One Week In Our Homeschool

Homeschooling can be such a divisive topic, especially when people feel like their opinions are relevant to another family. Let me just start out by saying, we haven't personally encountered any nosey nellies, but I see it a lot in online communities. This is not some kind of angry, defensive missive, because our circle of family & friends are nothing but supportive. I thought it would be fun to share our week with our followers who are probably curious about what our "school time" looks like, and maybe this will also help potential homeschoolers who are thinking about it but intimidated, or have concerned family. The requirements for homeschooling vary from state to state. In Missouri, the current FHA recommendation is to start keeping records as soon as your kid turns 7. If you're getting ready to homeschool, make sure you understand what that means. For most people, the details of that are irrelevant. In any case, Lil is not yet 7 so we are pretty loosey goosey with how we spend our time. She has tons and tons of books, art supplies, puzzles, board games, sticker books, sensory bins and more, and spends a lot of her day choosing her own activities. She reads at a 3rd-4th grade level, is in level 2 of Beast Academy, and qualifies for the gifted programs in our district. Her Girl Scout troop is with the school she would probably go to if she was in public school. Even though we don't do much formal schooling at this point, we do SO MUCH in a week that is not formal schooling. I'll try to be concise, but we are busy bees!

Sunday: 90 min of Irish Dance lessons. Magic School Bus book club on Outschool. Francis and I often have a sort of parent teacher conference (both of us are the teacher and the parent) to plan out who is doing what that week. Monday: a little language arts/writing practice with Dad in the morning. Gifted & Talented Cohort on Outschool. Beast Academy for math. In the afternoon we run errands, including mail run for Dad's podcast shop and picking up library books. Tuesday: Early morning Spanish class on Outschool and LA with Dad. Usually this is a stay home in PJs day to recover from the weekend + Monday. We do some Beast Academy and Torchlight/History Quest, which is our official curriculum, but we aren't super strict about staying on schedule with it. Wednesday: Beast Academy/Torchlight/History Quest. In the afternoon, we might go read to dogs & cats for HSMO Shelter Buddies. Babysitters Club book club starts this week, and then Taekwondo in the evening. Thursday: Spanish in the morning & LA with Dad. Often our "field trip" day, especially when we pick up our CSA every other week. CSA pickup is on the way to Forest Park, so we can usually be found at the Science Center or Zoo. Friday: If we didn't field trip on Thursday, then we go somewhere on Friday. On Thursday, Friday, or Saturday we often have a class at Missouri Botanical Garden. 6 year olds have an overlap between Garden Buds, Budding Scientist, and Great Green Adventures, and we're taking full advantage of that this year! The best part of homeschool is that you can pivot AS NEEDED. Like last year we started on a pretty advanced "Level K" curriculum. and my god it was such a struggle. Then, at the beginning of this school year (July) I realized that her birthday is only 18 days from the cut off, so she would have been one of the youngest kids in kindergarten. Even though she reads and writes beyond her "grade level" she was not ready for the rigors of a curriculum with writing (even if I "scribed"). I have no reason to shove her through something she is not ready for, and no feeling about "holding her back." We just do what fosters a love of learning. At the beginning of this year (January - she is now 6.5) we started Torchlight 1, mainly because I was twitchy from the K struggle and just wanted a new topic, but she's just not into it. Today she begged to go back to the K level and start over from the beginning, because she said she's more interested in other countries and cultures than she is in mythology right now. Even though the levels are K-5, Torchlight levels are more about the themes, and can be used over multiple grades. Her face when I agreed to follow her lead was priceless. I actually asked if she was ok, because she had this happy grimace on her face. She said, "I'm just happy you agree." Homeschooling is about being a learning partner, and I love that!