We have started our fifth year of homeschool. It really doesn't seem possible that we've been doing this for that long, but we have!!! While there are times when I still question whether or not this is the right choice for Michael, I can honestly say that God has always stepped in to give us a clear answer.
Michael has made great strides in the past month... yes, we just finished day 26 of his 5th grade year. We have chosen to go to a year round format, and there are many that would say that just "isn't right". For us, it is going to be what makes all the difference for Michael.
At the end of Michael's third grade year we took off the entire summer, as we had based our calendar on the public school's calendar. When we started back up in August of that year it was a total disaster. Talk about stress!! He had forgotten just about everything he had learned. Oh, he could still read, do simple math, and could still write, but anything beyond that was, simply, gone! I knew that neither one of us was ready to go through that again. The solution was simple - don't take such long breaks.
This year we took off for three weeks at the end of his fourth grade year. We are now on a four day school week, taking Friday off each week. If something comes up during the week and we'd like to take off an additional day, we do it. We make it up the following week on Friday! So far, it has really been great. We have been able to pick up right where we left off, and he has retained everything. This has been a huge blessing for both of us!
I have also found out over the years that Michael likes to move around when he works. There have been many a day where he has stood up while learning a subject. And when he reads... well, I'm never quite sure just what position I will find him in!!!
This used to drive me crazy, but now I don't even mind, as long as he is reading, and retaining what he reads.
As long as I allow him to "fidget" he gets the work done. This is something that would never be tolerated in a public classroom. He would be forced to sit in a chair, and that just does not suit his learning style!
When we first began our homeschooling adventure I tried to keep our day as close to a public school day as I could. After all, I had worked in the public school system for a number of years in a substitute teacher capacity, and that is what I knew. Now, if he wants to stand to do his math... go for it! Stand, sit on the floor, work in the dining room, work in the school room... I don't care, as long as the work is completed and retained!
You see, it isn't HOW you learn that is important, but the fact that you LEARN that truly matters. Here, we work at Michael's pace... and we keep plugging away until he has the concept down. We don't rush through things just to say that we're finished.... slow and steady wins the race!
I'm beyond thankful that God has given me this time to spend with Michael, and that we have chosen to head his call to homeschool. It isn't always easy, but it IS what we've been called to do. I know there are many who feel that kids who are homeschooled don't get enough "socialization". Many feel that kids need to be "making friends" and that the only way to learn to get along with others is to be out in the classroom. Mickey and I??? We feel that a classroom environment would force Michael to retreat into his shell... we fear that he would be bullied because he is "different"... we know that he would be "lost" in a world that moves at too quick a pace. We trust that what we are doing is following God leading, and that He wants only what is in Michael's best interest. We will continue to ask for God's direction, and follow wherever he takes us. Homeschool isn't for every child. It isn't for every family. For us... it is right where Michael is meant to be.
Have a Blessed Day!