Sunday, August 22, 2010

Aug17_JapaneseIce

It’s a fun time of the year. Even though I have time to read only a handful of blogs, I have a lot more in my Reader. About 90% of them are written by Homeschoolers. There are a lot of posts about curriculum choices, organizing for a new school year, planning “non back-to-school” parties, etc.

Life is different in “afterschooling” land, especially since we have a “year round” school. On September 1st the new year will start in Anna’s preschool. She is moving up to the last step before “real school” and will start a PreK program. I am not buying new books, and I am not organizing our shelves. Well, it’s not entirely true. I did organize them somewhat, but since we don’t have a dedicated playroom/workroom, Anna didn’t even notice this change. We are not following any curriculums at home, but we read a lot of books and build a lot of activities around wherever our geography studies take us. I try to give her a lead as much as possible later in what we are going to do and when, and more often than not we run around playing “shark in the house” – a game of Anna’s design which involves a lot of hiding from an imaginary shark and squealing in delight.

I won’t deny that I do have learning goals, and I “guide” some of our activities to make sure those goals are met. My goals are aligned more with Anna’s age than with a new school year. I was focusing on phonics and reading between ages 2-3, and this year has seen a lot more math. When Anna turns 4 in October, I want to focus a lot more on fostering independence and competence – in dressing herself, setting up and cleaning up her work and play space, completing activities that she started. I will also focus more on prewriting and writing. We will continue to “gallop the globe” (I like the name even though I am not using “Galloping the Globe” curriculum).  The most important thing for me is to foster her love of learning and her curiosity, to encourage her to ask questions and to seek answers.

As time goes on, I hope to meet more “afterschoolers” in the blog world. It bothers me that there are all kinds of “gathering places” for homeschoolers, but I am not aware for any “week in review” memes for the rest of us. When we outgrow kindergarten next year, I just might start one.

Are you an “afterschooler”? If so, drop me a comment, and I will come and visit your blog :)

13 comments:

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

Yay! Love the term. I usually say I "home-supplement." I am OFTEN asked why I don't "just homeschool" - and while that's a loaded question, the simple answer is that I don't feel I need to. I will always take the time to supplement their learning experiences at home, and this way they benefit from having multiple educators enrich their lives.

Discovering Montessori said...

Thanks for asking!! We are an "afterschooler" family. I plan on blogging about this after September 7th. It is my philosophy with my three children that Mom and Dad are their first teachers. We strongly feel that our children must attend school not so much for the learning but for socializing. I want my children to know the good,the bad,and the ugly. I feel they will become well rounded individuals. When they attend school grades come easy.All three are loved dearly by all their teachers and have been called upon by their teachers as classroom helpers. School has become for them a year in review. They love it. They come home from school and ask what are we going to learn about today? I hope this makes sense.

Joyful Learner said...

Isn't it wonderful there are so many blogs out there to help us on our journey? I don't think I would have learned so much about different curriculums, approaches and philosophies that are now available! I commend you for afterschooling. I find it essential. I used to tell parents you have to supplement. But unfortunately, gettng ready for dinner and helping with homework, there's very little time. Anna is off to a good start and will probably whiz through the homework so she can get to the more fun learning! Best to your new year!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I love reading about the activities other parents are enjoying with their children - homeschooled, or not - I think your meme idea would be interesting.

Ticia said...

I think no one has strode forward to organize it. I can think of several who afterschool mainly the ones who spoke up and a couple of others

Debbie said...

I love the idea that you have for uniting the after schoolers. I know there are many of you here in the blog world. Like Ticia I can't think of who off the top of my head, but I will certainly let you know as I come back across them.

Infant Bibliophile said...

I'm not an "afterschooler" since my son is only 2 yrs, 9 months (and we won't do preschool because of all of his food allergies), but I really love your posts. I keep struggling with how organized to be with homeschooling him, because he seems to learn so well through our casual approach ("child-led" or play-based or however we label it). I plan to post about this soon too. Your blog is one of my favorites because it gives me such great ideas of what's to come in another year or two.

Mom and Kiddo said...

I've been thinking a lot about what to do with Kiddo's home enrichment when he starts Kindergarten next week. Ever since New Kid came along I have had a lot fewer dedicated "learning" activities for him at home. Usually we just read and I'll see what they are focusing on in school and supplement that. But also I am planning on taking him to the park or playground as much as possible after school since I feel strongly that being at school for 6-7 hours every day does not provide enough physical exercise for a 5 year old! Maybe our "afterschooling" will just be PE!

Christy said...

I would love to participate or help with an afterschooling place on the web or linky or whatever you are thinking for those of us who send our children to school, but spend a good deal of time supplementing at home. Great post.

My Family My Forever said...

This is a great idea Natalie, and I hope you go forward with it!

I have to say, I get all of my support from blog land for homeschooling, as I have no (close) "real life" friends who homeschool. It's funny how it works out that way.

You should definitely start this meme, no since in waiting a year in my opinion. I bet you'd get a lot of support and participation too.

Anne@LittleSproutBooks said...

Not a term I've used before, but it fits us! B will be in preschool this year, and old enough for kindergarten next year, but I'm not thrilled with our local kdg format, so I may continue him in the pre-k program for classroom routine and make sure our after-schooling is organized enough to make sure he's ready for 1st grade... still a decision I'm uncertain about.

Pathfinder Mom said...

I commend you for doing so well with balance. You really are an example for how it can be done!

MaryAnne said...

I plan to be an afterschooler starting with kindergarten! If you ever decide to create an afterschooler community, I'd love to help =)