Jianne is almost done with school. We are wrapping up her lessons in Preparatory as she would be graduating and moving on to the first grade 1 next school year. It has been her first official year of homeschooling. Official, meaning, she is enrolled her in The Master’s Academy (TMA), our homeschool provider. When she was four years old, I just bought a reading curriculum and she learned how to read in about two months. We were both excited to learn about Math, Science, Filipino and Bible for the first time. She had no difficulty with reading and writing. Overall, our first year of homeschooling was not as difficult as it was when Coby and I started.
To begin with, they are very different individuals who are so unique in their own way. They have different learning styles Coby is more of an auditory learner and visual while Jianne is kinesthetic and also visual. The only problem I had with Jianne though is that she does her work so fast that sometimes she doesn’t read the instructions anymore. As soon as she sees a word, she assumes that’s what she’s supposed to do. Visual learners are like that. They see the letters and they already know what word. I had to remind her that she still needs to read the instructions because there are times when the instructions get tricky.
One time, I left her with some work to do. I asked her to do, let’s say pages 56-60 of her reading book. When I came back, she told me that she finished the entire book! What? When I checked, she did complete her entire reading textbook! I scanned the pages and reviewed to her the extra pages and 99% were correct. She just had problems with spelling few words. She was very proud of herself and of course, me too!
This is my challenge now. I need to keep up with her because she learns fast and easly gets bored especially if you keep on repeating the same lesson over and over. I repeat and review because I wanted to make sure she gets it but she will tell me, “Mama, I know that already!” I need to find a challenging curriculum for her which hopefully I could find soon.
Homeschooling Coby, on the other hand, has been a challenge ever since we started. Primarily because I was a rookie homeschooling mom then still finding my way. Honestly, up to now, I’m still finding my way… out! hahaha
I thought he was a visual learner in the beginning because he loves looking at pictures and loves to draw and paint too. He was good at his art classes and spent his spare time drawing on his sketch pad. But then I realized, as he grew older, he loved to talk! As in really talk! He could host his own talk show and just talk all day. He can talk about anything. He will tell you that about History, about prehistoric animals and how they evolved. He would show you his scientific inventions with matching master plan. If you want to know what happened to our neighbor, ask him and he will give you the complete details. I am guilty at times because he loves to talk to me while I’m busy doing something and all I could answer him is, “Okay! Nice!”
In Science, Civics and History, you would hear us discussing the lessons. It would be like what I said earlier, a talk show. These discussions help develop his criticial thinking skills. Say for example, we would talk about Ancient Filipino Culture. He asked me what would happen to a country if it has no culture? I threw back the question to him because I want to know how he thinks. He was able to share his ideas well and expressed them verbally with matching hand gestures.
But there would be times when he is inattentive and not focused at all. These are the times, I really get frustrated and these would become our crying moments, angry moments, swear-not-to-homeschool-you-anymore moments and other monster mom moments. These are the times when I want to throw in the towel and just doze off. But these are the times, I need to take a step back and just breathe… take myself out of the situation and PRAY! Only by the unfailing grace of God do I find strength to continue.
A few weeks back while having breakfast, Coby expressed his desire to do to conventional school. It was a shock for me because I know he doesn’t want to go a regular school. Unfaced, I asked him why. He said that he’s kind of bored to do school at home. I responded calmly and said that we will let his Papa know about his decision and pray about it. In the afternoon whild doing some errands, he again brought up the same topic. So casually, I asked him why. This time he said he wanted to meet new friends. I just listened and again said we will pray about it. I even asked his help to pray about it.
The following day, I asked him to help me find a school for him. Then I saw the look on his face, he was surprised at what I said. I asked him why he looked surprised. I added that I want to check out the schools where you will be transferring next school year. Then he blurted out, NO! I don’t want to go to a conventional school. I still want to be homeschooled. “I thought you said you that you were bored at home and you wanted to meet new friends?” He kept disagreeing with me and insisting that he still be homeschooled. Then he said, “I already prayed about it Mama, the answer is, I will continue homeschooling.”
After all the challenging days of homeschooling, just the thought of taking him out gives me goosebumps. Is he ready? Will he be able to cope? Will the teachers be patient with him and take time to teach him? Or should I ask, Am I ready?
I am seriously thinking of letting him go next year. I want him to experience what these students go through everyday. I am not belittling conventionally-schooled kids because I am a product of one. But it’s really for his appreciation of homeschooling . I want him to see the benefit of having one teacher is to one child ratio. Not one teacher to 30 or 40 students. I want him to see the freedom he has in learning. He is a highly verbose and I don’t think a tired teacher would appreciate a student who keeps interrupting the lesson by asking questions again and again? Or a student who would giving out his opinion even without being asked. He might be labeled as talkative or uncooperative if he keeps sharing his thoughts with his seatmate. How about the freedom to redo a test over and over until he finally masters it. The freedom do learn in his own pace, to take it slow in Math and read more challening stories in History. To learn together with a sibling and have a family discussion about a Bible character of a scientific discovery.
I am praying. Half-hearted. Praying.