No you're not on the wrong blog and no I have not grown a home-schooling gene overnight. However, in my one year experiment of researching elementary schools in Calgary, one big factoid jumped out at me.
I've heard President Obama say that over and over again in so many speeches but it wasn't until I took a closer look at the educational system that I "got" it. We the parents will always be the first and best teachers our kids have.
Before last year, I erroneously assumed that the more you spent on your kids education, the better the quality. This of course fueled my thinking that private schools are better than public schools. However, at least in Calgary, there are public schools that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best private schools. The public schools may not have the funds and resources of the private schools, but the combination of good teachers and involved parents will triumph every time.
So with that lesson learnt, it's time for action. One of my goals this year is to establish a "homework" routine for our family that will hopefully carry us through the school years. The plan is simply to include "home work" time in our new schedule.
This is now what our evening schedules look like.
5:30 - 6:00 Get home and unwind
6:00 - 6:45 Homework time
6:45 - 7:00 Dinner
7:00 - 7:20 Play or TV time
7:30 Bath time and then bed
Times are quite flexible and the homework time so far has been anything from 15 - 45 minutes. The number of minutes is not as important. What's important is that EVERYDAY, each child participates in a parent-led educational activity.
The goal is that this becomes a routine so that when the girls start formal elementary school in a couple of years, it'll be an established habit and maybe forestall any homework wars.
So far? The girls love it and so do I. I've learnt so much in the last few months of doing this. Tomorrow, I'll share the tools we use and changes we've made to the playroom to accommodate the school-at-home.