In our state, homeschool laws are pretty much as follows:
- There is no "have to" curriculum to follow, except for stating "instruction equivalent to that given in the public school."
- My child does not have to begin school until she is seven years old.
- My child must have 180 days of instruction (the length of instruction and the days are up to the parent) - No special attendance record is used, however, the law does note that local school superintendents may request a copy to verify attendance.
-My child is exempt from the state standardized testing.
As a parent, this gives me plenty of freedom to teach how and what I want to. Of course, I want to provide the best learning environment I can and expose my child to normal childhood experiences, like any parent..that's a given. We all want the best for our kids. However, I know there is a fear of the word "homeschool." A fear of a child not being socially adapted around other people and losing out on childhood friends and experiences, the fear that what I "teach" at home could never come close to that offered in a public school environment and I'm sure the list of doubts could go on. But, my daughter has proven that "theory" completely false and has given me confidence as a parent that we are doing something right and she makes me very proud. Abby has grown up never attending daycare or any type of preschool program outside of our home. She is not socially awkward at all. She looks at the world as a beautiful place full of friends and happiness. She goes to Sunday School and walks in greeting all her "friends" with no hesitation to leave her parents. She can visit family if we need to take care of something and is never upset upon us walking out the door. And as much as I wish she wasn't so social sometimes, she exudes a self confidence and positive outlook on life that I wish I could have. The more I look at her free spirit and love of life, I want to take advantage of that by offering her a life of freedom to learn what SHE wants to learn about and allow her to learn the way SHE learns. I feel like our decision to homeschool our daughter is perfect and we are confident in that choice.
With all that said, I obviously have the responsibility to Abby to give her all the opportunities she deserves and the best learning experience I can. For the next few years, I want to get in the habit of taking attendance on a daily basis and following the guidelines set forth by our state in regards to the days of instruction. Since I do have the freedom to choose the days, I am leaning towards a year round school schedule instead of the traditional school schedule used by the public school system...only because it will be better for our family. Right now, I have something of a 6 week on/ 2 week off thing in mind. But again, it is something we can always make up as we go and see what works best for us.
Here's my current plans for Abby for her Preschool--
-Months of the Year song
-Days of the Week song
-Raising Rock Stars Preschool (based on God's word by incorporating a weekly Bible verse and applications, preschool activities and Kumon alphabet introduction, songs)
-You Can Read (a sight word program to help young children learn and recognize high frequency words)
-Themed Pre-K printables
-Crafts and other activities (Puzzles, Games, Ideas on Pinterest)
-Field Trips and other learning experiences
-Life applications (Chore Chart, etc)