09 June 2014

Homeschooling FAQs, Part 1 of 4

Dino is finished with First Grade! Yay! 
We have decided to educate him at home next school year. 

What follows is the first weekly post with questions that we frequently hear when we say we are going to homeschool. Please leave your questions in the comments section, and there may even be a fifth post!

Why?

Because Dino is not thriving in school. He is bored. He has hardly learned anything in his first grade classroom that he did not already learn in kindergarten. Because he is way ahead of the class in reading and math. Because he is OCD wants to do things correctly, but his first grade teacher refused to correct his handwriting/grammar/spelling/punctuation, because she was so focused on getting their thoughts on paper, even when he would ask her. He would come to us with his writing after school and ask us to correct it so he could do it better the next time.

What made you decide to pull him out of the school he's in?

His school puts such an emphasis on reading and math that they are neglecting other areas of study. He had spelling words each week, but the teacher would not spellcheck his writing assignments even when he asked her. He was put in a "special" math group, but it was only once a week, all they did was play games to reinforce what the first grade class was doing (so... wouldn't that have helped everyone? he wasn't learning anything additional...), and it was during the class's science time so he had to miss science to go. Later in the school year, their schedule was reworked so that there was no science for the class at all, to make more time for more reading and math. There was no history, social studies, or current events. His handwriting declined instead of improved, because the teacher was not doing any correction or instruction in that area.

Let me clarify that his teacher is very sweet. She cared very much about the children in her classroom. But this was her very first year of teaching (fresh out of college!), and she was teaching the minimum requirements of the county. She did everything "by the book." And while she recognized that Dino was ahead of the rest of the class (she even kept a portfolio of his work), she just didn't know what opportunities were available for an advanced child.

Had we known before first grade that he would be so far ahead, we would have pushed for him to skip to a second grade classroom. At this point, we feel that he has missed a year of learning opportunity, and keeping him in that school will just continue to hold him back.

Check out all of my homeschooling posts!

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