I feel lucky and very blessed to be starting my homeschooling adventure when I have so many great and experienced homeschooling friends to help me along. The last week has been a flurry of planning, organizing, printing, worksheets, and more. I’m both nervous and excited at the same time, and I’m very anxious to find our “home school supplemental” groove. Let me explain.
Our daughter, London, has always been in public school. We had concerns at each grade level which we brought up with her teachers. These included her reading comprehension, writing, math and spelling not showing mastery at any level. The teachers kept brushing off my and my husband’s concerns, saying that they were sure she’d catch up by the next year and that they’re focused on “exposure” at this point, not “mastery”. We went along with the teachers’ reassurances until this year when she started bringing home Fs in the first week of school. Some focused investigation and work with her in the weeks that followed showed us that she was, as we suspected, NOT working at a 4th grade level. She was more in line with a 1st grade level.
Needless to say, my husband and I were both infuriated that we send her to school for 6 hours a day to show no progressive learning on basic concepts, such as single digit addition and subtraction, knowing how to read and spell sight words (including 3 letter words), and being able to read directions on homework problems and understand the directions. The school system is failing my daughter and the teachers don’t seem to mind.
I was even more furious that the teacher was comfortable assigning vocabulary words to my daughter such as intangible, personification, and latitude when she cannot read or spell the words who, what and where. (Seriously. She tried to spell those basic words for us over and over, and came up with every incorrect variation imaginable.) Foundations are first. You can’t build a building with no foundation, and you certainly can’t put on a roof on or install windows if you haven’t built the walls yet. Education is no different – first things first.
Since we share custody, we can’t just decide to pull her out of public school in favor of home school (which at this point we certainly would if custody wasn’t an issue). However, we can’t sit by and watch her wasting her time at school every day not learning the very basics which she should already know. So my husband and I have decided to home school London before and after school, as a supplement to her normal day. She’s having to make up 3 full school grades of reading, language and math to get up to speed with where she should be. We know that she won’t get through all 3 grades in time to catch up before this school year is over, so we’re just doing the best we can while trying not to overload her.
I’ll be sharing all of the home school research, materials, and resource development (including tons of great printable home school worksheets) I’m working on with you in the upcoming weeks. Thanks to all my wonderful home school parents and friends who are blogging about their experiences and have offered me help as I start to home school from scratch!