With the first month of homeschool pre-k 2017 behind us, I thought it’d be a good time to share what’s been going on in our journey. The universe is doing that thing where, now that I’m focused on something, I see it everywhere. Before I started really thinking about homeschool, I didn’t really see any black representation in this space or even many black families with interest. Now though, it seems like everywhere I turn the black homeschool/unschool conversation is being had. It’s beautiful and inspiring. Helpful and hopeful.
Even though we aren’t sure where this journey will take us this year, I felt compelled to join the conversation. To share our perspective of newbies–for real–what’s been working, what hasn’t, resources we’re using and loving, and things we’re looking forward to in the month ahead.
I’ll start by saying that, this month didn’t go at all as planned. About halfway through September, I wound up taking an on location contract assignment (I’m sharing some real life revelations in this week’s newsletter about that experience. It’s a good one.) unexpectedly that left the hubs in charge of homeschooling the majority of the month. I had barely gotten an idea of how I wanted to structure our days and lessons so things were a little chaotic. That’s definitely the scale of homeschooling. Flexible enough to adjust to the flow of life but, when you’re caught in the ebb, it’s still your job to ensure the learning continues.
Even with the unexpected teacher switch, I think the month went well.
REFLECT | I find myself still struggling with releasing my expectations and ideas about the way a child “should” learn. Some programming is hard to break and I’ll admit it’s been difficult giving Jr. space to learn in his own way instead of enforcing rigid rules and structures–which doesn’t work for him and exactly why we wanted to explore homeschool in the first place. He’s been working on sight words and reading many short sentences. It’s been fascinating to watch him discover words he recognizes in the midst of short stories. Seeing his mind work out that he knows a few words on a page has been nothing short of magical but I had some concerns about letter recognition. Certain letters he isn’t able to recognize–I think because I’ve also heard him randomly identify them at other times–and I was feeling a bit stressed. And then I read something, totally unrelated to homeschooling that put my mind at ease a bit.
Jr. thinks differently and I don’t want to stifle his creativity. He’s reading and I’m excited for that and we’ll continue to do so. I can’t wait to see him work his way through his first book. In the meantime, I’ll do some research on letter recognition and find out how to help him…or not…and take it from there.
LOOK FORWARD | Perhaps the funniest moment this month was while we were out exploring, Jr. held out his hand (a closed fist) to give me a surprise. I should have known better than to take “surprises” from a sneaky faced four year old boy. It was a worm. I then took notice of his interest in different insects we found along our nature walks. Caterpillars, worms, ants, and even slugs (shudder). This is definitely NOT my forte but one thing I really wanted to focus on during this homeschool journey was paying attention to the things Jr. is naturally interested in and finding new ways to explore them. Since he’s seems to really love being in nature and inspecting insects I researched ways for him to “dig deeper”. I found a really cool organization here in Philly called NaturePHL that offers environmental playdates for free! Excited to spend a few afternoons exploring this month before it gets too cold.
SEPTEMBER HOMESCHOOL RESOURCES
Y’all know how I feel about sharing good things, so I put together this list of all the resources we’ve come across this month that we’ve enjoyed. Pass them along if you know a homeschooling family who’d be interested!
- BrainQuest Workbook Pre-K
- Really Cool Stuff Sight Word Books
- Pre-K Homeschool Schedule via Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Mater Mea’s 10 Black Homeschool Moms to Follow
- Fare of the Free Child Podcast
Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.