get Mr Shannon to sign the paperwork for the state so I can send it in!