Jackson making a doll like Laura Ingalls Wilder's at our book club.
1. Our schedule does NOT revolve around the school calendar. We can vacation or go wherever we want, without worrying about missing school and assignments. This also means we are not up at the crack of dawn to get kids ready and on the bus or loading everyone up for the ride to school. We are able to have a nice, big breakfast every morning because we have plenty of time to do so. We fit all of our school work in and still have SO much time left to do other things. In general, our lives are much less hectic than they were last year when I was working and Jackson was in school. We are enjoying life so much more because we have time to breathe, instead of rushing around all the time.
2. They are learning a lot of practical life skills. I know I should say that I would be teaching them those things anyway, but I don't think I would be. Because I'm not stressed and we have plenty of time, I don't mind if they don't do things the "right" way. They are getting lots of opportunities to make mistakes with things like sorting clothes, folding towels, emptying the dishwasher and making their beds. They love to dust and wash windows, too!
3. Academically, Jackson is ahead of what they would be teaching in public school. I know that he is working at his independent level in everything we are doing here at home. This means that he's not wasting his academic time and we are progressing faster than we would in public school.
4. He is able to work as much as he wants in a given subject area. He has gone through periods of being very excited about one thing or another. When that happens, we take advantage of those "teachable moments". That wouldn't happen for him in public school as much. Most teachers are very busy trying to get all their curriculum goals met, so it is hard for them to vere of the course very much.
5. I LOVE what he is learning in English grammar, math and history. We are doing a great job in those areas. I'm using History of the World, history timeline cards by Veritas Press, Shurley English and Horizons for math. We will keep these things going next year. He is learning so much!
Carter matching shape pictures with the words
6. He is already a good reader, so I love that he can choose his own reading material. My reading program isn't nearly as structured, though. He gets to choose his own books with a little guidance from me about what is appropriate, he reads them and then we discuss them or he does a book report-type project.
7. We found Homeschool Academy, which he LOVES! He gets an entire afternoon each week (without me) to do art, music, drama and p.e. He rotates through each class with a group of about 25 kids who are all his age.
8. Children's Music Academy. Carter and Jackson both have a group music lesson of their own for an hour each week. They are learning to play the piano by reading music as well as getting good ear training, voice, movement, rythm exercises and lots of fun.
9. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the relationship that has grown between the boys and I. We are closer than we have ever been and the sibling relationships have grown as well. They still have their moments, don't get me wrong, but they are generally perfectly content to be together and don't need to have other people around all the time. They both love to play with friends when the opportunity arises. They aren't begging for it, though. They are both very content to be at home with each other. I "know" Jackson better than I did last year when I was working. Even though he was just down the hallway, I had so much to do that I couldn't focus on him and his likes/dislikes as much as I would've liked. I've learned alot about him as a person and what's in his heart. That's priceless.
10. Wearing pajamas all day!