Earlier this month we received a letter from Angie’s school informing us that applications for Grade R would be opening soon. We’d always intended that she would do Grade R at the school and then begin homeschooling in Grade One.
Our plans have changed.
There was one sentence in the letter that struck me. It said that the lessons would be more formal and school-like, that the school day would be structured more like Big School and that the children would begin to receive homework.
If we let Angie do a year of formal schooling then she’s going to have to readjust in Grade One. Although she will still have to adjust from a school environment to learning at home, we feel it will be less on an adjustment and there will be less for her to unlearn if we start homeschooling in Grade R.
I’ll admit: I’m a little bit sad. I like the girls’ preschool and the Grade R teacher is lovely. But, ultimately, we have to do what is best for Angie.
So. Our Big News is this: we will officially begin homeschooling Angie next year. We’ll probably keep Emmy in preschool, but that might also change.
Our current thinking is to homeschool year-round: roughly six weeks on, one week off. From all the reading I’ve done, the idea of year-round homeschooling makes a lot of sense.
We won’t be using a boxed curriculum to start with. I have already sourced dozens of printables and unit studies on the Internet. Our main focus will be literacy, numeracy and Bible stories. Angie has already started taking an interest in “helping” in the kitchen, so I’m looking forward to exploring that with her too. (If you have easy, child-friendly recipes, please send them my way!)
We haven’t yet told Angie that we’re beginning next year instead of Grade One, and I’m anticipating some resistance when we tell her she won’t be going up to the Turtle Class with her friends. We would appreciate your prayers that she will be as excited to homeschool Grade R as she is about Grade One.
Earlier this week, I saw a lot of posts online about parents who had camped – for two days in some cases! – outside their preferred schools in order for their child’s admission form to be in first. I have to say, I’m relieved we won’t have to experience that!
I am excited to begin this journey with Angie. I’m going to spend the next few months selecting which material to use with her, and preparing her for homeschool.
I also need to make plans to register with the Pestalozzi Trust, since we don’t intend to register with the Department of Education.
And I’m going to pray: that we will adjust well to the new rhythm of life; that we can maintain a balance of work and play; that we form good friendships with other homeschoolers in our area; and that Angie learns about life and God and faith as well as how to read and count.
On a related note, Carte Blanche did a feature on homeschooling last Sunday. I didn’t watch it, but the comments on the Homeschooling in SA Facebook group suggests it was quite anti-homeschool. Did you watch it? What did you think?