If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would ever contemplate home schooling my kids, I would say it had never crossed my mind. At the time, being able to stay at home at least part time was a wish I thought was likely to never come true… but even if it did, I assumed kindergarten would mean heading to the public schools wherever we were (which wasn’t planned as where we still are!) Three years ago, I lost the job that I thought was necessary to our family income . Somehow (and I’m really not sure how!) we’ve made life work since then with some part-time, sporadic work for me. It comes with sacrifices… like having a car that hasn’t worked for too many months now… but we haven’t wanted for necessities. Somewhere along the way, I realized how grateful I am that I’ve been the one around to catch all of the adorable-isms that have characterized the preschool years. They make the times of feeling isolated (because I will apparently never be like the other SAHMs) or overwhelmed worth it all.
The other thing that I thought I would never say is that I am grateful that my son had the chance to be in an in-home daycare for a few years, with kids ranging in age from infants to 5 (though I still don’t think those babies got the best care — at that facility, not all daycares — and I am so glad he was 1 before he had to go there!) I love that he had the chance to be around other kids and older kids to get some introduction to sharing, playing together, letters and numbers. Looking back, I prefer that to the typical kids of the same age preschool set-up. When he was finally home full-time at age 3 1/2, preschool or even a PDO was not an option. We started doing “life school” at home… nothing formal at ALL, but just showing that all of life is learning — pointing out letters on the highway, reading tons of books, getting toys that were fun but also allowed for creativity. And I started to realize how much I love watching him learn and don’t want to see him lose the love he has for learning.
Add that to some doubts about our neighborhood school, some doubts about public school in general, and having a child who is very asynchronous in development so far — past the end of the year kindergarten curriculum in some areas, right on target in others, and probably behind on some gross motor skills — and that leads to being fairly sure we will be homeschooling in the fall… though I will admit that decision is changing frequently right now. I guess I should say we will be officially homeschooling… because I have come to realize that I’ve been doing it all along without labeling it as such. I’m sure in the fall we will get more formal about it, but for now he loves to “play school” on the days we do more formal learning and learns just as much on the days we play or visit the zoo or something similar. The huge task at hand right now is finding some groups to get support and friends from, and trying to have faith that it will all work out somehow.
This morning we had fun testing out an online program I’m thinking about for reading/phonics, playing go fish with sight words and counting/graphing with jelly beans! 🙂 Taking a break for lunchtime… then headed to the store to pick up a few groceries and the library to pick up some books on hold. I’m thinking about making pretzels this afternoon but it depends on whether we’ll have time for the dough to rise and bake before we have to head out to pick up my husband from work. And *that* depends on the weather… because I’m fairly sure we’ll end up at the park unless it decides to rain this afternoon. I love having the flexibility to plan schedules around *my* priorities…