The Freedom of Homeschooling

I first wrote this post in September 2020. Not much has changed since our first year of homeschooling, including my opinion. We have found great new materials to use and we’ve brought Isbe in with her very own workbooks (per her request, of course). This year, I’ll even be doing some homeschooling myself, as I have decided to take on learning a new language. Honestly, I still stand by the opinion that homeschooling is one of the best decisions we made as parents.

I am so glad we chose to homeschool and not just because of Covid-19. The more we venture on this path, the more I’m wishing I had been homeschooled. The freedom that comes with setting your own course is absolutely amazing and with so many extracurriculars out there, it’s easy to explore all different kinds of interests.

Everybody’s got a water buffalo…

Our First Year.

We started Ade’s first year of schooling back in May simply because I wanted to do some outside learning. Now, he’s almost completed his coursework. No joke. We’re reviewing the subjects he’s already completed this week and then I’ll be giving him a small test next week just to make sure he’s retained what he learned. With how well he actually uses those things in daily life, I’m not too concerned. After that, it’s on to the next grade’s course.

Of course, on this journey it has helped immensely that one of my mom friends is not only a homeschooler too, and has been one for a few years, but she also has an education degree. I go to her with every question I have, from curriculum to how to handle Ade’s learning style. I honestly don’t think our first year would have been as smooth if it wasn’t for her. It also helps that our families are into similar interests so she knows all the fun stuff like the Star Wars Workbooks that are actually legit.

Our Curriculum.

In case you’re wondering, for Ade’s first year we used Thinking Kids Comprehensive Curriculum workbook, along with an Alphabet workbook from Target, and DK Smithsonian Books. We also read out of their Devotional book and have memory verses. I’m excited to begin this next year and helping him learn more.

We’ve also added Art as an extracurricular. I did some research for a couple of days and finally decided to try Art for Kids Hub on youtube. We are loving it! Every Monday and Friday we sit down and follow along with their art tutorials. I’ve always wanted to learn to draw so being able to learn alongside the kids has been so amazing. It’s one of Ade’s favorite things when it comes to school. I’m keeping a list of things he has expressed interest in learning about for future extracurriculars. A few of them I’m even wanting to learn alongside him.

Did you decide to homeschool or do virtual learning with your child this school year? If so, have you found it harder or easier for them to learn from home?

If you’ve contemplated homeschooling your kids, I encourage you to try it. There are so many options out there for you and your family to explore, you never know what they’ll find an interest in. If you have the chance to learn alongside them then maybe you won’t be completely lost when they expound on their new fascination.

What’s New and What’s the Same.

We still use Thinking Kids for our main course work, as well as the Star Wars workbooks. We use workbooks to complement the main coursework, either as an end-of-the-year filler or to review a subject. Since the kids love Star Wars so much, it also helps to keep them engaged in the lesson.

We still read out of the kids’ devotional book, and earlier this year, we bought Ade his own Adventure Bible. I do encourage him to read out of it on his own, but we will also be reading the Book of John together. He loves hearing stories about Jesus at night time, so hopefully reading John together will help answer some of his questions.

As for extracurriculars, we have paused on our Art Lessons. I enjoyed them and I think Isbe will too when she gets a little older, but they weren’t for Ade. He likes to color but not necessarily draw. This year, we will begin learning piano. My mom is a piano player and I did some self-teaching when I was younger, so when a friend announced she would be giving lessons, I jumped on that.

I have asked Ade multiple times if he wants to take piano lessons and he continually answers in the affirmative. Even if he ultimately decides it’s not for him, I want to give him the opportunity to explore. That’s part of the freedom of homeschooling.

I had hoped to return to dance this year, but I don’t think that’s going to happen for us. When I asked him, Ade said he didn’t want to dance this year and I respect that decision. Honestly, this decision is still up in the air for Isbe and me, but as things still haven’t calmed down with COVID, I’m not quite ready to venture out as freely.

I love that we can be so flexible with our homeschooling. Being able to try new things and have a chance to really explore what interests the kids, it just can’t be beat. Plus it gives me time to learn new things, too!

Have you tried homeschooling? What did you like or not like about it?

Let me know in the comments!

Happy Monday!

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