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Monday, March 7, 2011

Are they Socialized?

I home school. And when I tell people the first thing they look to see my boys to see if my boys look like they are socialized. If they truly new them... they would know that they are probably overly social. I know lots of people have questions about those that home school so I'll try to answer some of the most common ones that I get.

Why did I chose to home school? When we were in Arizona, James was in a Pre-K program. He came home one day and during dinner he told me that he "hated school"  I thought how sad that in pre-k he was having these feelings. So I pulled him out. I talked to a mom that was in my ward and any one else I could about homeschooling. I figured that I couldn't screw up kindergarten so away I went. I did a ton of research and talked to who ever I could. I joined a few Yahoo groups and asked a lot of questions. The thing that really helped make a decision was talking to a friend of the husbands. Nathanial was his battle buddy in the army and was deployed with him and he was homeschooled... and he was normal!!

Do I have a teaching degree? Nope. But I didn't need one when I taught the boys how to talk and use the potty. I am learning a lot right a long with the boys. When they ask a question that I can't answer right away we look it up. We find out what we can about the things they want to know.

Do I really think I know everything to teach? Oh, heavens no. Even with James in first grade I am learning right along with him. I have many friends who are teaching higher grades than I am. I ask a lot of questions and I bounce a lot of ideas off of them. One thing that I have noticed about the homeschooling community is that people are always willing to share and help.

What about being social? Have you met my children? We are out and about all the time. On Wednesdays we go to the park for a playgroup. {it's nice for me too! I get to have some adult conversation} Then on Friday we go to a Co-op. Different mom's teach different subjects. There is even a PE class that they take. James is taking violin and the boys will be staring karate next month. They are very social.

Is it all about religion? I wouldn't say "all about" but yes, we do a lot of scripture study. They  boys are currently memorizing all 13 Articles of Faith {yup... even Tim} We will move on to the Scripture Mastery List scriptures once the AoF are memorized. We are learning the primary songs and we read from the Friend We start the day with a devotional and anytime I can talk about the gospel I do. When we are learning about Ashurbanipal who was King of Nineveh, we also talk about Jonah who was commanded of the Lord to go and preach to the people at the same time. The gospel is a big part of our life, not just on Sunday, but every day.

Do you have a curriculum? No, I just make it up as I go along. I do follow an outline that I found online so I can have an idea of what they should be doing, but for the most part we take it a quarter at a time. We use the program Math U See for math and we are doing The Story of the World for history. I probe the boys for things that they are interested in and we go from there. I am keeping my eyes open for a good high school program for the boys when they are at that level, but for now I just pull things together.

What time are you done? We start our day at 9:00 and we usually end about 12:00-12:30. There are only 3 of them so a lesson on nouns and verbs takes only 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes. I'm not one to kick a dead horse so if the boys get it we move on. When we are done the day is theirs. If I have had a doddler the afternoon is the time to finish any left over work.

What do I do with Tim and Benjamin? Benjamin usually goes down for a nap around 9:00 so that's one  down. Tim is with us for our devotional and for our group learning {history, science, social studies} After that he is free to play or color. Most times he want's to "do school" with us so I have a workbook to give to him. He has been asking to learn how to read so I'll be working with him on that. We all work together so even when the boys are doing their work Tim is in the room with us. When Benjamin wakes up he is in the room with us.

Are my kids sheltered? Oh, probably. I'm sure as much as your 7, 6, and 4 year olds are. Just because they don't go to school doesn't mean they are complete oblivious to the world. I do monitor what they watch on TV... how much time they play on the computer and video games... and who their friends are. But to me that is just good parenting and I'm not going to apologize for that.

Are my kids shy since they don't go to school? Have you met my children. I have one that has no personal boundaries, and another that will talk your ear off. My kids are far from shy.  Some kids who go to school are shy some aren't, going or not going to school doesn't make kids shy.

Are we happy all day every day? No! We have our days of tears and days where I have one doing school work until 5:00 and other yelling at each other. I do have to say that most days are really good, and we get through our day pretty quickly, but we do have our days.

Do I homeschool my kids because they are brilliant? Well like any mom I think they are brilliant, but if I were to have them tested I'm sure they would be like any kid that has strengths and weaknesses. They have their talents and I try to nurture those and help them grow.

Do I push my kids academically? Yes I do. Tommy is reading on a 4th grade level... do you really think I'm going to school him at a kindergarten level?  But there are things that they struggle with. If they are not ready for something... usually in math, we wait. I have had to pull math completely for a week or two and then come back to it. James just got stuck so rather than more drills we just backed off for a week and then picked it up again. After that he got it and it click so we moved on.

I love homeschooling the boys. I know it's not for everybody, but it's definitely for us. If anyone has any other questions please feel free to ask me.


Alicia said...

I love this post, Leah, especially because I know a lot of what you are talking about.

I always have to laugh when people become concerned whether or not my kids know how to socialize with their peers.

They get plenty of social interaction but more importantly they are learning how to get along with their own siblings. What good would it do them if they got along fine with their peers but never learned how to nourish family relationships? In fact, I would assume that those who learn to get along with their family members first have far better chances of getting along with peers.

There are lots of benefits of homeschooling: I like having the freedom of involving my kids in their specific interests. We make TONS of trips to the library, checking out books and educational DVD’s. Devotional time is a real plus for us too. We like to use the scripture mastery page where they can fill in the blanks, type the scripture or do the first letter of each word in the verse… it’s a great way to memorize. The kids love it!


Alicia said...

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You may have heard of these before but these are some of my favorite ones I use as supplements:
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Pyratess said...

LOL!!! Our stories are so alike! I almost felt myself saying "ditto" to everything you wrote!!!!

Janet said...

Good for you! Homeschooling has come such a long way since the beginning. Homeschooled kids seem to have just as many opportunities, if not more, than public schooled kids. I always feel like it's on the horizon for us, although for this past school year prayers were answered otherwise. Maybe next year.... :)

Tami's Eclectic Corner said...

My daughter does the K12 program at home. I love having her home with me. She's going into Jr. High so I'm happy to have her home. I'm still keeping my two other kids in public school for right now. They both need it and their still little enough that I'm OK with it.

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