Even before we had children, Jesse and I discussed schooling. A lot. We went back and forth, between decrying the evils of public schools to the merits of diversity in public education and the fact that both of us (public school kids) turned out just fine! We still have mixed feelings – for example, there are many things wrong with our education system, but if we opt out of the system entirely how will it ever get better? And isn’t it just out of my place of privilege that I can choose an option other than public school – is my child better than other children who don’t have the choice? BUT for now, since Further is only 3 and he is already home with us all day, we are trying out a very loose homeschooling curriculum.
My main goals for the year are to establish a rhythm of school and work within our days, to introduce Further to structured learning, and to basically just see if this is something that is going to fit for our family and for Further and my relationship. That’s it! No real pressure on him or me.
So far, our days have ended up being mostly play, outside time, reading, art, and anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour of actual, structured “school.” It is pretty free and relaxed – I have been trying to take cues from what Further is interested in, what his body language tells me (as in: sitting down for a craft vs. turning him loose outside to get the crazies out), and involve him in practical life skills tasks (as in: just doing our normal life stuff like chores, farm work, cleaning, cooking). That being said, I have very much appreciated having a curriculum to guide my days and give me structure: we are using The Peaceful Preschool along with resources from Simply Learning. I’m stretching the “one letter a week” units to two weeks per letter, so that I have lots of flexibility for those “nope not happening” sort of days.
Essentially, I have no idea what I am doing. Within just these first two weeks I have had days of feeling like “This is amazing and I am a rockstar and Further is a genius and the online homeschooling community is so inspiring and helpful” to “I am failing and we are accomplishing nothing and why can’t Further count correctly and the online homeschooling community is a horrible, dark place of shame and guilt.” FUN! I would love to know your thoughts! Are you homeschooling? Public school? Private? I obviously have no judgement on choices either way – we hope Further likes it but also want to respect his choice if he someday wants to go to school. I hope to hear from some of you!