In 10 school days, I will be a homeschool mom. I am equal parts excited and intimidated. The “plan” had always been to homeschool. However, when we moved to a new town, I got sick, and the store I was working at closed, my kid was lonely and sad. At work, he had all-day long playdates (he came to work with me and a green baby/kid store for 4 years), I also wasn’t feeling well and I needed more support.
We started out with a one day a week program on a local farm. It was amazing and I wish we could have continued (it got shut down by the county). In fall of 2015 my son expressed interest in going to school. I was quite sick, my husband worked night shift hours and my only child wanted something to do other than hanging around his sick mommy. We were able to secure a spot in the local Montessori charter school for ½ day preschool. We’d been doing a Montessori-inspired homeschool program for 2 years at home and I taught in a Montessori school for several years so this was a great transition for him. We decided to do ½ day Kindergarten this past school year as well.
Around the semester change, we started talking about homeschooling again. I love Montessori and my kid’s school. Yet, I don’t like the idea of kids being in school all day long. I don’t like the lack of flexibility we’ve had with being in school & I love having my kid around. We get along well and I miss him while he’s at school. As we talked and explained to him 1st grade would mean being at school all day long he decided he didn’t want to do that. He was concerned he wouldn’t get to go help at the farm, wouldn’t get as much outdoor time, and didn’t want to be away from me that long.
After teaching for as long as I did, I have a hard time imagining my child in a school that long. My students used to miss Mommy, get tired and want to go home after a few hours. I think the American school schedule is too much for most kids and ought to be adapted to 4 day weeks and shorter days. I digress (feel free to message me if you want to discuss further).
As we worked on renovations for the Airstream we knew homeschooling was our next step. While we don’t have immediate plans to travel full-time, it is something we hope to do one day. We definitely can’t travel full-time with a kid in school! In February we had to fill out our intent to enroll. It was an easy choice for us to say no. We realize we’re for fitting a difficult to obtain spot in this school. This also means another child is going to get the education that is best for their family!
I cannot wait to homeschool. It’s been funny having conversations and reading comments from friends on Facebook. Some say they need the break school provides and could never homeschool, others homeschool and love it. Like I said, I love having my kid around. He’s 6.5 years old and I have only had a couple moments where I was *glad* to have the break. Mostly I view his school time as my work time and we’re both happy to be back together at the end of the day. He’s an incredible little boy and we have so much fun together. He makes me laugh, challenges my thinking, is creative, fun and caring, and truly a joy to be around. People constantly comment on his character and charm. Who wouldn’t want to homeschool such a sweet child?!?
Our plan currently is to follow the Charlotte Mason method. While I love Montessori, it’s not practical for a tiny living space and changes after Kindergarten anyway. Charlotte Mason can be done for free with materials from the library so we LOVE that aspect. It is my goal as a homeschooling Mama of an only to use as few resources as possible and to homeschool with stewardship to the Earth while providing a quality education to my child.
This method also works well with our desires to be a Zero Waste home. (I even found a zero waste homeschooler Facebook group!) My husband’s trained in outdoor and environmental education which Charlotte Mason stresses (another reason we decided to homeschool). I am looking forward to working together and using out combined passions and abilities to school together.
My plan is to share a regular school update with you all here. I will also make sure to share a lot of photos on Instagram. Please let me know what aspects of our schooling you are interested in. We’re going to take a short break for summer and will start “official” school in mid-June (we’re going to do more of a year-round school schedule). I’m excited about this next chapter on our journey. I can’t wait to see where we end up and the amazing resources we find!