As I sit here writing this post, I am so incredibly grateful that we have the opportunity and the right to homeschool our children. Is it a choice we would have made if there was no pandemic? Probably not. But, here we are, in a pandemic, and homeschooling our two kids (ages 6 and 7).
When I posted our “first day of school” picture a couple weeks ago, people immediately questioned why we were starting so early. Well, here is why: 1) we were excited to get started; 2) we know that we will finish our year much earlier; 3) we wanted to get the kids and ourselves into a routine before I started back to work at the end of August.
So, how is homeschool going? FANTASTIC! We love it. The kids love it. AND they are learning so much in just a short 2 weeks. Have there been struggles? Of course. Have there been tears? Yup. But there have also been moments of “I LOVE homeschooling!” and “Wow – I want to go there and learn more about that!”
Homeschool Pros and Cons
Since starting homeschool I have been asked, “What are the pros and cons of homeschooling?” So, here you go…
- We can keep our kids safe at home
- They are learning so much
- They finish school by lunchtime most days
- They are developing a sense of independence through their school and the structure we have built after schoolwork is complete (more on that in a bit)
- We can adapt and modify the lessons to meet our kids’ needs and interests
- I get to see my husband learn a new skill of teaching (and he is doing fantastic!) and the kids learn patience while waiting for daddy to be able to help
- The kids aren’t on a computer screen the entire day for virtual school
- We are missing some of the social aspects of being around other kids
- We don’t have access to some of the same online resources that they would if they were still enrolled in public school (but we are finding many free resources to fill that gap)
Homeschool Update: So Far, So Good
So, how are we structuring our day? Coffee. Coffee comes first. We usually get up around 8:00am and get some coffee in us and breakfast in the kids. We start our school day around 8:30 and get through reading, language arts, and math. Then the kids get a little break for snacks or playtime. By about 10:00 we are back to school to work on geography and Earth science, as well as whatever special area subject is on tap for the day. Around 11 or 11:30 we are serving lunch.
After lunch the kids have to work on reading for pleasure (at least 20 minutes), chores (simple things like wiping down high touch points, taking out the recycling, etc.), free play (outside if weather permits), and occasionally some extra math practice. They have to do these things before they can earn TV time and we won’t turn on the TV before 3pm, unless it is a rainy day and they can’t be outside.
The kids are generally happy with this structure and in addition to learning traditional school topics, they are learning how to entertain themselves.
Is homeschool right for every family? No. But it is right for us at this point in our lives.
What are you doing about school with your kids this year? No wrong answer, no right answer. Everything is so crazy right now, that no one knows what the right answer is. I think that is because what is right for me may not be right for you! Respect your friends and families and recognize there is a struggle with any decision we make right now.