Kalanderson Academy for the Intellectually Awesome: Homeschool Update

Since the new ‘semester’ began after our Christmas break, I thought this would be a good time to give a homeschool update.

Don’t we have a cool name for our school? The boys came up with that one.

Peanut Update:

  • Peanut is about 3/4 of the way through the Kindergarten year of ABCMouse. Some of the things on ABCMouse are way too easy for him. But, it’s good to give him some of those easier things to build his academic confidence.
  • Reading is hit or miss. He doesn’t absolutely love it, but he’s getting better. I’ve found that if I’m not consistent at this stage, he forgets many of his sight words and his reading ability diminishes quickly.
  • At math, Peanut is amazing. I’m not just saying that as his mother either:) He refuses to count on his fingers and does all his adding and subtracting in his head. He is counting by tens and fives and is moving onto twos.
  • I’ve been using a lot of packs for 3 Dinosaurs and also Royal Baloo. We’ll be using more from Royal Baloo for the second half of the year.
  • As long as there are no major life changes before next year, Peanut will continue to homeschool.

Sweet Pea:

  • By far my most challenging student this year. SP gets bored easily and often lacks focus.
  • We’re still working through the Saxon Math 7/6 book. I feel we’re behind, but we spent quite a bit of time reviewing a couple of concepts that tripped him up. It’ll all work out and he’ll know his stuff.
  • SP started out with Robinson Classic Curriculum, then went to Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool, but then made the switch to Georgia Virtual Learning for 6th Grade.
  • He is lacking on Social Studies/History right now, but I’m not too concerned about this. He’s making up for it by reading stories from different time periods.
  • SP will also continue to homeschool next year if we are still in our current city. He has said though that if we move, and if he likes the school, he wouldn’t mind going back to public school.

Punkin and Jeremy:

  • I put these two guys together because they are both on the same track with slightly different classes.
  • They are doing very well. We did change curriculum about 2/3 of the way through last semester. Both boys felt Saylor was difficult to follow with having to go to many different websites and texts/courses being in different formats.
  • They are both now also doing Georgia Virtual Learning. They are enjoying this style of learning more as everything is on one website and there are more electives to choose from.
  • Punkin is taking an Agriculture course, and Jeremy is taking an Energy course for electives.
  • The only problem with this site is that because we aren’t in Georgia, we don’t have access to exams and some texts. If the boys want to take any AP courses, we’ll have to explore other options.
  • Even though they are self-teachers, I am requiring them to report to me what they’ve done each day. I find that it’s easy for them to ignore the subjects they don’t enjoy as much (literature).
  • Both boys have reported that they enjoy homeschool and want to continue as long as we’re here. If we move, they also said that public school would be an option if they liked the school.

Overall, I am already counting our first year of homeschool a success. Sometimes the boys get on each other’s nerves (a lot of times they get on my nerves), but I have noticed that Jeremy and Punkin have learned to talk to each other about their common classes and help each other when needed.

If we do homeschool next year, I’ll make sure to find a coop or homeschool group to join. The one in this area had some issues at the beginning of the year, and I didn’t check it again until just recently. It was already too late to sign up for coop classes. We don’t necessarily need ‘socialization’ because they get that every time they leave the house, but it would be nice for the boys to know some kids their own age who homeschool.

We’ve been able to take a couple of mid-week field trips as well as long weekend trips north to visit family. The kids have really enjoyed the freedom and so have I. I like not having to get my 6 year old up super early to make the bus. I also enjoy knowing that if we don’t do something one day, we can get to it the next.

Of course there are days when I wonder what the hell I was thinking, and it feels like I’m swimming upstream. There are days when I feel I am fighting simply to get the kids to start on their school. Feet are drug. Attitudes are shitty. Yelling commences. No one is happy.

For the most part though, homeschool has been the perfect fit for our family. I don’t regret it one bit.