As you may know, or may have read in the Krietlow Family Update, this year we made the decision to allow Sophea to homeschool. I of course planned everything out and bought tons of different things that we would absolutely need to get us through 2nd grade. Courses changed though, as they often do, and Sophea took the reigns shortly after starting. She has been the guide through this adventure with me acting more as facilitator than anything else.
I may post more in-depth as to how this works later but for now I just wanted to go through some of the things that I’ve loved most and also that I’ve found most challenging this year.
So this is the one that people bring up most… and that many fellow homeschool moms tend to roll their eyes at. You will NOT get that from me.
Sophea does not do well without regular access to her peers. I’ve found this to be one of the most challenging aspects of homeschooling. When she attended public school I really took for granted the easy access to other children.
It took us a while to really gain our footing socially. I needed to facilitate by really just saying yes to playdates, getting out into the community, and finding avenues for her to meet other children. Sophea needed to break out of her shell and connect with other people that she found interesting when we were out and about. We also found that December can be a lonely month as it’s difficult especially in the last half to really connect with friends often and most activities are on a break. We’d like to plan better for that next year.
All in all it has worked well. She’s maintained the close friendships she made in public school and made new friends through our co-op, choir, and other activities. If we hadn’t been able to master the skill of homeschool socialization I don’t think I could have called this year successful.
Exploring Our Community
Exploring our community and being out in nature is one of the great perks of homeschooling. We truly do as little of our school actually at home as possible. It’s absolutely wonderful to practice recorder on a deserted beach, float boats on the lake, take our books to the flower garden or out for muffins and cocoa, not to mention our exceedingly frequent trips to the local library. There really is no limit to what we can do in our day.
One of my greatest wishes in homeschooling was not to box her in but to make her world large. I love that she loves to be on the go and it just brings such an excitement to each day.
I’ve already talked about our earliest challenges with socialization but there are other personal difficulties that both Sophea and I face.
The coldest days here in South Dakota have not been the easiest to homeschool. Sophea and I both tend toward winter blues and some days we downright get on each other’s nerves. We do spend an extraordinary amount of time together and I think Sophea and I would agree that most days that is a blessing but there are times when we could use a little more space.
Another is time management. We can get so caught up in one thing that we are interested in that we leave some of the other things until we are just either too wiped out or just plain out of time that day. It took us a while to find a rhythm that worked for us so that we can get the math, language art, and another subject (weekly revolving list) done in the morning and then go back to whatever is pulling our attention (for Sophea it’s usually crafts, science, history, or being active). If we can maintain that then we aren’t leaving things out like computers, spelling, music, etc.
I think if anyone asked Sophea what the best part about homeschool is she would say it is the science experiments. I would not disagree with her. We have made glow in the dark lotion, crystals, all manner of different kinds of play dough…. and slime. Lots and lots of slime!
We did have some difficulty coming up with an awesome recipe though so this link is the best we found after some wading. Hope it’s helpful to you as well!
I guess that really wraps up my bests and worsts as far as I can think right now. If you homeschool I’d love to hear your best and worsts in comments below. And if you are considering homeschooling I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!
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