One of the big changes that our family has made recently is the decision to home school both of our kids. Homeschooling is something we have always been interested in doing, and if you have been a long time reader of Kids and Cabernet, you know that I home-schooled my daughter through Pre-K (click here to read) using a curriculum that we purchased. Although I loved homeschooling her then, we found a very small school very close to our home and fell in love with the staff and teachers. The school had a very homey feel which I loved since I liked the idea of homeschooling and we decided to have her go to Kindergarten there. She also attended first grade there. There were really no complaints except the fact that I felt that we barely got to spend time with her. She went to school from 8:30-3 and then always had homework and projects after school which sucked up a lot of her time – I felt it was a little much at times.
I’m one of those moms that likes to be with her kids a lot; I think it’s because I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since day one with them and it just feels natural to have them around. My husband and I spoke and decided that for our growing family homeschooling would be beneficial. We like that it is at our own pace, and there isn’t a hustle and bustle in the morning or a mad rush in the evenings to do homework, eat and rush to get ready for the next day – I think that is MAJOR with a newborn. I particularly love the schedule; we typically school between two and three hours and then we are done for the day!
We chose the Timberdoodle Curriculum for our kids and I can honestly that I love it. The curriculum comes with everything including teacher’s manuals and a schedule of how much needs to be done everyday to finish the school year in 36 weeks. Another great tool from them is the tool to set your own schedule for the year. I love this because once the baby is born, I plan to take some time off so I was able to schedule the year using a 34 week plan instead of the traditional 36. There is also very little preparation required of me since the curriculum comes with all of the manuals and schedules. I like that part a lot because I do not have to prepare days in advance (or even a day) to school the kids.
We are three weeks in, and both kids love it. I was a little skeptical about my son liking it or him not listening as well because I’m “mom” and not his “teacher”, but he’s doing great and is being challenged as is my daughter, which was also a concern of mine. She did great in school and was one of the smartest in the class so I wanted to make sure she was going to be challenged. I like that Timberdoodle likes to keep school fun – they include art, science and things that require thinking skills and imagination which is so important.
We usually start school around 9:30 and are done by lunchtime which has been great! We also are only doing school from Monday-Thursday; Friday’s we are off :). In order to keep the kids and myself organized I created a schedule so the kids know what to expect throughout the day. I have also included an hour of quiet time so that I can get some housework done or rest. In the hour they can play, read or if I decide they can go on the iPad. Basically it’s an hour to keep my sanity and to encourage them to be independent. Below is my schedule for anyone interested. My husband’s schedule recently changed too so it’s just me during the day with the kids so this schedule is key for me getting things done and not feeling overwhelmed at the end of the day.
So far homeschooling has been a great experience! I love spending the extra time with my kids and watching them learn. I also think once the baby is born it will be great for them both to be included as much as possible and be able to spend extra time with her. I truly believe that life lessons are also a part of schooling. The fact that they are home and are able to see how the house is run, help with chores and help me bake sweets (it’s math!) is all a part of learning and they are also lasting memories that we are making as a family, which I love.