Let me start by saying I’m not planning on turning Octolilly into just a homeschooling blog but since that is our New Big Thing at the moment, I’m probably going to write about it for a while.
As I referenced in my last post, we are spending from now until mid-June in a relaxing easing-out-of-school approach. My main goal is to see what he knows, what he loves, and what is looks like he needs to work on.
Our first week has been full of: playing with the Chemistry set he received on his birthday, completing mathsheets, working on My Book about Me (from Aunt Cassidy quite awhile ago), drawing in his My First Writing Prompts Journal [you can see his entries in this homeschool album], watching the elementary school experiments that Col. Chris Hadfield did aboard the ISS, carrying a globe to the park and talking about the different friends we have who live around the world, playing games on his laptop (Minecraft and Plants vs. Zombies are his favorite at the moment – MC explores creativity and engineering and Plants vs. Zombies is all about timing and strategy), spending time at the library, and meeting new friends!
On Wednesday, I met with Drew’s kindergarten teacher for the last time and we had almost an hour of wonderful discussion while Drew had a tangible goodbye playdate to the classroom he’s known.
I quickly realized I didn’t need to feel nervous talking about homeschooling with his teacher when she paused and said, “I got really emotional when you first told me and my husband and I spent some time this weekend talking about how nice it would have been to have this chance with our children.” We spread Drew’s busy work out on the desk and I looked at progress reports and statistics. Even though it doesn’t matter in the big picture of things, it did help to see his progress report stating that he already knew the things “required” by June. It was more confirmation that he was getting bored in class.
This doesn’t really mean I have a supergeniusbrainyboy on my hands. I think it’s more that everyone learns at different paces and in different ways and so the average pace (which is all a teacher can do, really) of Kindergarten was frustrating him immensely.
We got an invitation to a birthday party of one of his friends from school so that will be his big hoorah with his classmates the first week of May and then from there, we’ll figure which of them he’d like to stay in touch with and plan playdates. That is really the only “con” of pulling him out in April. He had to say goodbye now instead of in June. But all the pro’s obviously outweighed that.
One of the best changes we’ve noticed this week is how different Drew’s attitude is. He was becoming a rather obnoxious boy in the evenings. I mean, REALLY obnoxious. He was tired, bored, and visibly irritated at the end of each day. Over Christmas break, we noticed a HUGE difference in his behavior. When we were around older kids or some of our friends on the weekend – he would rise to the challenge and be very gentle and loving with other people. The same thing happened over Spring Break – he went from incredibly obnoxious and rude to really sweet. And this week? He’s been waking naturally each morning and has been happy to learn and play and explore.
Of course, it could also have something to do with eating healthier snacks during the day now. Oddly, all the Kindergarten classes at his school had daily snacks like red jello, Oreos, and rice crispie treats. I sent in healthy alternatives when I could but I still think it’s weird that they gave food like that to 5 and 6 year olds every day. And then expected them to sit still.
I consider this first week to be a success! And so does Drew. I think. I’ll go ask.
He crawled out from his ginormous tent in the living room and said, “I like having LEGOs for choice time and I love having watermelon and I like this new tent and I really love math. The end. BLAH BLAH BLAH.”
P.S. I have a new Flickr set called “our homeschool adventure.”