As a military child I went to 13 schools in 14 years. I graduated two years "late" because I didn't go to school when we lived on a tiny island while
stationed at an obscure naval base in the Caribbean. I was 12-13 years old. I went to five different high schools including a Catholic School and did
Calvert Academy home school. My education has been /interesting/. I spent a decade in the military so I got technical training for 2-3 years (for my
7-level). I work full time from home as a state coordinator for a large disaster relief organization, and go to school full time as a grad student at
an aeronautical university. I'm *almost* done! (I also have zero debt.)
My kids are 8 and 10 and we just finished our first year doing SECULAR home school. They also attend CoOp where I teach in the spring and fall. Last
spring it was Oceanography, and in the fall I will teach Cryptography to middle grades and Research Methods to the teens getting ready for college.
We practice hand writing, print and cursive. Typing is an ongoing project. In addition to the "standard" math, science, and language arts curriculum
we have a robust art program - having been to several European museums - we study art history and architecture rather than just making art - which we
also do because art is rad!. We also have a loose music "program" because it comes up in other subjects like history. We listen to different kids of
music all day, and we have a piano, violin, and both acoustic and electric guitars that they can use any time. They might eventually take formal
lessons but right now they are doing more outside stuff. I am an "outside person" so we have a hearty physical education program that includes
swimming, biking, running, skating, playing, hiking/camping (where I sneak in prepping and resilience), gymnastics team, and whatever sports they want
to try that are going on at the moment. We study American and world history. They got bored studying each state so we will probably revisit that later
when we pick up government/legislation studies. I also make it a point that they follow current events (refugee crisis etc) and I think they will be
ready to write current event reports on their own this winter or next spring. My husband is a tech guys so he teaches them computer science:
hardware/software, troubleshooting, electronic principals, computer languages, internet 101 (safety), and coding games. Together we have made our own
web page with links to what they are allowed to safely access on the internet. They earn an allowance through a series of chores and caring for our
zoo of pets, so I have started teaching them economics, finance, and international trade (because kids should know about where stuff comes from and
why money is important - and about bills and debt). Having lived in Italy and Germany we have always studied languages - German, Italian, Spanish,
French, and Latin (just the basics of each obs). The girl knows sign language. She wants to be a pediatrician and wants to be able to talk to ALL of
her patients. I have also developed a "life studies" program (think health meets home econ.) that basically includes anatomy, hygiene, basic first
aide, mental health (right now its about identifying feelings, personal ethics, and learning manners - again we are secular), age appropriate
sex-ed/reproductive health, and nutrition. Nutrition includes knowing how to budget, shop, prepare, cook, and clean up meals. They can sew, repair,
clean safely etc...And lets see...I feel like I'm forgetting something. I'm working on specifically incorporating critical thinking skills. I document
and track all of this of course.
They are at grade level in some areas and 2-3 grades ahead in other areas like math. We had to stop for a little while because I think pre-algebra for
an 8 and 10 year old can wait. We will probably start intro to chemistry in the fall too because they have pretty much finished earth science and
biology. (I have a bachelors of science and I'm wrapping up my masters of science - so I feel okay in this area.) The boy is already mastering a
program that lets you mix base elements to create new more complex elements (on the computer) and he is almost through with the whole periodic table.
We also go to the library every two weeks. They have each read over 100 recreational books this summer: 200 page comic books, age level books, but
about 1/3 are legit chapter books - magic school bus and goosebumps) and they have VOLUNTARILY racked up about 50 hours (3000 minutes) of reading each
since April. Our library has a rewards program so I have to track their books because PRIZES MOM! haha.
We don't do every subject every day. I set the curriculum about a week or two in advance and we just do it at our own pace. Sometimes one thing leads
to another and we go off curriculum. That's cool too. We probably only average 15-20 hours of school a week (with 15 mins of play for 45 mins of work)
for 200(+) days a year. Super flexible. We watch a LOT of documentaries. They love them. (They also like regular kid shows like Disney or Cartoon
Network- but not during school as they are more of a treat). We also have a ton of activities outside of school like gymnastics team, swimming,
boy/girl scouting, soccer, and theatre. They were just in a musical (The Jungle Book) put on by the Missoula Children's Theatre. My daughter has been
taking sign language lessons for a year, and she has expressed interest in piano lessons. Most of these are free in my community or I trade with the
teacher; baby sitting for sign language lessons for instance. My son would rather build stuff so we take stuff apart and fix cars and bikes. And
Legos. My God the Legos. ALL the Legos. But again, not all at once. The girl is very social but the boy likes to chill in small groups so we host
card/board game nights or go bowling with fewer kids.
I just make sure I hit all the MAIN bases and don't stress too much about it, we have met the state requirements. I intend for them to return to a
private school because I plan to go back to work in 2 years. I have no doubt they will be ready and more well rounded than their peers. Healthier
physically and mentally too. I would hope they would do college online or start at community college, then go away to university. I don't think they
know college is an option (as in---it is a natural and expected progression---haha). Trade school or military service is on the table too. Whatever
they do they will be independent and self-sufficient.
I'm not a tiger mom either. I just wanted them at grade level but they set the pace. We revisit material to make sure it's not lost. AND, I *did*
just buy them their first tablets, Kindle Fires. The boy plays minecraft, subnautica, and other games like that. The girl plays the sims 4 and some
horse game. They also watch TV and sit on their butts like regular kids haha. In summation, I don't know what the teach at public school these days. I
only know that I was deeply dissatisfied the first two years we were back in the states with the busy work, lack of REAL education, and time wasted.
They were bored.
edit on 4-7-2016 by Jaxsmash because: Spelling
edit on 4-7-2016 by Jaxsmash because: clarity