Report on Homeschooling

I have been homeschooling Elly and Brooke for 4 months now.

Homeschooling 2 Kindergarten-level kids while running after a toddler who is determined to win King of the Mountain game every 5 minutes is crazy. It’s not as crazy as taking 2 girls roller skating who have never roller skated in their lives while carrying a baby on my hip because yeah, I did that and it was nail biting crazy as I tried to keep my balance while everyone fell around me, but homeschooling does require a fair amount of ambition on most days.

Some days, I cheat.

at the Philadelphia zoo

OK, I cheat most days if your vision of homeschooling looks like public school taught at home.

My strategy has evolved. I started out teaching from textbooks like my college professors did. I now use my library card and Pinterest like a double edged sword. When all else fails, I search YouTube to teach the same thing but in a different way.

I schedule a field trip to a museum or a park about once a week.

at the DaVinci Science Center

We visit the Pottstown Library weekly for storytime. Friday is the highlight of our week; we visit a friend’s house and our 6 kids have Science class together. So that means, I only have to teach class all by myself 2 days out of a week.

The main reason it is working so well is because time is on my side. I noticed after introducing the planets that my kids couldn’t tell them apart, so I dedicated 2 months to learning the planets. My eldest asked Santa for a telescope and she asked Grammy for fossils. (Both Grammy and Santa made sure that Elly’s wish came true). If instilling the love of learning isn’t success, I don’t know what is.

I won’t lie and say it’s all rainbows and chocolate. I have doubted my ability and my patience on a lot of days. Kids drive you nuts. It’s their job. Plus, Elly struggles with perfectionism and Brooke struggles with laziness. Often I slip into drill sergeant mode and bark orders out because it works brilliantly.

at the Reading Museum

Despite my love for teaching and my daughters success in learning, I am unsure if I will continue Homeschooling next year. I love it so much, but am I being selfish and doing it just for me? Is this the right decision for us? For Elly? For Brooke? For Malcolm?

One thing is for certain, socialism is a non-issue. We meet wonderful people and families everywhere we go. And we talk to them. Even Malcolm tries to talk too with the three words he knows: dada which can mean anything from dog or furry animal to daddy, uh-oh and all done. What else do you need to say?

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