Monday, August 20, 2012

Homeschooling: First Week

We officially started our first day of homeschooling last Monday, August 13, 2012. We were able to get through for the whole week.  Cheers!  I am so excited to share this news.  My fears and doubts are starting to disappear.

Here are some of the doubts that I was able to answer as we take our homeschooling journey.



Teach Effectively

This is the primary question I asked myself.  Can I effectively teach my children?  I used to be a volunteer teacher in Sunday Schools and Vacation Bible Schools for children.  I've started when I was thirteen and was able to teach children in different levels from ages four to twelve years old.  For years of teaching I came to discover and realize that I am more effective in teaching children in primary level (7-9 y/o).  From that time on I would always choose this group if I had a chance to.  Teaching a preschooler is a bigger effort for me.  On my experience, it is harder to teach my own children compared with the children I previously handled.  It's simply because they are my own children a close relationship that gives connection emotionally.  It take me two months to prepare myself and encourage the teacher within me that I can make it.  I was anxious of what's going to happen on the first day of our homeschooling, as the scheduled day approaches.  If I fail then we will end up enrolling our child in a regular school.  That will make things hard and complicated.  Our son was very vocal that he doesn't want to go to school anymore.  This situation lead us to be reminded of pursuing a forgotten dream of homeschooling our children.  After all the parents should be the child's first teacher.

It's time for school!  I started to check my lessons and materials if everything is complete.  I prayed that everything will work out well as we formally start our classes.  I go on with the lesson plan I studied yet flexible to some changes I needed as we continue on with our lessons. After finishing the day's lesson, my confidence boost up and I was more excited to start the second day lesson.

Materials

The School of Tomorrow offers a good curriculum for homeschooling and I don't question that.  What I am more concerned of is the proper administration of the materials.  To share, I am so excited when I have received a message from our academic adviser that the materials are ready for pick up.  He also requested to give an extra time for my orientation on how to administer the matter.  During the orientation I was able to say to myself, "Homeschooling isn't easy.  It is a huge responsibility".  In my mind I started to question our decision if we were right choosing this form of education for our son considering our present set up.  In my recent blog posts, I have already shared to you that we do not have helps to assist us on our household chores.  To cut my story short, I fixed schedules to let my reading assignments and visual preparation get done.

The materials are provided with guides and complete lessons - suggested activities, songs and visual aids.  Setting goals and keeping with the set of schedules to study in advance and research for additional resources are the additional responsibilities.  Along with the responsibility is a determination motivated the result of giving the best for our son.  Besides, every parents should be concerned of giving their children the best education that they can have.

Classroom Discipline

Another thing that concerns me of is the implementation of classroom discipline.  How can I keep my son seated in the classroom during study time?  I remember our son's Day Care teacher when we asked how's JC at school.  This is what she said, "Mabait po si JC kaya lang po ay medyo malikot."  She couldn't keep JC seated on his chair and participate in the classroom.  Our son is very active and playful with an imaginative mind.  His Day Care experience was merely going to school.  We don't have assignments to answer because his notebooks were all clean.


To enforce discipline in the classroom, I adopted the Merit System as suggested in our material.  This is rewarding the child for his excellent behavior.  To visualized the merit, I have placed a tree in his bulletin.  Every Monday the tree will have 5 apples.  An apple is removed for every broken rules; (This replaces shouting and avoids spanking.  I see this method effective for my children.)  while an apple is awarded for every good deed.  I have two merit box in our classroom.  One box contains bigger gifts compared with the other box.  During Friday they will have a chance to choose a gift they want depending of the number of apples earned.  Bigger gifts requires 5 or more apples, while the small gifts require apples not less than 3.  Now, JC tries to keep his behavior excellent during our classes.

I see how our son is maturing and eager to learn and participate on our daily activities.  I surely am in track of his progress.  I know the subjects that we needed to work on since I am his teacher.  Last week was an exciting start of our adventure.  It made me feel so good hearing him, "School is fun and I like it!"
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