Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beginning the journey...

I feel like I've been planning this year for years---and I have.  Shortly after Red Ridinghood's birth we started discussing homeschooling as an option.  Our public schools were questionable at best (they have since become chaotic from budget cuts) and private schools were out of our price range unless I returned to work.  Homeschooling was looking pretty good, except would I be able to survive?

That was my mother's number one fear.  Would Red and I be able to tolerate each other every single day of the year?  I thought we could.  I hoped we could.  So after bucking against the pressure and the expectation of sending your children to preschool, I find myself ready to start the kindergarten year.

I have been very open with my friends that I am a homeschooling junkie.  Researching different pedagogies has become a hobby to me.  I think I've looked at pretty much every philosophy in the book at least once.  At this point, I feel quite settled with using Charlotte Mason's ideas about short lessons, living books and lots of outdoor time.  I do feel compelled toward classical education as well since I think it covers so many areas that I feel were missing from my education as a child.  Waldorf has resonated with me too.  I don't agree with some of the more extreme Waldorf ideas (e.g. preventing a child from reading until second grade), but its focus on keeping a child a child, rhythm in the day, nature, play and art are important to me as well. 

My husband, the Cobbler (he picked the name.  The Elves and the Shoemaker is his favorite fairy tale), is very open to all my ideas and pretty much has given me free rein in the education area.  I have relied on him to help me make the math curriculum decision because I was overwhelmed with choices.  He affirmed what my gut was already telling me and the decision was made. 

I'm keeping this blog for record keeping purposes and also as as guideline for when Tom Thumb hits kindergarten age.  I hope that other homeschoolers will also find looking at our journey to be useful.  Now on to writing up the Read Aloud list...

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