Some of you may know that I am thinking (quite seriously) about homeschooling Kid this next year. Kid is epileptic and will reach two years seizure free (hopefully) this fall, at which point she will start weaning off her seizure medication. The weaning process, and the following six months, is when she will be most likely to suffer a recurrence as her brain will be more vulnerable during this transition period. Our school system does not have full time nurses in the schools and since Kid's seizures are life threatening I am most likely going to decide to keep her home next year. This means that I will be homeschooling her.
Kid would be entering Kindergarten this fall as a "red shirted" student already... so even though I believe Kindergarten should be much less regimented and more nurturing and playful experience than it has become.. I'm also nervous about having her keep up with the school system's program. Mostly because we have learned that she is a very self conscious student who is easily discouraged when she is behind the other students (hence the initial decision to hold her back). She has a late birthday and we had to choose for her to either be the youngest or the oldest and after watching her blossom as the oldest in preschool this year we knew holding her back was the right decision. But now I feel even more pressure. Because if she does end up attending our local school for first grade I don't want her to be both the oldest and also the least prepared.
So this is where I am at:
Kid loves school. She likes going to school and loves the strong relationships she has with her teachers. She tends to be shy and has a harder time engaging kids (although she is well liked). She is definitely not outgoing by any means. I worry about socializing her and getting her involved in something that allows for the kids to have kid directed activities (not just dance & swimming, etc). I'm really worried about taking a step backward in her social development. I also don't want to only have her socializing with girls!
Kid can be a homebody who prefers to sit in a chair reading all day. That could be a positive and I do think she will be easy to homeschool because of that. But my point is that she is a pretty independent thinker/doer, I guess I'd say she's introverted. She has always been a reader (as in looks at books) and will spend several hours a day quietly "reading" to herself. Kid does not like to be tested. She does not preform well under pressure. She won't practice things. She will do things (like write, draw, count, etc) when she is confident that she can and will proudly show you her work. She will not even try if she isn't sure she'll be right.
In some ways I think she will be better served not having to follow the State's curriculum. She is a very interesting young kid with a strong imagination and a passion for in depth learning. Kid will sit and be read to for 5 straight hours actively listening and absorbing every minute fact. She can't read and isn't a strong writer BUT she knows all about Greek Mythology, Laura Ingalls entire life, Pompei, natural disasters... and I mean ALL about that stuff.
If I thought we'd homeschool indefinitely I wouldn't worry too much about meeting or exceeding the State's curriculum... but if she is going back then I need to.
There is so much information out there. Right off the bat I am drawn to the Charlotte Mason Approach and it seems like a good fit for her. But I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Most importantly... how do you not want to kill your spouse when you are doing everything you were doing and now you are teaching full time to boot?!?
How did you adjust to the first year?
How intimidating is it to inform the authorities of your plans?
How did you/do you deal with having children of varying ages in the house (obviously Baby will not be homeschooling and I don't want to take away from what I would have been doing with her!)?
Oh and Kid loves science experiments... any good recommendations for that?