I am working on planning out the next school year for this year. I am excited because my son is trying something new. I have agonized and agonized over the school choice for him. Before kindergarten came I wanted to homeschool him but my husband wasn't sure so we decided on a Christian school for him. We didn't love that school though - it was good just not what we felt fit our needs so we were back to agonizing over what to do with him. Then my friend told me about this option that was a hybrid school. It is a public charter school that is half home school half regular school - ding, ding, ding. We have a winner!
I think school choice for each child is a very personal decision. I also think that it is the parent's responsibility to educate their child. Now, I don't mean by homeschooling alone. I mean whether they are in public school, private school or they are home schooled. Parents have to be involved. You have to make sure they understand what they are learning.
For us, we were doing several hours of homework a day for a kindergardner and we felt like - if we are doing this much we might as well be doing more of the teaching which is why we chose what we chose. We are open to other things and will take it year by year.
I was encouraged to read one of my favorite blogs - Women Living Well. She did a homeschool series and she uses the same curriculum as we are going to and answers the question a lot of Christians threw out to her - why are you using a secular curriculum. The curriculum is k12.com if anyone is interested.
Our First Grader:
We are excited because our son will go to school 2 days a week and be home schooled 3 days a week. I think that for now, it is the best of both worlds. We will still try to put him in one activity a semester - maybe soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter/spring then swimming in the summer. This has worked for us so far (except it will be our first year for soccer). Although I would LOVE to put him in Cub Scouts and hope to do that in the fall as well. So soccer may be out - we have to check the time commitment.
For our soon-to-be four year old:
For my daughter, I have printed and laminated many of the things we will be using. I am still doing RRSP from 1+1+1=1 with a little bit of Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week and Heavenly Homemaker's Learn your Letters, Learn to Serve.
For our two year old:
I also am going to start doing Before Five in a Row with my toddler and my daughter. I rented this book from the library and now I am going to buy it! It is really great - laid out lesson plans that go with the book of the week that you are reading. Easy things that you could put together in a matter of minutes - great for 2-4 year olds. We have a home school advocate librarian in our county who makes sure all of the books that go with this book are stocked at our library because some of them are old and out of print. Isn't that fabulous?
Again, I do not hold fast to any plan. I am open to what God may have for us and every year we will review and see what is working and what is not. The most important thing about my children is to teach them about God and about Jesus and ultimately to lead them to the Lord and have them be Godly adults, willing to serve others.
One last thing - I found a really neat printable about teaching your kids how to pray. I laminated it and three hole punched it and put rings on it and we use it during our Bible story time. It is under the Parent Resources section from here, entitled "Pray with me guide". Just click "download" to print.
What are your plans for the upcoming school year or would you prefer not to think about them now?