When I put Leilani in school, I knew that we'd keep evaluating how it was working for us. Each year, I plan on seeing how our choices are working and adjusting so we can keep growing, learning, and making the best choices we can.
With that in mind, I'm not sure if public school is our best choice anymore. With Leilani being, well, Leilani, I think she'll learn better with one-on-one teaching, lots of hands-on learning, and being able to do her seatwork at her own pace. She also needs lots of breaks and snacks throughout the day. She eats a very little bit at a time, so gets hungry really often. She also likes - needs - to move a lot so she can concentrate to get her work done. She can't just sit down and do it.
What I'm trying to say is, the reason I'm planning on homeschooling her for first grade is for academic reasons, to help her learn at her own pace, help her be the best she can be. There's also the issue that every state has different standards, so if she were to stay in the school system, by the time she graduated she could have many gaps because of being in different states.
I've spent months researching, reading, and studying on the subject. Picking peoples' minds to get ideas, help, and advice.
After all that time and research, I've decided to use the Classical Education model. It's very hands-on in the younger grades, incredibly comprehensive, uses real books, and by the time Leilani graduates from high school, she'll have gone through the history of the world three times. She'll also do two research papers and two thesis papers in high school. I'm going to be doing lots of lesson planning, but fortunately I find that rather fun. I got most of my books already and I've started the planning. It's probably going to be a month long process. By the time the girls graduate, they'll have a far better grasp of grammar than I do, and a better grasp of science and history. Of course, I'll be learning right along with them *smile*. I'm also going to be keeping meticulous records.
It took me a long time to come to this decision.
I looked at the Charlotte Mason method - I love that it uses real books and art studies, but I don't have the inclination to put that much time into creating a curriculum.
I looked at Sonlight, too. After the Classical Education, this was my next choice. It is, however, very cost prohibitive. What I loved about it was that it came with everything - all the books, the stuff for experiments, etc - that we would need for the entire year. And it looked like a lot of fun.
I looked at textbooks and lifepacs, but I don't like how they don't have real books, but only excerpts for the reading. It's a bit more cost-effective, true, but not as much fun. And I believe that learning ought to be fun, to foster a lifelong love of learning. It's also no where near as academically focused.
And that's my goal - I want Leilani well-educated, but I also want her to LOVE learning. To want to keep learning all her life, because it's impossible to learn everything there is to know in 12 years of school. Well, actually, it's impossible to ever learn everything there is to learn, but if you don't love learning, you won't want to keep learning, growing your mind, expanding your knowledge. And that is my goal for my girls.
And that is why I've decided on the Classical Education model - it's comprehensive, systematic and looks like it will foster a love of learning. Leilani has been begging me to homeschool her, and with all our moving - and at the most random times of the year - it seems like the best option for us right now. We'll definitely be anything but cloistered. I plan on us being involved in whatever homeschool group is near us, being involved with Girl Scouts and whatever else catches our fancy. It's going to be a fun and interesting journey, and I can't wait to see where we are at the time next year!