My older son, Miles, will be 6 this month. He is technically “in kindergarten” although we are not part of any structured academic school, curriculum, or “plan.” Like a few million other parents in the United States, we choose to homeschool our children. Miles nor his 3 year old brother, Fred, have ever been to preschool or daycare and we love homeschooling so far. We are part of a large, colorful, secular homeschooling community here in Los Angeles that offers classes for free, classes for fees, and a variety of social and field-trip activities that keep us rarely at “home” as we homeschool.
(There is also a terrific Jewish homeschooling community in Los Angeles that I teach higher level science classes for. They offer opportunities for religious families to satisfy both secular academic and religious academic goals in a homeschooling setting which is amazing!)
Our homeschool community holds its classes and weekly get togethers along the same academic calendar that conventional schools do, with spring break, winter break, and summer breaks falling at the expected times. During the summer, our field trips generally involve beaches, water parks, and other such outdoor activities. As a homeschooling family that tends to favor the unschooling approach to education (encouraging child-directed selections of learning and not generally subscribing to one particular academic philosophy and/or curriculum), our whole year kind of feels like summer in a good way, since we love the laid-back approach we can take to life by homeschooling.
Here’s what we did over the summer which we will continue with more regularity now that the school year is upon us:
1) Piano, Geography, and Hebrew (reading and writing) – I teach these to Miles.
2) Basic math, telling time – my husband teaches these.
3) Miles acquired a penpal this summer who lives in Florida and we have been learning about letter-writing: form, content, how to address envelopes, select the appropriate number of Star Wars LEGO stickers for envelopes, and the like.
4) Use every possible day as a potential to see how the world works, how society functions, and how people interact. Read the rest of this entry →