You made the decision to homeschool. Yet despite your resolve, all those first day of school photos got to you, didn’t they? We are on our fifth homeschool year, and they still give me a tiny twinge of something I can’t quite put my finger on. I always enjoyed school. Am I depriving my own children of the experiences? What about your own life? How are you going to survive?
One aspect of homeschooling that I think was the hardest to adjust to was finding friends. Most of my friends sent their children to school. Sure, we did after school playdates for a time, but they can’t go to the park mid day. They didn’t understand curriculum struggles and asked questions like “How are you going to socialize your children?” This question always amused me and still does because, well, we were at the park playing, wasn’t that socializing?
The first year we homeschooled, we joined a park play date co-op. I wasn’t ready to commit to an academic co-op yet. The park co-op was a bit awkward as all new things are. A lot of the moms knew each other so I felt like the out of place newbie. Thankfully, because it was the beginning of the year, there were other moms standing around equally as shy. My oldest, thankfully, is super social. He started playing with a little girl about his age. Her mother was one of the other newbies so I sucked it up and introduced myself to my first homeschool friend, Deanna.
I only went back to that park co-op one more time. Deanna and I decided we hated being new and struck out on our own. Our children got along fabulously as did we. Then they moved away, and I may have cried. Hopefully your first homeschool friends won’t move away so quickly! Making friends with Deanna’s family encouraged me to try again. Finding these gems of homeschool friends isn’t hard, it just takes a bit more effort than you may be used to.
One thing I can promise you, is that you will find friends.Good friends. Fast friends. Friends you can call in the middle of the day and get it. Friends who help you rationalize why you decided to homeschool and who remind you that one bad day or week doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.
If you’re lucky your first homeschooling friends may find you. You may have to awkwardly introduce yourself to someone. They may awkwardly introduce themselves to you. I’ll let you in on a secret, we’re all a bit awkward in the friend making department! I have usually let my children gravitate towards others and then I start the first date like ritual of talking to a random stranger. But I have also made some amazing friends this way.
Next year about this time of year, you’ll see the first day of pictures again. That little weird twinge won’t be as big. Instead of second guessing yourself, you’ll text one of your homeschool friends about going to the park later that day. Then you’ll lie back down and try to grab a few more zzz’s before you try to to make your child understand long division.
This post is written by Kristina Roegner, a homeschool mom of 3. She enjoys sharing about homeschooling with others and is always happy to help local homeschoolers connect. Visit her website at www.dfwhomeschoolresource.com to see all DFW has to offer for homeschoolers.
If you ask most parents to describe the way their children are learning math at school, you will hear a lot of frustration and confusion. “I have a college degree and I don’t understand the first-grade homework!” some parents say. “Why can’t they just teach it the way I learned it?” others ask.
The idea behind the Texas state standards (TEKS) used in today’s elementary schools is that children will develop mathematical thinking. They will have number sense and be able to understand what they are doing when they solve math problems, not just the rules for solving them. They will be able to approach problems in different ways and find multiple solutions.
The difficulty, of course, is that in a classroom of 20 or more children of varying abilities, on a time schedule and preparing for tests required by the state, is that children don’t have enough opportunity to use the hands-on materials that they need to develop this mathematical thinking. They need to be able to derive and discover concepts for themselves so that they will remember them long term and start applying them to other situations.
Growing IQ is not a tutoring center, but an enrichment program that yields long-term results. The highly trained and well-qualified teachers can help the children who struggle with math, and can also take the children who excel at math to new heights. They approach math from the perspective that math is in the world all around us. It’s not a separate subject only used at school- it is a key part of art, music, nature, technology, science, engineering, cooking, and so much more.
At Growing IQ, students come for two-hour sessions once a week and they are usually not ready to leave. Students play games, create art and crafts, build things, explore math manipulatives, and listen to music. All the while teachers use math vocabulary and guide children toward the concepts that will build their foundation of math. They also teach spatial reasoning, logical analysis and critical thinking, skills important to success in math (and all learning) but not addressed by school standards.
As Eileen Horng, a parent of two students said: “My two children have been taking classes at GROWING IQ for more than three years now. The difference is in the approach to math. GROWING IQ does not focus on math concepts per se; learning math concepts is a positive by-product but not the purpose of the instruction. Rather the focus is on how to reason, problem solve through experimentation, and apply past learning to new situations.” Eileen is a former elementary school teacher and has earned a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She was also formerly the Director of Research, Assessment, and Accountability for the Redwood City School District and Associate Director for the Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice (IREPP) at Stanford University. She is currently an independent education research consultant.
Growing IQ also offers a revolutionary toddler program called Math Music Motion (M-cubed or M3) that is focused on child development from a neurological perspective. M3 will help your child become a curious, creative learner, critical thinker, and problem solver! The curriculum is designed to cross-correlate both Math and Music to stimulate the different parts of the brain and its functions leading to the development of interconnected pathways which promote higher IQ, improved mental functioning, academic advantage and the development of many important skills. Motion encompasses a great portion of both gross & fine motor skills allowing for complex relationships to form between environmental stimuli, and the body’s reaction to color, pattern, sound and much more.
For more details, please look at their websites www.growingiq.com & www.mathmusicmotion.com and facebook pages https://m.facebook.com/GrowingIQ.Math/ & https://m.facebook.com/MathMusicMotion/ to get an idea of what they do. Check out Growing IQ’s 5 themed weeks of fun summer camp.
Growing IQ can help any child become a mathematician! Call or email them to schedule a free trial class for your child and remember to mention ‘PLANOMOMS’ to get 20% discount for life. This offer end 30th September 2017.