I haven’t talked much about this yet, if at all, but I have been teaching my lil’ man at home. Some call it homeschooling, yet, he is online. Technically he’s enrolled in a public school, but, I don’t follow the “path” the way they want it followed. He is way ahead in Math and Science and maybe a little behind in writing. I completely dismiss the Music and only brush upon the Art, skipping the actual “Art projects” altogether, because he is not at all interested in Art…unless of course, he is at an Art Museum, like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston… he loves. We sort of unschool, as I give him plenty of leeway in navigating his learning, but not completely, as there are some things that he may not want to do, but he still must. I guess I’m winging it in a kind of way, because I just do whatever I think is best for him as we move along….Smartschooling!
He started school at home last year because he HATED first grade. Just a few day ago, we wrapped up second grade. He thrived in kindergarten the previous year, but first grade was an utter disaster. In all honesty, I was completely freaked out at first. The thought of teaching him myself scared the crap out of me. But, I really had no choice. He was having horrible anxiety issues over changing schools and being in a new environment. He likely would have overcome the issues, as most kids do, had the school handled the problem correctly, but they really bollixed up the whole ordeal…horribly. This certainly isn’t my first rodeo. After all, I have 5 kids, the other 4 are in high school. None of them did school at home. Between raising my own kids and years of babysitting when I was younger, I have plenty of experience and insight into what makes kids tick. That’s why I was fairly confident when my intuition told me that the situation with my lil’ man wasn’t going to be easily resolved. I won’t get into the wretched details, but after 2 weeks of him feeling miserable about school and me being sick over bringing him (all reinforcing what I have always known- a good or bad teacher can make or break a kid’s school year) I made the excruciatingly difficult decision of pulling him. But, it had to be done. He was needlessly unhappy.
I have always stood by the notion that everything happens for a reason. In the end, this is all well and good, as I plan to be up, out and about, just months from now. He would have been schooled at home, when the time came, anyhow. This just fast tracked the inevitable. Lucky for me, he’s a bright kid, so teaching him has been a lot easier than I realized. In fact, now that I can see the light for what it really is, I am happier than ever that it played out like it did. He can avoid years of learning useless information. He can excel at what he enjoys. He can move ahead at his own pace and take more time when he needs it. He can concentrate on his strengths and interests. He has one-on-one attention. And, best of all, he gets real life knowledge. What a perfect way to learn…Smartschooling!