Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Challenges as Homeschoolers
As you might be aware, we're a homeschooling family. We haven't always been, however, and my children have different goals for their homeschooling. Buttercup, at 10, sees herself going to traditional high school (at least at this point) and Valiant, at 13, has decided to skip high school completely and begin at the community college when he's 16. To that end, I think self-discipline and organization will be very important skills for them to have; Buttercup, because she intends to enter the institutional learning environment and she'll need to be able to respond to the demands that environment will make on her and Valiant because he'll be in an environment where no one will be checking up on his performance, his attendance, or his success. Working towards that end, I actually wrote down my schooling guidelines for them last week.
Yep, you read correctly, I wrote down my expectations and the consequences for failure to meet those expectations and we sat down and went over them, one-by-one, Monday night. So many people have the misguided notion that homeschoolers all have a laissez-faire attitude about schooling, I thought you'd like to see how our family approaches it. (Later today, I'll share a snippet of Valiant's curriculum - he's an 8th grader by traditional measures) For now, I thought you'd like to see my expectations for our school days:
1. The school day will begin at 9:00 a.m.
2. There will be no television or computer time before school or chores are finished.
3. Chores (including getting dressed and other personal hygiene chores) will be done before school work begins. Even Monday chores can be done before 9:00 a.m. if you focus. Failure to be ready for school on time will result in a ½ hour earlier bedtime that night.
4. Each day’s school work must be finished on the day it was assigned unless you are sick or excused (ahead of time) from completing that work on time. You will not be allowed to play until it is done.
5. Fighting, rudeness, or other attitude issues at the school desk or in the school room will result in revocation of play privileges for the day AND early bedtime.
6. We will not go to Museum Day if our school work is not completed before it is time to leave at 1:00 p.m.
7. When you are done with your assignments for the day, you will bring your completed assignments to me to be checked BEFORE you ask to play. If there is work to be corrected, it will be corrected before you head outside, upstairs, or whatever.
8. Assignments called “Reading” can be done at bedtime.
9. I know the neighborhood kids will have various days that are single days off or half days or whatever. Our schedule will not be affected by that because we take other vacations throughout the year that they don’t take. That means you will need to stick to your curriculum sheets and, if your friends have the day off, get your school work done early so you can join them.
...and you think your children have a mean teacher!