So, how did you like Homeschooling?

homeschool room

Now that we’re done with our first year of homeschool, a few people have asked me, “So how was it? Did you like homeschooling?” I thought it was a good question to reflect on and share with you. (Remember when I was agonizing over this schooling decision?!}

Lydia’s school is a hybrid-homeschool. It’s more than a co-op but less than a private school. She goes to class 2 days a week and then we homeschool 3 days. When she is in school it looks like any other school, she has a teacher (who may or may not be a homeschooling-mom herself), 16 or so kids in the class, a backpack, assignments, lunchbox and a cubby. She uses regular curriculum you’ve probably heard and even takes art, music and Spanish classes.

When she is at home, we use the same books as in the classroom. I am given a detailed assignment list organized by day and subject. For a kindergarten class, she probably does about 10-15 assignments a day. Granted some of these are simple worksheets, reading a book, etc.

These assignments are not just go-sit-at-your-desk-and-do-this-stuff-all-alone. I have to lead her through many assignments–sometimes completely teaching her the lesson. I can go into as much detail or as little as I want to complete the assignment. As the year has gone by and we are in the groove of school, I can easily identify things she can do quickly and quietly alone and the assignments I will genuinely be teaching her. Sometimes I do them differently than is written–making them more fun, or simply making them easier for me!

Here’s what I like about this style of school:

1. Group Experience

{spring concert}

My Lydia has always been shy and timid (and yes, fearful!) so putting her in school with other kids has been BIG BIG BIG for her. She’s had to step out with courage to make friends, talk to her teacher and just be “alone” for an entire day. It’s really helped her to grow.

2. At Home Life

We are together as a family for the majority of the week. School really happens at home. It’s 3 whole days (plus the weekend) where we can really learn the way we want–on the go, with art, outside, with music on and most importantly for me…together. Which leads me to…

3. Sibling Time

{Asa “helping” Lydia on one of her assignments.}

One of the main reasons I wanted to homeschool is because I want my kids to be best friends. I felt like if they were home together instead of separated for so many hours a day 5 days a week, they’d have more time to interact, love and work together. I love seeing them do work together, talk with each other and yes, even fight because they are building relationships that will be forever.

4. Parent Led

This school is parent-led. They focus on family and recognize that they are here only to assist us. For example, when Lydia had her Thanksgiving play during school (and an accompanying Thanksgiving Feast) all the grandparents and parents showed up to video and snap pictures. They also had the older siblings come to watch the show and eat lunch. So, 15+ kids were taken out of their classrooms to be with their families. That’s a lot of details to be worked out simply so a 3rd grader can come watch his Kindergarten brother be in a 5 minute play. It just showed me how much they value family time.

5. Mommy & Asa Days

{mommy & asa day at ikea!}

The two days Lydia is at school are “Mommy and Asa Day”. Asa and I don’t do anything special, but we talk about Mommy and Asa Day, he has my ear and lap 100% of the time and it’s been a special time for us. (I know in a few years, it will just be Mommy day and I have a feeling I’m going to like that, too!)

6. Our Schedule

rock city

{at Rock City–on a school day!}

Since we’re only in school 2 days, the rest of our week is really up to us. If I want to cram all of her assignments into 2 days, I can. If we decide to take a 4 day weekend, we can. We just take our work with us and school on the go. I’ve never wanted to live and die by my kids’ GPA or their assignments. This has given us the opportunity to do more of the stuff we want our family loving–church, grandparent adventures, family time, etc.

7. More Godly Adults

I really believe God chose Lydia’s teachers for her. Not only does she love them, I love them! And I can see they love my daughter, too. What a blessing to know her teachers are loving her and mentoring her by their godly example. Plus, the moms in Lydia’s class have been so fun to get to know and I’m sure they will be a part of our life for many years to come. It’s a gift to have so many like minded people around my daughter and our family.

8. Curriculum

{our my messy desk}

Because the school gives me assignments, I do not have to pick out anything! There is minimal planning on my part. I know it’s only kindergarten, but basically I just plan the fun creative part of school. This kind of school completely eliminates the stress of choosing curriculum and can-i-really-teach-my-child-to-read fears. The stress of teaching the wrong thing or the wrong way is gone.

Which leads me to a few things I don’t like…

1. Curriculum

Now that we’re in school, I can see the things Lydia is good at. And sometimes I don’t want to do the matching worksheet or the coloring book. I can how I would do it differently if I planned it. I don’t have to plan as much (which I like) but that means I have to stick with what they decide. I can elaborate of course (as mentioned above) and can add to anything. But those assignments still have to be done because the teacher grades them.

2. Preschool

If I knew what I know now about homeschooling (which I wouldn’t if I had not done this school), I would probably have homeschooled at least until Asa was in kindergarten or 1st grade. Right now they are so close in age and skill, that I could have easily taught every lesson to them together. I think we could have done all the fun, creative, hands-on learning for the next 4 or 5 years easily. Then maybe introduce them to a school like this when they are older.

3. Uhm…

I guess that’s it! As you can see, for our family, the good outweighs the bad.

If you are contemplating a change in school for your kids, wish you could be more involved or just want to be with your kids more–I encourage you to look around your community. Once I got into this school, I realized how many cool homeschool, parent-led type organizations are out there! You never know what kind of neat program you could find for your kids. And if you just want to homeschool, don’t be afraid–you can do it! It’s a joy to have my kids with me and I feel like it’s a gift to be involved in this area of their lives!

What’s your school story? {and feel free to ask any other questions about our school below!}

bible craft

When it’s Tuesday, I’ll be linking up to Top Ten {Tuesday} at Many Little Blessings! Because there are *technically* ten items on this list! :)

Comments

  1. I did the same type of program with my daughter for KN this year and loved it!

  2. How do you find out where there are “schools” like this in your area?

  3. Your experience sounds and looks wonderful!!! And way to go completing your first year – it only gets better from here! Next year is year four for us and I can’t believe the growth in all of us! Enjoy these moments with your little ones!
    Lots of Love,
    Courtney

  4. What a great experience you are having with your children. They will have blessed memories that will last a lifetime! Blessings!

  5. I’m glad that it was such a positive year for you guys! Loved all the pictures that you shared (as always).

  6. Shannon Culpepper says:

    My daughter started out attending a weekday program in Georgia while my dh was deployed. I went home to stay with family and It was a wonderful program!! My dh came home earlier than expected on Thanksgiving (yay!) so we headed back to our home in Texas. I decided It would be the perfect opportunity to try my hand at homeschooling which is something I had always desired to do but was pretty intimidated. Even tho my daughter is not even kindergarten age! Anywhoo, it has been a wonderful experience! Thankfully, her teachers gave me her workbook and a evaluation they took at the beginning of the school year to help me. There have been a few challenges but the rewards have been great! Stumbling upon your page has been a blessing as well! I am pretty sure I am going to go with “My Father’s World” for Kindergarten. I am so excited to begin!!

  7. Thanks for this review! We’ve been seriously considering this option as we have a similar program near us. I really love the idea of it!

  8. Aww, that’s fantastic! I’m so glad it went well! My kids are 2 years apart, we have a ton of homeschooling resources around here, but I am much more comfortable with a hybrid program (which unfortunately, we don’t have a lot to choose from). It’s great to hear about your experiences this year!

  9. Brittany says:

    This sounds like a great set up! What do they label this type of school as? If its not private school and not a co-op how do they define themselves. I’m curious as to what to look for to find similar things in our area. : )

    • Uhm. I don’t really know what they call it. One big phrase they use is “parent-led”. Technically speaking (according to the state), I homeschool.

  10. We do this same thing. School two days and home three days. We use the K12 curriculum. I love it – most days.

  11. This sounds like a lot of fun! However, in Maine, it is extremely hard to even find a good co-op. Which led me to helping our local Christian school develop a homeschooler day program so my kids could come in and join the school in classes of gym, art, and music. One day a week for my kids that are K-6 grade to get class time, 4 days a week for homeschooling!

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  13. Adrianne says:

    Just came across this. Love that you recognize that both kids could be doing the same things together. I’ve got two that have a slightly bigger age gap and am starting to homeschool the older one (4.5) now. It’s fun. I haven’t found a community in our area that I really want to get involved in yet, but I know God will show us the right one when the time is right for my kids! I really love the together time with the family and seeing my two littles love each other.

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