How many children do you have / homeschool?
We have currently 3 children and I homeschool my oldest. My 3 year old is also interested in school and sometimes he would sit with us to work in his preschool book. We are expecting child #4 with a c-section schedule for Dec 19th.
How long have you been homeschooling?
I started homeschool during the summer of 2007. This is our first year and we enjoy it very much.
Have they always been homeschooled, or did they ever go to public/private school?
My oldest son has been in French Catholic school for 2 years before we decided to homeschool. He did his junior and senior kindergarden at that school.
Do you plan on homeschooling until graduation?
Hopefully yes but I am taking it on a day to day basis. So far so good... We are planning to continue next year!
Do you belong to a co-op?
No. I want to take it easy for the first year and not put too much on our schedule. There was one in my area but I think it is not meeting anymore as most of the families had teenagers...
Do you school all year long, or use some other schedule?
I would see it is sort of year long but we do take some time off. For example, right now we are taking it slow with the coming of the baby and me having high blood pressure... We are doing minimum schooling in the morning. Also, we will take a break during Christmas time as well as most probably February.
Do you use textbooks only, or do you like to supplement with other materials?
We do have textbooks but we also complete with other things like computer software as well as devotions and outside activities. This past Fall, we had swimming and gymnastics. For Winter, it will be mostly playing outside and getting adjusted with the new baby.
Are field trips included in your school plans, or are they just family time?
I would say both - in September the homeschool association organized a field trip to Upper Canada Village and we had a good time. We also go to museums in the area as we have a membership with three museums in our city. This membership allows us to access other museums for free when we travel - which we take advantage! Our trip to Toronto allowed us to go to the Ontario Science Centre for free...
Do you and your kids do crafty stuff together for school time?
No much... We will do something this week for Christmas decoration and we plan to do a Gingerbread Nativity Kit as well. However, I am planning to introduce more crafts and sciences in 2008.
Would you consider everyday household life stuff ‘home ec’?
We already do! There is cooking classes in a grocery store for the kids and we do cook with them at home too! My oldest helped his dad to install Windows Server the other day and they learn how to take care of the household with both of us... They help with folding the laundry, emptying the dishwasher, putting the dirty dishes on the counter...etc.
Do you have any advice for new homeschoolers?
I would say to start slow with the basic to be covered and then when you feel comfortable to add more things in your planning. Don't get discourage and take some days off. It is a family affair and it takes adjustment for sure! Investigate before diving in the homeschool... We had about 10 families in my church and I've sent an e-mail to each moms to ask them questions. A friend even sat down with me to show me how she schedule her day. She took the time to encourage me. Go to a homeschool conference before making your final decision. Get connected with homeschoolers and don't hesitate to ask questions. Read books on homeschooling - it was a great help too! Be realistic... some days are harder than others....
Do you have advice for homeschoolers with little ones under foot?
Encourage them to play by themselves but if it doesn't work take out the playdoh, the crayons and paper, educational toys related to their age, or even a video which they can watch without disturbing the older siblings...