And I still do. The kid is loving school but after our initial homeschool journey and transition to school life we have decided to actively supplement her school work.
Her school is a small local country school where most of her close friends go and she’s very happy and settled there. It follows a traditional NZ curriculum with emphasis on creating engaged well-rounded kids.
However by the end of last year it was becoming apparent that the lack of structure, expectation and challenges were creating some issues with the level of work she was producing.
Through our homeschooling journey we learnt what type of learning suits the kid. She works best with clear boundaries and expectations, small bite sized tasks and lots of repetition to build confidence – particularly in maths.
Sadly the modern learning environment doesn’t really fit that well with how she learns best.
To bolster her school experience we work predominantly on maths, rote learning things like number bonds, times tables and key skills.
Because of her learning style we find work books appeal to her – she learns visually and needs calm, clear directions. If she gets flustered, anxious or faced with a task perceived as too big or complex she completely freezes and becomes incapable of even the simplest sums.
The current NZ maths curriculum doesn’t play to her strengths at all. It’s very mental maths with an emphasis on multiple ‘strategies’ and it jumps around a lot, which doesn’t suit the kid in any way.
We do a little handwriting and a little grammar and comprehension each week on top of the maths skills – no more than 15 minutes on each once a week. Recently I have come to use Scofield and Sims books exclusively (not sponsored – just find they works so well for us).
So I guess I’m still homeschooler at heart, may be I can’t let go of her education entirely and I’m meddling in a perfectly good system, may be I’m over compensating or pushing to hard. My lack of faith in aspects of the current curriculum might be entirely unfounded. May be i’m turning into a tiger mum? Or is it helicopter parenting?
But I know that its working well for us, she’s happy and engaged and thriving. School fills her ‘social bucket’ as it were and working on certain areas at home means the standard that she’s is capable of working to is maintained.