Ah yes, I did so well the first two months of school. Then I got sick, had laryngitis for 5 days, felt exhausted the rest of November. I don’t know about you, but when I’m exhausted, I don’t think straight, so it wasn’t the best frame of mind to teach in. I so totally slacked it’s not funny.

What I have learned so far?
1. Homeschooling parents should get a tax break. Does the government have any idea how many hours go into researching, teaching, grading, experiment creating? At least teacher-teachers have the curriculum laid out for them, for the most part. Me? I chose to do my own thing, using the government guidelines as just that–guidelines. This is because if my child decides to go back to public school (which he does) I need to be certain he’s covering the basics (and then some).
2. My child is very hard to teach. He is a super smart kid, but he’s a visual learner who gets bored easily–as in within 5 mins, I have lost his attention. He’s fidgety, he likes to take bathroom breaks, he likes to take snack breaks. He hates when his littlest brothers interrupt his school time in the afternoon. He has zero motivation to do homework (unless you call “If you don’t do it, you get zero ipad time” motivation). He is like his dad–very disorganized, unless you call tossing papers randomly in his binder hopefully in the right place “organized”. He doesnt’ test well. He claims to study, but his grades don’t reflect this. I actually let him do an oral exam for photography (arts class) to see how he would do. The kid took zero notes, yet was able to ace that quiz–a week after we finished that portion of photography. This is something that I find interesting.
3. It is definitely an art teaching English Lit. This was one of my best school subjects growing up (which also seems to be my 2nd child’s strength), yet to actually TEACH it? That is completely different. I admit, I totally suck at teaching it. However, I am determined to trek along and figure a way around it.
4. You progress through topics so much more quickly than public school because you have just one (in my case) child to school, not 30 kids of varying degrees of maturity/intelligence. I have gone through half a year’s worth of math concepts in 2 months time.–which means he will get to do some additional stuff, like negative exponents, (including how to reciprocate a neg exponent outside the brackets), and he will learn a bit more on the algebra side, as well. Measurement conversions are the next unit, which is a break before we get into geometry–finding angles, naming circles, rays, lines, etc etc etc. … All this while taking in world geography (which isn’t on the govt list), world history (not on govt list), and economics (which he excels in as well).
5. Search out art classes. We have a Color Me Mine studio where we can do an afternoon of ceramic painting (tax deductible art), but they also provide art classes (also tax deductible) for $25 + tax. This is very reasonable, as it includes all materials. So this month, he will paint a dolphin, next month he wants to try his luck at painting Van Gogh (I don’t remember the title of that piece, but his cousin painted it years ago as well.)

I have also found some other really cool sites: BrainPOP is a great science site. Subscription is free, and you get access to science lessons/videos/lesson plans, etc. I heart this site. It is helping me put together my next Health unit — the brain, and how foods/chemicals in them affect the brain. (We have already covered the digestive system and the immune system, and how foods affect each.) Another great site is homeschoolmath.net which I stumbled upon while searching out exponent worksheet downloads.

Anyhow, so homeschooling thus far has been quite rewarding. I am understanding why he has had a hard time with public school, as well as why tests frustrate him so much. I never tested well either, so I can relate to the study for hours and get jack in return feeling. (College flashbacks are horrid some days! LOL) Armed with my new knowledge of how to keep him busy, I can now be more boisterous when I go to the public school principal and exactly dictate how he needs to be taught. I can’t say that all teachers will be successful, but if they want to help him succeed, as public schools claim they do, then they had better listen, and listen closely. I also am armed with knowledge that our school district shoots itself in the foot quite regularly by pushing teachers to be frugal, but not telling parents that by doing so, any unused funding gets lost…. as in you NEVER get it added to the following year’s budget. I also am well aware that our school is over 800K in the black, so getting my son in for the psych-ed test should be a drop in the bucket for them to foot the bill for. If they truly are interested in helping him succeed, they will get him in for testing and get him in for testing ASAP.