I’ve mentioned before that we do a hybrid homeschool/public school kinda thing.
And lots of you have asked what that means, and why we do it.
Basically, it’s a mix of homeschooling and regular school.
Henry goes to Kindergarten with a backpack and a lunch and teacher and all that other “regular school” jazz, twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. (Why it’s not Tuesday/Thursday is beyond me…and annoys me to no end. But it’s not really up to me. Boo.)
On his school days he learns history, science, and art.
The three days he is home with me, we do math and language arts (reading and writing). The teacher emails out an agenda of what she will be covering in class each week, and I typically try to supplement some of the history or science too. (Either with You Tube videos, trips to the library, or experiments I stumble upon on Pinterest).
This half and half kind of schooling seems to be gaining popularity. For us, it is a charter school offered through our local public school district.
I have friends who do it through a private school option.
We really like it because it’s kind of the best of both worlds.
Truth be told, I don’t know that I could be a full time homeschooler. I love getting the one on one time with Henry, but judge all you want, I also like getting the break from him too.
I adore my kids, but sometimes I need to love them from afar.
It works for my homebody son who has already asked if I could homeschool him everyday. (He isn’t socially anxious. In fact, he’s super friendly and isn’t shy at all, but I think he’s just an introvert at heart.)
It works for me to have a chance to spend more individualized time with the others too on the days he goes to class.
This option allows me to take a really active role in my son’s learning, without bearing the burden of all of it on my own.
Now, some families set up special workboxes for their younger preschoolers to do while they homeschool their older ones.
I, however, am not that brave.
I told Andy that if this homeschooling gig was going to be successful for us, I had to have one on one time with Henry. Okay, plus Owen, but he doesn’t really count. Because see? He’s chill. Next year when he’s toddling around? Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there…
So, on Henry’s homeschool days Lucy goes to preschool in the morning. Jill is also off at preschool. So that leaves us with the mornings…just the three of us. To get work done. Without corralling the others. Focused time. (Update: Homeschooling with a rambunctious toddler is HARD. We do most of our work during nap times, and I’ve since hired a mother’s helper for a few hours a week to watch the baby and do some preschool type of work with Lucy.)
On the days Henry is at school, Lucy and I have time together. Everyone kinda has different days to be home with mom. And Mondays I have the whole clan which is nice too to still has some family time with everyone together. (Homeschooling is ultra light on Mondays…we do more playing than learning. But it’s Kindergarten…playing is part of the curriculum, right?)
I’m enjoying this divide and conquer approach. It gives me a chance to invest in each child individually a little more which I think works well for all of our Type A personalities.
So far, it’s working out really well.
Henry is enjoying it, and I’m having fun playing teacher part time.
Then again, it’s pretty new, so the novelty may wear off in a few months’ time. And most of the work is review at this point since he learned his letters, numbers, and sounds in preschool last year. When it’s time to really teach new material, we may not love homeschool nearly as much. We shall see.
The thing that’s great about the whole thing is that I have little/no expectations of this whole experiment.
I don’t have strong social/political/religious reasons for homeschool (part time or otherwise). We are simply doing this because it sounds…FUN. It seems like a good fit for our family. It’s just kinda…neat.
I mean, I don’t have any big long manifesto to give you about why homeschooling is superb or about the evils of public school. This is a public school option anyway…and I don’t have any real misgivings about public school in general (although I do have strong opinions about the school district we are in specifically). Both Andy and I are public school graduates. It served us well. It’s just that we like this version BETTER. Like, I’ll eat cake…but I prefer a brownie.
It’s really that simple.
My point being that for now, it’s fun and seems to be a good fit. My opinions may change by the end of the year. Or, once it’s time for the girls’ to begin school, I may not be up for teaching 3 different ages/abilities all at once. Or, Henry might decide he wants to go full time. Or…I don’t know. A whole host of other things might change. So it’s nice to have the pressure of it succeeding off my shoulders. I don’t believe that if we choose to do a different schooling next year that it means this year was a failure. It just means we tried it and we want to do something else. I like that approach. It makes me happy. And keeps me sane.
So, all of that to say that I’m a halfsies homeschooler. And for now, I like it that way.
(And in case you are curious, we are doing the Singapore Mathcurriculum, Handwriting Without Tears, Explode the Code, Bob Books, and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. So far, I like them all…although the 100 Lessons book is kinda boring albeit seems to be working so far.)
Oh, and for the record, I never, in a MILLION TRILLION BAJILLION years thought I would ever homeschool in any form. Who knew?!