Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Homeschooling Musings

Homeschooling our son has been an adventure in and of itself. It has taught me more discipline than I care to acknowledge. We have been using the Grigg's Academy homeschooling program for several years and are satisfied with it.

Once the public school received notification from us of our intentions to homeschool, each school year it was not necessary to inform them again. Once is enough. We are given a year to finish the school year, although we typically finish in 9 months. There are six periods with five weeks in each period. At the end of each period, tests and writing materials are submitted to the Academy and graded.

Once the books arrive, a place should be designated where to put them. Also, a notebook is made, with tabs, to separate each course. The course material is added to the notebook and the schedule is followed in the manner that the course material is placed.

The courses that our son takes daily are in the following order: Social Studies, Mathematics, Spelling, and Handwriting, followed by a break. Half hour later, we continue with Reading, Health and Science, and Language. The Art, Music, and Physical Education are not as rigid and can be worked in during the week. Typically, his school day is flexible enough to accommodate outings, like shopping and trips to museums and libraries.

When are son reached fourth grade, we signed him up to take the standardized state tests for reading and math. He placed advanced in both sections, which reinforced our faith that the homeschooling works.

Other plusses with the program:
One on one with the teacher. He can ask me questions any time, and get full attention (or at least I try).
No need to get up early for school. The hours are very flexible.
No need to drive in cold, snowy weather. Stay at home for classes.
If we go on a trip, he can make it up weekends and other times.
If he gets behind on anything, he can make it up whenever he gets a chance.
Flu season passes us by without a cough. Not exposed to group situations.
We attend lectures, go to libraries, play Scrabble, visit Bookstores, and other pleasant things on
a daily basis, which makes for an interesting time.

Homeschooling is not only good for him, it's also good for me. It keeps my mind sharp with all that reading and grading. Our son also asks good questions, which leads to interesting discussions.

So overall, our homeschooling experience has been a positive, uplifting, bonding time with our son. Even my husband has gotten involved, and often there are discussions ranging from Benjamin Franklin and his famous Poor Richard's Almanack, to the inventions of Thomas Edison.

What a life! What a way to get an education!