"Brighton Park Blog: Inspired living for homemakers & homeschoolers". Penned by Katie Sullivan, a pediatric Speech Language Pathologist, Catholic, yoga teacher & mum to 5, including twins with special needs. Featured in HobbyFarmHome.
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About Katie Sullivan & her Blog
Katie is a winner of Top 25 Homeschooling Moms - 2012
What do you think are the greatest advantages of homeschooling?
For the parent, the greatest advantage of homeschooling is being able to experience your child's childhood in its totality. Childhoods happen just once and homeschooling allows you to not miss 7plus hours a day of it that you would were your child enrolled in public or private school.
For the child, the greatest advantages of homeschooling is they are allowed the opportunity to learn in the way that they learn best (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc) with a schedule that allows more flexibility for individual pursuits, interest areas, and family time. Homeschooling allows and encourages children to procure a joy for learning at an early age.
What advice would you give to a mom who is considering homeschooling her child?
I would advise them on a couple of things. First, I would direct them to look up their state's regulations regarding homeschooling; for while some are quite lax, others are quite stringent. Second, I would advise them that homeschool is not the same as school at home. Those are two entirely different entities. Third, I would encourage them to learn about the different curriculums out there (Waldorf, unschooling, classical, montessori, etc) to determine which is best for their family and situation and to remind them that they can always change their mind. Also, I encourage those considering homeschooling to follow some different homeschooling blogs so that they can actually see how some of these curriculums look in practice. Lastly, being a SLP, I would remind them that if their child is homeschooled then they are responsible to make sure they get what they need, including speech therapy.
What's one homeschooling challenge you've faced, and what solutions did you find?
One of my bigger challenges when I started was time management, especially with 5 children at all different ages and grade levels. Here are some of the things we do to ensure we get everything done:
1. We chose a 4 day a week curriculum; this allows us 6 days to get 4 days of work done and this gives us more flexibility and allows me more time to work one on one with any of the kids that need it, especially my twin sons who have special needs.
2.We homeschool year round. This allows for longer holiday breaks during the
year, vacations, and flex days without the worry of "getting done by May".
3. We start each day by 8:30-9:00 and no later. This generally allows the little ones and a few of the big ones to be done with the regular subjects by lunchtime. After lunch is reserved for specials, school projects, and extracurricular activities.
4. I allow myself ample planning time. This year I have built in a 3 day break after every 9 weeks of school devoted to planning out the next 9 weeks.
5. I get up early, before the kids, every morning. Early enough to have had coffee, had some planning time (or email time, or blogging time) so that when they are awake they have my full attention.
6. I have learned to be okay with the fact that I will always have more good ideas, and things I want to do with them, than time to actually do it.
No. I'm a pediatric speech language pathologist and I"m just going to throw this out there: we have a whole new generation of kids who do not know how to play because they are constantly in front of a screen...tv, wii, ipad, smart phone, pc, gameboy whatever, it doesnt matter. And guess how/where language and speech development happens? YEP, through PLAY. The very very best thing you can do for your child is encourage, promote and PROVIDE a screen free childhood. So in that regard, please look at ALL the screens your child has access to and limit accordingly.
Katie Sullivan, M.S., SLP-CCC