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Guidance on how to start "temporary home schooling" my 7yo Grade 2 ?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm on mat leave and never meant to do public schooling with my son, life circumstances have just kind of required it. He's a bright boy who HATES school and has never had much success there (bored, behavioural stuff followed by ridiculous punishments, mid-to-low grades).


ANywhoo, when I go back to work in September 2013, he will likely have to return to public school (DH says a definite "yes" and I say "we'll see"...if he's super successful learning at home and it's a positive life-change, I say let's find a way to make it work!) So, this may be a temporary arrangement.


Part of DH"s agreement to "let" me homeschool is that he'd like us to keep on schedule with the public school and actually have lesson plans to keep us focussed (he knows me to well...I can be rather wishy-washy, experiential-learning based, some days will be rich, others will be lazy- that's how I work). I'm actually a public school teacher, so that's easy enough for me, but I definitely don't want to make this a power struggle between me and DS, I want to be able to re-ignite his own passion for learning which was SOOoooo strong before going to school and "having" to learn boring stuff he already knows.


All that to say, I could use some guidance in getting started. Should I pick a philosophy and routine and not vere too far from a public-school kind of day or just go with the flow acknowledging I have the skills and resources to use his interests as a launch into deeper learning? Are there good links on just HOW to start homeschooling, what somre guidelines or routines might be (I can tell you right now we'll have to have a "no screens until after 2:00" rule....any others?)


Thanks for any guidance/advice/info!!

post #2 of 4

This thread popped up on my news tracker. Smart kids are sometimes harder to educate than average kids, as you probably know from teaching school. They need higher level thinking, not just more work, which is what a lot of gifted programs are. I ended up homeschooling because my kids were too advanced and due to some learning disabilities. If you're only doing it temporarily, you do want to stay fairly close to the school program so they aren't struggling when they return. it's okay to get ahead, but not to get behind. Essentially, you just need to keep up with math, reading, and writing.


One thing I'd do to get him excited is to let him choose one thing he really wants to learn about. Almost any passion can be made academic if you work at it. (I saw a thematic unit on chocolate!) I let each child choose one science topic and I chose one. We studied each topic for three months. The one topic a week routine in school just isn't enough--the fun part of any subject is once you get past the basics and into the amazing aspects of it. We did thematic units and based them on history because that's my passion.


Definitely make it fascinating. Spend a lot of time reading, talking, doing experiments and projects, taking field trips, and getting deep into the subjects. Make him think. Spend a lot of time writing and teach him how to teach himself, something schools often skip. That will let him do well all his life. Then try letting him plan his own learning path for one topic. He can make a plan and get it approved by you before tackling it, but presume the journey will have unexpected twists and turns.


When I wrote my first homeschooling book, I tried to show parents how to get past a full day of paperwork and really live the learning life. It's more fun for both of you--and if you're having fun, you won't forget to plan.

post #3 of 4

If I were in your situation, I would find out the prescribed learning outcomes (PLOs) for your child's grade for your province (that is what they are called here in BC), see what he is already capable of, and look at how you want to meet the unmet ones.  Then your DH will be happy that you are "on-track" for public school.  IF your son is as advanced as you think he is, you will likely have very little to do to meet the expected outcomes (at least that has been my experience for the lower grades in BC).  You will have a lot of room for making meeting the outcomes fun (science? visit the science center and write up about different exhibits.  First Nations?  Go to a period play or visit an old fort or local tribal celebration...).  


There are millions of cirricula out there now and it can take a bit of wading through.  I would suggest you stay fairly far away from a "school at home" model if your son is as resistant to school as you feel he is.


Good Luck, it is fun!


ETA: In BC there is a LOT of "Distance Education" or "Distance Learning".  You can be a part of these schools even if you live elsewhere, but I believe it will cost you money.  There might be a system like that in Ontario.  


As far as how to set up your own homeschooling schedule, I have been inspired by reading about Charlotte Mason and Classical philosophies (and also unschooling and unit studies).

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks Ladies,


I've made "long range plans" from the Ontario Curriculum for his grade (and printed off grade 3 outcomes incase we end up going there), mainly to satisfy my hubby. I figure we'll check off things we cover, even if it happens whimsically in February instead of May as planned.


I'm just going to pull together resources instead of following a curriculum (well, other than using the Ontario Curriculum as a general guide).


I think that pictures and documentation are going to be a big part of our home schooling. I think so much of the rich learning will happen in the moment and don't want to get caught in the "must show proof/have output" trap, so do this worksheet to proove it that my hubby wants. To make it tangible for DH, I think we'll do a fair amount of photographs of activities, then tie in how those activities relate to learning with a written reflection or anecdotal notes from me.


One more week of public school!!! I'm so excited to start and HOPE HOPE HOPE this is what DS1 needs. When I think of my sweet boy before going to school he had such zest and generosity and curiousity, now he's this moping, maliable, anxious ball of boy (when the subject of school comes into play). Wish us luck!

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