I have been homeschooling Owen since September and while I still have a ton to learn, I have at least figured out a few things. Owen LOVES being homeschooled, or rather, Owen LOVES not attending a traditional school. Here is what we have learned:
1. Owen hates getting up early, but he is totally happy to read in his bed until 11pm (and honestly, the same is true for me), so the flexible schedule thing works well for us.
2. We have our dog’s teeth in a specimen cup on a shelf and a raccoon tail in a ziplock baggy on top of our fridge (doesn’t everybody?) Everything is an opportunity for learning.
3. Owen just wore a pair of homemade duct tape shoes to the grocery store, and nobody noticed. You just can’t get away with that in public middle school. He fully embraces his inner (and outer) nerd and I would hate for someone to tell him that it’s not cool to make your own shoes out of duct tape.
4. Math is just as easily learned upside down on the couch as it is sitting in a chair at a desk.
5. You can turn anything into schoolwork. Owen wanted to get a pet bunny. He researched rabbits, wrote a report about rabbits and a persuasive essay to convince us that he should be able to get one.
6. I have almost as little attention span as Owen. I also have a pretty serious case of Itisalmostsummeritis. It is ridiculously hard to get a unfocused kid to focus on schoolwork during the last month or so of school when you are as unfocused as he is.
7. In a former life I got my MAT in English Education and had a NH Experienced Educator license. What has been far more necessary and valuable to me in homeschooling, however, is patience and creativity.
8. I knew going into this that I could only make it work around my job as a Paramedic because Owen was old enough to stay home alone at times and could be somewhat self-sufficient. It turns out that he is really good at taking care of himself, and his younger brother when I am sleeping after a night shift, but he is terrible at getting work done unless I am constantly on him. It also turns out that him making meals for the Kindergartener is far more valuable to me than doing math when I’m sleeping.
9. Some kids need to be around other kids. Duncan is one of those kids. Owen is not. Though he still loves to hang out with his friends, he does not at all miss having other kids around him all day.
10. I loved school. Owen loves learning. These are not the same things. He is a much happier kid figuring things out on his own and reading about things that interest him.
11. I enjoy having Owen around and love helping him learn both things that I know and things that are new to me, but I sometimes want to scream at him to go find something else to do because he is always freaking here. And apparently I am a person who enjoys my time alone.