So, I have gone from not wanting to homeschool AT ALL to, well, maybe I will the first few years with a nearby charter homeschool program, to now thinking about a more unschooly approach to Kindergarten.
My dd is 4 with a December bday, so her K year would be 2013-2014. We currently attend a mommy and me style preschool program 2 days a week.
Let me see if I can organize my thoughts a bit. While she seems to really like her class, my dd is super reserved and does not leave my side for the entire class. She has yet to have "friends" because she refuses to speak to any of the kids or, quite frankly, anyone she doesn't know well. One reason homeschool started to be on my radar. She never seemed to be "growing out of it". I keep being told that she will probably do better than I think without me, yes, maybe, but she literally panics at the thought of me walking off without her in class so....
My dd has always been interested in letters and showed really good fine motor skills really young. She entered this class already knowing how make most letters, spell her name, mom, dad, stuff like that. That was all her asking me, "mom, how do you spell mom, etc" I have never held her hand to help her make a letter, but only shown her how I make it when she asks. So, she doesn't really mind the writing practice they do in class, but I honestly don't like the way they push it. Also, I see them correcting them all the time with writing, something I don't do with my dd at all. If she makes a squiggle and tells me its a K, then its a K, you know? The other day, she was tracing numbers and her teacher came up to her and said, "start from the top" of course, right after that, my dd was done. It irritated me, quite honestly. I never correct her on those things because I feel like she will write when she writes and just let her have fun and explore right now.
For next year they have a 4-5 yr old class. (she is in 3-4 now) called "school readiness". Its 3 days and I'm supposed to leave her there without me for 2 of them. I've asked my dd about that class, and she talks about it like she wants to, but then then says, "no, i'm not ready to go to class by myself yet". When the 4-5 teachers came to talk to us about their classes, I was shocked at the work they do! Like writing little short stories with pictures. I mean, great if your kid is into that, but again, I just don't think we need to push these things, they happen, you know? But, they have to because I know in K they do a lot more "academic" work than they did in K in my day. When I was kid, K was still fun.
All K's are full day. Even the more laid back charter schools still have full day K. Again, I keep hearing how she will do fine being gone all day, but I guess keep thinking, does she have to? She has her whole life to work hard all day!
So, all these things have led me to at least consider a unschool approach for K. But, I'm totally new to the concept. How do you unschool for K? Would she be okay for 1st if I did? I work part time 3 days a week, so it isn't as if she isn't ever away from me. And while I don't want to be to scheduled, I have found that on my days at home, sometimes we cranky and end up rattling around the house trying to think of things to do. How does a homeschooling parent get time to themselves? I like quiet time and time where no one is talking to me, and honestly, while I love being with my dd, that is an aspect to parenting that has been tough for me. Am I crazy to think I can have her home more? What about her independence? If I don't force her to be without me, am I babying her? Should we try to sign up for some outside activity just so she is around other kids sometimes? (she is an only child with no close in age cousins). Is it still "unschool" if I do that? Are my reasons for thinking of doing this valid?
I know this post is unorganized crazy talk, but even as I think about this, I feel overwhelmed by it. Just looking for some thoughts from more experienced parents. Thanks!