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Homeschooling is Fabulous

I’ve been trying to catch up on writing about the craziness in our life. Let’s not leave out the good craziness.Β 

The kids started begging me to homeschool them almost as soon as they came to live with us. They spent some time in a foster home with homeschoolers, which prompted the begging.

That particular household embraced the philosophy that many of the minutes during a public school day are wasted.

I agree with the logic.

Kids in private school also deal with transitions and lost moments, but in a large public system, the problem is exponentially larger. Time is wasted in transitions, in moving between classrooms, waiting for everyone to get a drink of water at the fountain, waiting for everyone to finish toileting, waiting for everyone to finish lunch, waiting, waiting…

And waiting for at least 80 percent of the class to catch on to ideas.

Kids who “get it” more quickly must wait, bored…and even worse, the child who might understand with some one-on-one attention is left further and further behind.

At least in the U.S., I don’t see a viable solution within the public school system (especially for the child who misses the first step and struggles to climb the second step as his classmates sprint up steps four, five and six).

It’s not a “bad” system for most kids. It’s the best possible education for a grand spectrum of children, targeting the widest possible swath of average kids.

I agree that one-on-one attention can be better, but I didn’t particularly agree with the homeschooling philosophy of the family with whom they stayed.

The mother informed me that her kids (spanning elementary, middle and high school grades) were almost always finished with school in two hours per day. I imagine this could be possible for the lower grades, but homeschool done well in upper grades can’t be finished in a couple hours per day.

I’m no inexperienced snob…our family was one of the first in our area to school children at home (although each of us spent at least two years in either public or private school as well). At that time, the choice to homeschool was unpopular with the school system, county officials and even our church. My mom ensured our education was stellar—and it definitely took more than two hours per day.

All that in a nutshell: Public school wastes tons of time and leaves slower children behind. Homeschool can be a great alternative IF—and only if—done properly.

Sorry, I’m soapboxing. I digress.

Because of their need to learn how to integrate with society, we agreed with counselors and school administration that public school was the best beginning solution for our two.

However, Hubby and I promised them we’d consider home school when they successfully completed elementary school.

Fifth grade finished last year. We decided to take the plunge.

The school had me convinced that our girl required special needs support in math and reading.Β I had mild concerns about my ability to give her what she needs, but reasoned that I could learn anything necessary to help her.

We purchased the 5th grade math curriculum and completed it over the summer. The ease with which she moved through the program surprised me, but we weren’t studying other subjects.

When we began grade 6 in September, I expected she’d struggle. In some ways, this was true; if she considered a concept difficult, she gave up easily. We worked together and she began to realize that difficult math problems became easier once she learned the strategy. As long as she followed the strategy we put in place, she had almost no trouble.

Finally, I convinced her that the size of the number wasn’t an issue as long as she followed the math strategy (by requiring her to complete a long division problem involving a ten-digit number).

She stopped hating math.

Her handwriting improved.

She slowed her reading, decoding instead of skipping unknown words.

Quoting The Help, I informedΒ Hubby that he is smart, kind and important.

Grinning wildly, she corrected my grammar.

She loves finding facts I don’t already know.

She is bright. She is talented. She is fabulous.

Although we wish he didn’t have to be at the treatment center, our son’s absence has allowed me to spend twice as much time with our daughter, helping her finally catch up academically (due in part to their time in foster care, she’s two years behind).

In December, we completed the core subjects for grade 6. We started grade 7 in January. As long as we stay on task, we should be able to complete 7th by June.

School is cool.

 

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About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'm determined to give my kids the chance they deserve. Adoption isn't always easy. I promise, you're not alone in this. Join me at Hypervigilant.org - we're in this together.

Posted on February 10, 2018, in Adoption and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. My third grade son with autism did ok this year with me home schooling him. You hit it on the nose when you stated some kids will be stuck on the first step while the others are sprinting on to the second and third and fourth. That was us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At some point, I’m going to write a post about curricula choices; there is so much good stuff out there. For now, check out Teaching Textbooks for math. I highly recommend the self-grading CD packet. I bought the book but didn’t end up using it; all the same info is on the CD. You can also sign up for an online subscription but we had trouble getting it to load quickly–and as you know, that’s no good–so we went back to the hard copy CD. I think they have a free trial of the monthly subscription if you want to try it (and the online version is pretty much the same as the CD). Our girl was labeled LD in math by the school, but she just needed things explained differently; with TT, she did great. (And no, they don’t pay me.) πŸ™‚
      *You can also delete the answers from the teacher login, so if a lesson gives him trouble and he needs to do the practice again, you have that option. It’s super.

      Like

  2. Love it. I have a daughter with dyslexia and dysgraphia and she also asked me to homeschool her. I started homeschooling her and her twin sister this school year and they have both made amazing strides πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome!!! I’ll probably put this in a post, but I have to tell you–TEACHING TEXTBOOKS is the most amazing math program. Our girl was labeled LD in math while at school. Turns out she just needed things explained a different way. Also, they’d give the kids sixteen (ok, a little hyperbole, more like five) methods to work a problem and tell them to choose one. Lattice method, anyone? She is very go-with-the-flow and chose whatever her friends did (and the method they chose often didn’t make any sense to her…or me). Glad you’re enjoying it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Casey i am sooo glad to know about the fact that some people are really trying to improve the present education system . Reading this gave me hope . Thank you .
    Do follow https://saishabloomdotcom.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/learn-from-the-mistakes/
    She writes beautiful poems blogs about nature and philosophy and human emotions. Do read her blog and support her by following .πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your homeschool blog is very nice.
    I have a post featuring Singapore Math, feel free to share with your readers: https://goo.gl/Bb5jt1

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Survivors Blog Here and commented:
    Casey shares the up’s and down’s of homeschooling in her usual honest heart. M

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hello Casey
    Life has been quite a ride for you this past year. Your son is having such a had time, I know you want what is best for both. I wanted to reblog your last post on Home Schooling. There is no reblog button. Did you want to keep that post only on your site? Have a great day. I miss you and understand the difficulty of writing and running a school. πŸ™‚ M

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love this. A beacon of light in the darkness. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a treat to have you posting again so soon!
    Thank you for sharing. Love you all so much! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I was smiling big through this! So glad to hear that homeschooling has been rewarding for you and your dear daughter! Its great that she is doing so well! I pray that it keeps going well and that God can keep shining down blessings for amidst your other storm that you are going through.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! The real prayers will be needed when our guy comes home…right now, she’s the center of attention and loving it. I’m a little concerned about what will happen when he’s taking half (or more) the attention. For now, though, I’m enjoying the ability to give her everything she needs. Thanks so much for the encouragement and prayers! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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