Friday, September 6, 2013

Why and How We HomeSchool!

Why do we homeschool?

Because it was the best for our family at the time Andy was supposed to start Kindergarten. We had decided to start traveling with Marty and we could not get Andy into an online learning program. From that moment, we knew we had made the best choice. Ryan has a bit of Dyslexia, mild but has some trouble, and he was not ready to sit and do desk work until around 8 years old. If he had been in public school, they might have labeled him a ADHD kid and demanded medications. He also would have been in trouble a lot. Andy has lots of trouble with his hand writing and creative thinking, he's very logical and likes to follow the letter!
Both boys get the extra attention they need and I have been able to be creative in finding what helps them each, given their personal limitations. With Ryan, I used games. If he could read a word correctly, he got a chance to shot a basketball. He could bounce around the room, on the couch, as long as he tried to read the word on the flashcard. Not sit at a desk and do desk work. With Andy, we were able to find a handwriting program that worked for him.
Another bonus to homeschooling for us, the boys know what makes a friend a good choice. (or bad choice!) They have learned that they have the freedom to choose friends and have the right to refuse to be friends with others that could be a problem. They also know how to socialize with kids not their age. They both enjoy helping and playing with younger kids as well as sitting back and spending time with older kids. They are learning about age-appropriate behavior and skills. It's fun to watch them change their own actions based on the age of the child they are playing with. I watched Ryan with a 3 year old child at church on Wednesday evening. The little one was swinging around a pole near the beverage table, Ryan put himself between the table and the pole and gave the child an arch to go through. While it made it fun for the young one, Ryan was blocking the child from being able to accidentally bump the table and make a mess. Smart kid!!


Even chores can be an learning opportunity.

They also do housework/ chores and know how to grocery shop. My kids are going to be able to live
independently and successfully when they turn 18.I use a chore chart. Each child has duties to do every day and they both have the same chores on different days. Even chores can be an learning opportunity. They know how to do the laundry and help with that every week. With my kids, they learned colors sorting the dirty clothes, learned some counting and pairing with socks. They learned to carry the folded clothes and helped me put them away. They can put a shirt on a hanger and put away sock balls. Now they can fold almost anything and put everything away.
My kids know how to cook some basic things and are learning more cooking skills all the time. They are responsible for lunch almost every day. Either they make it or they are helping make it after planning it. They are learning how to clean the bathroom and already help with cleaning the rest of the house. My kids help with sweeping floors, yes not perfect but when they practice they get better. When younger, they held a dust pan for me or got the broom out for me. I had them practice sweeping in garages, not a big deal if they miss some but nice bonus of having a “cleaner” garage.
They also have a checklist of the daily routine things like brushing their teeth or taking their pills. They know what they are supposed to do but the checklist helps to remind them and get them in a habit/ routine. They also learn how to make lists, as well as following through them.
Most of you know, I am a coupon shopper. My kids know how to coupon shop as well. How much math skills does that take? I have been teaching them budgeting skills too. They also help with long term project planning and inventory. While all of these things are not classic "school work," they certainly help to teach them how to be well rounded grown men! I know, I am training good husbands and their wives will thank me, (and their father) one day.