Homeschooling Adventure - Research, Preparation, Setup and Week 1
If someone would have told me that I would end up homeschooling my 7yo, 5yo... all while taking care of our 2yo and working from home at my own business..... I would have laughed! Like you got the wrong lady! And then the world turned upside down and everything changed.
I had considered homeschooling briefly before when my oldest experienced issues with bullying at his former school, we were lucky enough to get a quick transfer to another local school and that was that. 1.5 weeks later, everything got shutdown.
So here we are, I was all set to send my kids to school and then I got my hands on the plan. I felt instant anxiety and could see so many glaring issues, weeks of back and forth in the news and social media and I decided I had enough and sent in my letter of intent for homeschooling, to our school board.
I started reading blogs and group boards on all things home school, looking specifically for curriculum ideas, schedule ideas etc... Like how do you even begin? I went to Amazon and searched for "how to home school in Canada?" and found "How to Homeschool in Canada: A Travel Guide for Your Homeschooling Journey" which sounded and was exactly what I needed. I truly enjoy her book and explanations of the journey into and through homeschooling your children. If you are in Canada and are thinking about or a struggling with Homeschooling it is a great resource.
From there I talked to my kids about how they would like to see the day go and what they would like to learn. I got a lot of feedback like; Volcano's, having a nature scavenger hunt, imagination play, silly face crafts, talking about emotions, butterflies, prey-mantis, science experiments and more. If you need ideas for school topics... my kids do not disappoint lol.
We talked about how we would like our space setup and what might be distracting. My hubby and I rearranged our living space to create a dining/classroom area and went to work filling it with class essentials. I ordered two white boards (1 for each school aged child... cuz fighting) and a easel for my youngest to keep her busy. ANNND of course fun colored child safe dry erase markers!
I loaded up on books to encourage reading, support the learning we wanted to do and because we love story time. Books like;
Bucket filling from A-Z (I cannot recommend this book enough!)
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Science (my kids love science)
My sister in law recommended these Minecraft learning workbooks for my son, who is currently obsessed with minecraft. So far we are working on Reading Success for Minecrafters: Grades 1-2 Paperback and LOVING it!
My son really likes to know the plan, how things are going to go down and how long it will take. So we discussed making a schedule for the day and posting it somewhere for everyone to see. I got this daily schedule to use and it has helped with his anxiety and asking me five millions times when something will start or be done.
I got a Kids' Illustrated World Wall Map Folded Map , which hangs above our whiteboards and we reference daily. And because we wanted to focus on Canadian Geography we got the Melissa & Doug Canada Map Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle , which we completed together one distracted afternoon and helped to get them engaged in what we were doing.
We also purchased markers, pencils, magnets and more.
Do you need to buy all these things... absolutely not! There's so many resources that can be found online, pinterest, support groups and blogs. I like the idea of having a library that our 2yo can use as she grows as well and am an avid book lover.
So how'd our first week go? REALLY GOOD!
Was it perfect? No
Did I do everything right? No
Did we enjoy ourselves? Yes
Do I think I made the right decision? Yes
As parents we are forced to make tough decisions regularly for our children. This was one, I got really caught up in what everyone else was saying and it was when I finally decided to ignore everyone else and make a choice on what is best for us that I decided to home school. We are connecting better, the kids are getting along better, I feel a sense on contentment and it just feels right.
Am I tried? Yes
Do I need to schedule every minute? No but pretty much every hour
Will I make mistakes? I am sure of it
Will it be the end of the world? NO
That is the absolute beauty of homeschool, there's no RIGHT way! And you can spend however long it takes on a subject or skill for your child to feel comfortable and able.
So on that note, this momma is going to go clean a whiteboard, write out tomorrows date, print a few worksheets and eat a few pizza pockets!