Thursday, January 24, 2013

Education - How's it Faring

This whole homeschooling thing has been really up and down. The first few months were pretty rough - I didn't know what I was doing, struggled to find the right rhythm, and match what we did to how Wyatt learned. I also worried about keeping him on track, especially since it's pretty hard to find any decent list of what is normally expected of the typical second grader (and every state seems to vary, so this makes it harder, since we won't be staying here for more than a couple years).

Fast forward to today, and things are a whole lot more pleasant around here. I'm in the middle of deciding on a very different approach to spelling because all the traditional approaches I've used with Wyatt (and were used on him in school) have proven to a big waste of time, it's been absolutely exciting to research it and find something that makes a huge amount of sense to me as a person whose B.A. is in English (and most of those classes were in the teaching track). We should be starting that program next month, although we're already working on phonemes he still struggles to recognize despite being a very good reader.

Our other subjects are also coming along. I've got a math program that's clicking with both him and myself (huge plus!), and we've finally worked in some science and the occasional civics lesson. And, he's doing a cursive program he likes, so yay for that.

Despite how well the curriculum progress is coming, though, I've still been plagued by this nagging sense that I have no real way of knowing how well he's doing. Oscar's reading is exploding, but since he's technically not old enough for kindergarten (though he could totally handle it now), I'm not fretting about him. I know that teaching him to read, plus what he's picking up through Wyatt's work, is more than enough for a preschooler. Wyatt, though, that's harder to determine.

Yesterday, I had my 20 week ultrasound, and we took both boys with us to it. They were completely fascinated, and had a million questions for the tech. Wyatt was picking out the spine and had comments on the blood flow and how he understood that to work. Oscar at one point read the word, "Foot" when she typed it on the screen to highlight the view of the baby's foot. She looked at him, asked him how old he was, then looked at us in surprise when he told her he was five. She then asked where they went to school, as she'd never had kids come in with so much interest and so many questions. I told her we were homeschooling them, and she said, "Ah, that's why!"

I honestly have no idea what her background is with homeschooling so can't comment on just why she answered that way, but the whole exchange gave me a feeling that we were on the right track with them, something I have yet to feel in this whole process. I have worried a LOT about how they will come across to others. Homeschooling is tough mainly because you take on responsibility for ALL their education. Even if you are outsourcing some of it (and I just signed them up for a LEGO STEM class, so we are definitely going to do some of that!), there is still no passing it off on a bad school system or whatever.

So, I know we're on the right track. Still lots of work ahead, but I feel better about this decision. I still couldn't tell you if we'll do it more than a couple years, but I do think we made the right choice to do it for now.