Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Re: Please answer 5 questions on how you homeschool

Recently, a new homeschooler asked these questions. Here are my answers:

1.? How many days and hours per week do you spend preparing materials for the week?

That will depend on how you choose to homeschool.
a) School-in-box will take the least as the plans are already laid out.
b) Preparing your own material will take more time unless you use the tons of online ideas and lessons someone else has gathered and posted.

I've used both of the above before we moved into Unschooling =) Unschooling goes about education in a completely different way so it would be extremely hard to calculate the hours spent. My spouse and I are always looking for interesting things that we think our son will like. My son is greatly into Biology (focusing mainly on cats and dogs) so I've found all types of great books, documentaries, and hands on exposure for him. He gets to explore the topic as deep as he likes which has lead to him exploring way beyond the age/grade level normally designed for a child his age.

2.? How many hours do you spend actually doing planned?homeschooling?

Prior to moving into unschooling, homeschooling took approximately 1/4 of the time to accomplish the daily work then the amount of time the school had required. Looking back, it became apparent that there was a lot of wasted time in the schools of lining kids up and taking turns for things like bathroom breaks and water fountain breaks. With Unschooling, learning happens all the time. It's more of an ebb and flow of information and discovery. If something is intriguing, there's no reason to stop because it's time to switch topics or subjects. (This also applies to homeschooling, too.)

3.? On average, how many planned trips (museums to follow up on a concept for example) do you do per month?

This has more to do with what is happening locally and within driving distance. I signed up for all types of alerts so we get notification when the museams are having special events, when the parks are having special events, when the county is hosting interesting classes we may want to explore, etc...

4.? How much do you spend per month on homeschooling?

??? Trips? $________

This is so open ended. You can buy a membership to the local Science Center and that usually gains you entry to all the museums. A membership to your local Zoo is also a good investment. Other trips can vary.

????Materials/ supplies $_____

As one mom stated, the cost per tuition far exceeds the cost of homeschooling material. Tons of great material is free from the Library and internet. For us, our main expense is books, books, and more books. I have readers who LOVE books so I'm always looking to keep the house stocked. There are tons of ways to save money or you can buy new and spend more. One of the best investments I've made is the complete Life of Fred Series. As your child is still young, you can sign up for the Scholastic Book Fair and save lots of money on attending one of their warehouse sales. I've known families that spend a fortune and families that don't.

??? website memberships $_______

Yahoo Groups has been an excellent resource and is free. There are also tons of homeschooling parents who blog and post tons of lesson plans, ideas and free links. One of the first I was told about is the www.homeschoolblogger.com site. I found so much great information there when I first started this journey.

All of the below items would be unique to each of your children whether they are homeschooled or mainstreamed.

??? Other$______ __

???? Group activities

???????????? ? Dance$_____

???????????? ?? Piano $________

???????????? ?? Karate $______

etc. ?

Searching the archieves of the homeschooling groups and of homeschooling bloggers is a great way to investigate all the many and varied ways people handle these issues. On of the beauties of homeschooling is there is not a 'one way fits all' so you get to alter the plans as life requires and or as your child changes as they grow. Lapbooking can be fun with a five or six year old but a teenager will most liking resent you for forcing lapbooking on them.

Good luck on your journey.

Vicki ~ Mom to dd 19, dd 17, & ds 11


appleleaf said...

Very informative and worth sharing once again. Thanks Vicki.

The Stone Age Techie said...

Thanks for these, Vicki. Actually this is good time for me to think on them - the superintendent in a neighboring town is hosting a 'forum' for homeschoolers, ostensibly to help us out somehow but, we think, really to show us how much better off we'd all be if our kids were in school. My friend put her response to the forum very well: Danger Will Robinson!
I will not be attending, needless to say :-)