Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Homeschool = Success

If you ever have a chance to talk to Lily, it takes just a few minutes to realize that she is smart. She loves to learn! Since before her birth, the topic of education was discussed. Because of the area we live in the options are really limited. We are limited by the fact there is only one private school within a 20 minute drive. Personally, I don't feel that this school provides a good education and therefore it was never on our list of possibilities. Matt and I both agree that the public school are not the best but not the worst either. Homeschooling was the other option. We both are torn on this issue, but agree that neither feel we can provide an education better than the public schools and that socialization is just as important as the education. I don't want to offend anyone who has a different view but these are our thoughts after much discussion and pray. These fact together with our realization that Lily is very intelligent have been discussed many times at our house. I realized that you need to teach a child when they are ready to learn and feel that if you don't start when they are ready then you miss the opportunity. Lily was ready to learn at around age four. We have starting doing Preschool with her prior to Zach's birth. Kendall joined as she was ready probably around 18 months or so. Last spring, I started looking into options for Kindergarten for Lily. Because of her age she was not allowed to start public school until the fall of 2011. I talked to several people and discussed a little known fact that if a child attends a private school then when transitioning into public school they will be placed according to ability and grade complete at the private school. Homeschooling seemed like an option to give Lily the best start we could. I checked with the state on regulation for Homeschooling. North Carolina will not recognize a home school until the oldest student attending is at least 8 years old. So we had no assurance that by completing a year of homeschooling she will definitely be able to start public school as a First grader.

Matt has spend the majority of time this year providing the schooling. I have been responsible for developing the ideas and paperwork to complete on a daily basis. I chose not to purchase a curriculum because of the expenses as well as my feeling that I wanted her to go as far as she could in this first year. I did purchase several work books from the Educational story and used my own knowledge to try and guide the process. Teaching her to read was big on the agenda and I took a suggestion from a teacher and purchased "Teaching your child to read in 100 easy steps." Matt has used this and Lily is now officially a reader. Writing I taught using Handwriting without tears. Mainly this year has been practice as she already knew the correct formation of most of the upper and lower case letters. I have returned to the Educational story several times to purchase Math books. Currently in Math, she is adding and subtracting up to 20, telling time to the half hour and using money for simple things.

In February, I contacted the local school to find out if and how we could try and register Lily as a First grader. After several conversations, it was determined she would need to be tested. The principal arranged the test for Memorial Day 5/30. The testing occurred yesterday. Lily is officially a first grader in August! She was given the test that is completed by Kindergarten's at Davis Townsend. In reading, she scored at 98% fluency and 100% comprehension, in math she scored at 100%! We are pleased and excited to realize that we did what was best for Lily and hope that the foundation laid this year will serve her well into the future!

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