Last year I initially attempted to be very scheduled and regimented as far as the kids homeschooling schedule, kind of like the military. I realized rather quickly that THAT wasn’t going to work for us. We relied heavily on workbooks and field trips. It got the job done, but was pretty boring in the grand scheme of things. Homeschool, like everything else on life, takes time to work out the kinks and you learn through trial and error. We needed something different for this year.
**Gabriel participating in Astronomy online lecture.**
Another factor in deciding to change up things is that I have gone back into real estate. Long story short (and ICYMI on my Instagram), I first started my real estate career in 2003 but had to take a break for a couple of years recently to focus 100% on Gabriel’s speech delay. I have worked with my husband during this time some, most notably the wine bar that we just sold, but I feel a strong urge to get back out there and make my own money. It’s called independence, and I am craving it. My husband is an excellent provider, but I think it’s wise for all women to have their own cash flow. So, with me venturing back into real estate I also needed the kids to work more independently without me having to standby and do a lot of lesson planning.
This year is already off to a different start, because Ruby started preschool this year. She goes from 9am until noon; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I am a very strong believer in homeschooling, however, I don’t enjoy the homeschool groups and am also a firm believer in socialization and stimulus outside of the home for tots. Preschool is necessary to Ruby’s well being. She’s beyond bored at home, LITERALLY climbing the walls. She goes to preschool at a local church and loves it. The first day I dropped her off I was expecting a reaction of some sort, but got nothing. I even expected for her to have some sort of delayed reaction when I picked her up, like she would remember all of a sudden how much she missed me when saw me at pickup. Nope. Again, nothing.
**Ruby’s first day of preschool**
I did some research over the summer and made a list of the most important things (in my opinion) pertaining to the kids education and schedules. Do I care if they wake up early? Gross! No. Plenty of time for that later in life. Do I think Math is important? Yes, but it’s the one subject I hate and am not comfortable doing myself. Math has been outsourced to a tutoring place called Mathnasium. We drive from Newberry to the Lexington location because it’s the closest and offers the services we need. Shout out to Mom for helping with the cost (she pays half)! *virtual high five* Is it conducive to format their education less like high school and more like college? YES!!
**Carmen participating in her online Astronomy lecture via Outschool**
What about the other subjects? Spanish is done on their phones via the DuoLingo app. My husband is bilingual so he practices conversational spanish with them (and me). History, Science, and English are being taken on Outschool this year. I discovered Outschool on an Instagram ad earlier this year, and when I went to the site I was amazed. Not only do they offer the classes mentioned above, but really cool specialized, kind of themed out versions. For example, Carmen is taking Women In History and Gabriel is taking World Leaders: Great or Terrible. This covers their history requirement and helps them stay interested because they are learning something they’re actually interested in. Duh! They are both taking Astronomy for science this semester (and in the same class which is kind of neat).
Here’s a screenshot of the Outschool schedule this semester below. In summary, we also go to Mathnasium twice a week. Carmen is on the swim team and Gabriel still plays golf. They also practice handwriting and Spanish at home.
So far, this way of homeschooling is working out perfectly for us. No day ever looks the same, and regimented schedules are super boring in our opinion and frankly-don’t work for us. Part of the reason we love homeschool is the flexibility. Thanks to the WiFi in my Suburban, we can even homeschool on the go very easily.