We officially began homeschooling in September of 2018. I say "officially" because we have always valued education and made learning a priority in our home but in September we purchased a curriculum and began using it.
Homeschooling has always been something that has been on our radar. I distinctly remember a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, years before we had our first child, where my husband and I discussed what homeschool would look like for our children. I actually summarized into a "homeschool manifesto" and if I can find it I will share it :)
My husband is a very very smart man but he did not excel in the traditional brick and mortar school system. He did well enough to get by but he by no means loved school. His passion is cars. He has excelled in the military because he gets to enjoy his passion everyday. We surmise that if he was taught science, math, history, etc. though cars he would have excelled in school. If his education had been tailored to his learning style.
We are a military family. Because of this we get awesome opportunities to live all over the world but we also move every 2-4 years. Homeschooling will allow us to continue to educate our children without having to worry about them being ahead or falling behind when we move. It also allows us the opportunities to travel and take breaks when we need to with out being tied to a traditional school schedule.
Speaking of traditional school, we are not anti-school. If our children ask to attend school it is absolutely something we will consider. Our son spent some time in a Japanese preschool and in September we tried out the local Kindergarten. I was pregnant and the idea of our oldest going to school so I could get a break sounded nice. After 5 days it was quickly apparent that it was not the right environment for him. I researched curriculums and found Blossom and Root. It is a nurture based, Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum. It appealed to me because it is a complete Kindergarten curriculum (just add some books) with minimal prep and it is inexpensive.
When picking a curriculum I had to decided if we were going to to kindergarten or first grade. At 5.5 our son was reading fluently, could count to 1000 by 100's, could count to 10 in Spanish, and 20 in Japanese. But he was only 5.5. In the end we decided to take it easy, concentrate more on play and do Kindergarten.
We have enjoyed doing Kindergarten for the past 22 weeks. We have read lots and lots of books, practiced writing, learned about the different planets, and gone on lots of adventures. We have taken breaks when I gave birth to our daughter, when family visited, and when we took a trip back to the states. Summer is upon us and we only have 6 months left in Japan so we are pausing our Kindergarten and switching to Book Seeds Unit Studies.
Book Seeds are STEAM based and have hands on experiments, art projects, nature studies and more. We completed our first week of Summer School and we have had a blast.
We look forward to our homeschooling journey and learning and growing along side our children.