Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homeschool Semester Review

Wow, we have reached the half way point of our first grade homeschooling. Where did the time go?

At first when I looked at the curriculum and seen that we just finished Week 4 - when we have actually done 14 weeks of school, I was a bit stressed. How could that be? I started to question whether or not I am doing her justice by homeschooling, rather than sending her to public school.

I pray that the Lord would help our homeschool and show me what to do to help her learn. He was faithful. Several times this holiday, when we weren't formally learning, Shayla surprised me by things she said. (I should have written them down, but forgot.) Anyway, the things she said proved to me that she was listening and learning, even when I thought she wasn't!

My husband thinks I was being too hard on myself, too. He gently reminded me that public schools are worried about "teaching to tests." They try to get through the curriculum, they just keep moving and hoping that kids "pick it up." They never really know (or care)if every child has learned each new concept before moving on with the next. He is pleased as can be that she is reading, writing, cutting and coloring. The whole family really praises her for her accomplishments.

Honestly I know that Shayla would "fall through the cracks" in a public school setting. Labeled with Sensory defensiveness (which is a more primitive form of sensory processing disorder), she is watching everything going on around her than focusing on her task at hand. (We tried library preschool and Ready, Set, Go! - which was a program our school district offered to help transition preschoolers to kindergarten.) By the time she wrote her name on the papers, the other kids were done with them. And this was with me sitting by her side being her aide. Definately ADHD, too! I spend about 3-4 hours a day of uninterrupted one-on-one time with her. She definately wouldn't get that in public school!

I guess when I put these things back into perspective, I'm doing ok. After all, when exiting the local preschool just after she turned six-years-old, it was estimated that she was functioning at an 18 month - 24 month old level. Now she is reading, writing, and cutting. She aced her first spelling test, she is retaining lots of facts, she loves to experiment with science. Maybe not at grade level, in comparison to others, but she has a love of learning. That's what's important to me. She's not learning to pass the next test, but because she wants to find answers.

I have realized that we have gotten away from what made our homeschool fun. I started teaching to the dreaded curriculum, again. Like we could ever catch up, anyway! For the new year, we're going to do our curriculum in the mornings and in the afternoon, go back to our literature based way of learning.

What changes are you making in your homeschool for the new year? Did you re-group and re-organize your homeschool over the holidays? Please share.

1 comment:

Amy@GrowingLikeTrees said...

Sounds like you're doing great! I've been thinking of doing a mid-year checkup too, for our kindergarten. I feel like we're not getting anywhere.... probably because we rarely actually sit down and do school