« New Rant over at the Chicago Moms Blog | Common Ground »


May 13, 2008 | Category: In My Life

This is the email I sent out to folks last night...

To (mis)quote my favorite movie; There is too much, let me sum up.

I homeschooled Bear this year through first grade. Under no misapprehension that a handful of Elementary Ed classes back in the stone ages make me qualified, I suppose it would have been all right if I had bought some kind of pre-approved box o' curriculum and followed it, squinting owlishly with focus.

I did no such thing.

With a mismatched & motley collection of CD Roms, textbooks, workbooks, and fizzy science kits that made all kinds of cool foam (plus mentors, a big ol' library, and an enrichment 1-day school he attended on Fridays) - we made our way like a 3-legged dog through the year. Consistent with Reading, Phonics, Writing, and Math and shooting in the dark with the rest. (We began and stopped with many topics, textbooks, and projects that turned out just not to fit us.)

At 7, Bear still struggles with left and right. The only switch hitter on his T-Ball team, you can be sure. The reading/writing is an uphill struggle that does, occasionally, get the best of us. There are days (weeks) that I wonder if we shouldn't let the experts step in and implement the exercises that are helping him map his way. But those months he got the special ed help while in Kindergarten remain some of his least favorite memories.

So we've pushed on.

I wasn't sure, at all, that I hadn't done more harm than good. So I spent a week giving him standardized tests. As it turns out, shockingly, he's learned everything Illinois would like him to know for first grade. In fact, in Math he's doing 3rd grade Geometry.

I'm absolutely gobsmacked, in a good way. He was pretty confident all along.

This has been one of the most incredible years. I'm fairly certain that I have learned much more than he. And the biggest lesson has been that everything seems to present an opportunity to be curious. From listening to how Bobby McFerrin uses his voice to sound like different instruments to growing rock candy in a Dora the Explorer cup on the counter. And, in the end, precious if only because we got to just be with each other so much - all 3 of us, really. Learning and exploring and discovering.

In a few weeks, Bear will go to a little presentation thing and we'll tell him he's "officially" promoted out of First Grade. And tonight he gave a few second demonstration of his Karate (one more belt to black!) at an 'end of the year' homeschool gathering.

Which has all left Bear just about walking on air, proud of everything he's accomplished this year, and wanted everyone to know that, given the choice (again) between all his school options - he's choosing this homeschooling experiment for next year, and has some pretty lofty goals about it, too.

So he asked that I would tell everyone, that he's a second-grader now. And, proudly, I have.

Share: Delicious Delicious! | Stumble It! | Slashdot  Slashdot It!
Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life
TrackBack (0)


Hurray for Bear and the success of the home schooling experience

Posted by: Her Imperial Majesty on May 19, 2008 07:46 AM

Congrats to both of you! Next year will be easier. Homeschooling is tough! Anyone who tells you otherwise is fibbing. :) We are finishing up our freshman and junior year of high school and yes, I know more now than ever before. I also don't let my kiddos forget that! :) Nevertheless, I am so grateful to have homeschooled my kids all these years. They were tough, but, oh so worth it!

Posted by: tonya on May 18, 2008 01:42 AM

I'm so proud of Bear...and you, for being a great teacher. But I can't say as how I'm terribly surprised!

Posted by: Laura on May 16, 2008 07:51 PM

Congratulations to both of you! First grade is tough. Second Grade will be awesome!

Posted by: caltechgirl on May 16, 2008 12:36 PM

Awesome, kudos to the both of you!! Congratulations!!

Posted by: Janie on May 14, 2008 12:41 PM

Outstanding! Congratulations to you both for a job well done!

Posted by: rp on May 14, 2008 07:22 AM

What an excellent year end summary! I am so glad to hear that homeschooling Bear worked out for the both of you. You did a great job working with him through this first grade - understanding his quirks and not trying to change him to be something else that he isn't to conform to the group.

Congrats, Bear! You did a great job!

Posted by: Michele on May 13, 2008 07:02 PM