Saturday, July 30, 2011

Homeschooling ideas

Lately I have been getting many questions about what we are doing for homeschooling, which is understandable considering the summer is slipping away quite quickly.

I was lucky enough to find a small group of families who have hired a Waldorf teacher to come and teach our kids two days per week for about five hours each day. The class will meet in one of the parent's homes, she has a classroom set up in her basement. Since my main goal this year was to provide Iris opportunities to interact with the same children on a longer term basis, this class will really fit the bill quite nicely, I believe. Iris may also be involved in a social skills group, but so far I haven't heard if the group is going to have enough members to run.

The other thing we are doing, as interest arises, is take classes at our local community center, which has "homeschooling" classes two days per week. I say "homeschooling" because they are open to anyone who would like to take one, but since they are during the day on weekdays, then that pretty much just leaves the home schoolers filling the classes. The classes can range from art to yoga to math to cooking.

And lastly is the the at-home portion of our homeschooling adventure. I am taking care to follow what 2nd graders should know because as of now our intention is to put Iris back in to school for 3rd grade. We will be doing the Five in a Row curriculum, though I will have to tweak it a bit since we won't be doing school at our home five days per week. FIAR focuses on learning different concepts based on different books that the founders of FIAR have chosen for various reasons. I will have to supplement with some math and so far I have a math workbook that we are going to work on, but I still have to check if it covers the right skills that Iris is going to need to learn so she can successfully head back in to a school setting.

I am also crossing my fingers that Eloise's new teacher will be open to me bringing Iris in to volunteer in the classroom. I think helping out with things like reading to the kids could be great for Iris.

I have to say that I am getting pretty excited about the school year. It's relieving to me to have Iris attending two days of classes out of the house because it gives me the time I need to do all of the other things I have to do in any given week.

The last thing I am getting excited about is shopping for school supplies! Perusing the crayons, pencils and folders at Target is a little bit too much fun, I think.


  1. I have a friend up here in Snohomish who homeschools all four of her kids. She plans small "field trips" frequently. Sometimes every week. They are small definitely but she works them into the curriculum. Even a trip to the zoo can be part of a "field trip" type class. Her field trips have been The Reptile Man in Monroe, the zoo, the aquarium, Remlinger Farms, Pacific Science Center. It really breaks up the studying at home struggles. Also -garden stores for Earth Science (looking at plants, talking about different types of soil and how fertilizer and compost work). I think homeschooling would be really fun but the whole me having to work to support my horse habit gets in the way. Plus, our new school up here is amazing so at least I'm happy with EJ going there.

  2. This is great! I'm excited to hear more. Your friend sounds like me- this fall I'm going to be starting to homeschool a friend's daughter in my basement classroom two days a week! We will be adding more kids as they come of school age and in a few years, my own son will begin his homeschooling adventure. I've looked into FIAR as well and will be interested to see what you think of it! :)

  3. Thanks J and Adrienne--

    I definitely plan on lots of field trips, but I'm not really scheduling them in as I know things like that can more easily happen spotaneously for us. Luckily, in Seattle, there is SO much to see and do! We would never get bored.

    Adrienne that is so cool you are doing homeschooling for other families. I love the idea of finding a bridge between traditional classrooms and schooling home alone. I think small classes made up of a few children from families who are taking a very active role in their education. I look forward to reading about what you are doing on your blog!


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