Oh yeah, I survived! Yes, it was me who survived the first year of homeschooling.
Too much feels for this year. I wasn’t aware that homeschooling does not only teach a kid but more importantly, it molds parents into something you never thought you could be. It was indeed an ultimate test of patience.
In the midst of crying, nursing, moving houses and chores, the other thing that pushed me to my limits at times is teaching Ryry. She wasn’t easy. Maybe it wasn’t really easy for any first timers. With no background at all on how it’s supposed to be, I somehow emerged from being just myself to now someone who can teach a preschooler.
If not all, most of the time, I wanted to quit and send her to a regular school. I pray and pray to the Lord to give me a sign if homeschooling is really for me. Faithful enough, He sends me message through rowdy, disrespectful kids.
There are also instances when we get a chance to meet new people and ask where does Ryry go to school and I tell them she is homeschooled, I get a blank stare and they ask me how do I do it and get comments like: “I can never homeschool” “I don’t have the patience” “I don’t know what is homeschool”.
But then there are people who are heaven sent and encourages me right then and there and some even ask if I can teach their kids. These are the moments I treasure a lot and grateful to all who opened my mind in this field.
So let me share with you my thoughts about homeschool.
At first I thought we should homeschool because it’s cheaper. Then while doing it my reason changed. Last week at the park, a mom asked me out of curiosity and maybe because this is the first time she got to talk to someone who is homeschooling, “why do you do it?” The first thing the came out of my mouth is “CHARACTER”. We homeschool to build our child’s character. You send them to regular school they come back to you a different person. She agreed with me. She told me at home they were doing the best they can to filter the things that their kids hear or see but one day her son comes home saying words that aren’t nice. Boom. Seven years of working hard to train your child the way you want them to be all gone because of the things they learn outside your house.
Homeschooling is basically parents teach their kids at home. In Philippine setting, it is best to still follow DePEd’s requirements like adopting a certain syllabus for when you decide to send them to regular school, paper works will be easy. You can also get a tutor if you think you are not capable of teaching but then the essence of character building by having a strong relationship to your child will be gone.
In our case, I teach Reading, Language, Writing, Filipino, Science and chores while Mike teaches Math. We use different materials such as Sing, Spell, Read and Write, Math U See, and the infamous Internet.
We also love to improvise and check out some book sale, just make sure to read the contents first.
From what people told me, I should take it slow and let Ryry play. In short, let her still be a kid.
Charlotte Mason said, “Children should be given time to play, create, and be involved in real-life situations from which they can learn.”
Since I am still adjusting to having two kids, Ryry and I would wait until Miguel takes his nap then we do Reading and Language everyday. Math with his dad after working hours. Arts every time she feels doing it. Then I teach Science and Filipino practically. So far our schedule depends on Miguel and sometime my emotions. Haha. Seriously though, there are days that I am cranky and don’t feel like teaching or talking, so we take a break.
Regarding certificates and grades, we are currently enrolled in a school who provides homeschooling assistance for DepEd purposes. I am free to follow the syllabus they provide and materials to use but I don’t like to be a slave of it. I believe kids learn differently.
We chose to use CHARACTER BASED grading system. We determine what score to give her on how she answers, reacts and completes a task. Seatworks and exams are just small parts in our system.
I also learned some techniques so I won’t get pressured:
- Set a goal and pray.
- Never compare your progress to others. Stop scrolling your Facebook feed!
- Get to know your child on how she learns, her interests then follow her pacing.
- Treat them like adults at times, speak to them with respect.
- Let them play. Take a break if you have to.
- Set their mood and expectations.
- Tell them real life stories.
- Answer their questions and if they still don’t get it, show them photos.
- Never scare them.
- Get a support group, make friends, talk to experienced homeschoolers, stay in a positive circle.
- If all else fails, go back to step 1.
My goal for the past school year is to have Ryry read and write, so far she is good at that and can also count and add numbers but most importantly, we taught her how to communicate and solve problems.
It also helps if you pick what style of homeschooling you like to impose. Check out Homeschool.com for more info. I am currently leaning towards Charlotte Mason and Relaxed/Eclectic method. They say it will take you three years to finally get the right formula so I’m still praying about it and observing what is best for the kids.
Just last Monday we celebrated Ryry’s graduation from Prep. She will now move to grade 1/K1 this June and below are our photos from the event.