Maria and I are embarking on a journey and the ship departs on September 2nd.
Oh, I’m so clever. All these words that relate back to a fun adventure.
But for real…I’m homeschooling Maria. Starting September 2nd. Let me start with some FAQ I’ve gotten already (yep, so many skeptics and worriers and people just interested in the why and we haven’t even started yet!).
I thought you loved Montessori!
We do. We adore the Montessori philosophy and method of education! And we love Children’s House! Unfortunately, the population here doesn’t quite do their research like I do (you guys, I’ve spent approximately 83,994,312 hours researching Montessori) and doesn’t know how great it is yet. Maria was moving from lower elementary (grade 3) to upper elementary and into a class with only a couple kids. One of my favorite parts of the Montessori classroom environment is having multiple ages and grade levels learning and helping each other. I’ve always been really interested in homeschooling. In fact, I was going to start Maria in homeschool after I took her out of her other school, but went the Montessori school route instead. I’m so glad I did and she had such a great year, but this was a great opportunity for me to jump into something I’ve always wanted to try.
Why just Maria? Why not the other kids?
See above. Jamie is still in lower elementary with a good, larger group of students. Different ages, different abilities and different grade levels. I honestly don’t know what we will decide to do when he hits upper elementary. Maybe the same as Maria? I’m not sure. We’re still a couple years away. Alice is in Kindergarten and is excited to go back to all her friends and Charlotte is just barely starting play school — you guys, I’m not going to do a play school homeschool curriculum.
Won’t she miss her friends?
yep. Just like she missed her friends from her old school. But here’s the thing about being a parent: you sometimes have to make decisions based on what you think is the very best for your kids, whether it might make them sad at first or not. Maria made new friends at CHMS. In fact, she met 2 of her very favorite people in the world there (anna and sophia). We will see them often I predict and I also think we will have the opportunity to meet up with people all the time through our homeschooling adventures.
Do you think you’ll be able to do it?
uhhh….duh. Having a baby (Ollie) and a baby (in December) will be a little difficult, no doubt. Maria is so independent and so good at following instruction and keeping on task that I’m not worried even a tiny bit. I’m also smart enough, driven enough and competitive enough that I will want to win — you know, beat all those people who have doubts. I’ll make sure this works.
How do you know what to teach her?
Well, there’s this handy tool here in this world called the internet. I have used it a lot to research Washington 4th grade curriculum. Along with lots of chats with my other homeschooling mom friends, books from Amazon, and more internet research, I’m pretty confident she’ll learn what she needs. We’re going to be using a couple text books, some ideas from my own noggin, and lots of Montessori inspired lessons. On any given week, I can almost promise she won’t be learning the exact same things as the kids in the school down the street. But I can also promise that she’ll learn just what she needs, how she needs, and learn and know it well. Scout’s honor.
I’m stoked. I have binders for each subject (because, you guys, I love binders…so many papers neatly organized), fresh text books, the best planner thanks to Lindsay, sharpened pencils and lesson plans that I’m dying to get to. We have ‘field trips’ planned out, projects we’re excited to do, and friends we can’t wait to learn with. She’ll do ballet and violin and my friend Steve let me know that she can do PE with the public schools and 4th grade just happens to do archery! She’s basically Katniss already.
Oh, and I still totally went school clothes shopping for her. Girl’s gotta look fresh for Ollie, right?!
We can’t wait to share with you as we go along – tips, insights, projects, and how we’re doing along the way.