Monday, October 10, 2011

My ideal homeschool set-up

I've been thinking a lot about what kind of homeschooling arrangements would work best for us, in an ideal world where all of this was miraculously feasible. While Basbusa is still so young - say, age 3 through 5 - I think what I'd like is this:

  • Two days a week having "school" in the morning with one or two other families living nearby with kids near her age. We could trade off whose house it would be held in, so that each of the moms would get at least one or two "mornings off" per week. As for what the kids would do, well, "something educational." We could have a project or two lined up to suggest to them each time, but if they were more interested in just having a playdate on any given day, that would be fine with me, while they're so small.
  • Three days a week at home with me in the mornings - for the preK/K age I'm tentatively thinking of doing maybe 15 minutes a day of Right Start math, and otherwise just making sure that we're reading plenty of books, doing lots of drawing and painting and building things, and having interesting discussions. Plus Quran every day, of course.
  • In the afternoons, we would do errands, playground meet-ups, young-homeschooler hikes, housework, go swimming, etc. 
  • On Saturdays, I'm thinking I might send Basbusa to the "Saturday School" at our local masjid. It's a long day for little kids - 9am to 3pm - but I've heard they do play as well as learn, and it would be a way for her to make other Arabic-speaking friends (she only has three of those at the moment, and they will all be leaving the US in a few more months). If Basbusa didn't have any other formal schooling during the week, then I wouldn't feel so bad about one day of sit-in-a-chair-and-pay-attention on Saturdays.
And how realistic is all this? Well, I don't know of any local homeschooling families who might want to team up with us for those two mornings a week (the one family which might have is also leaving the country soon), but we have a whole year to keep looking, and I have only just begun to get to know the homeschooling community. 

And the three days a week of homeschooling by ourselves? Well, we're slowwwwwwly getting better about making sure that Quran-memorizing does happen every day, and that was the thing that had really been worrying me about my own ability to homeschool (if I can't even make sure we do Quran, then what on earth would happen to math?!?). It's still nowhere like routine, though. But we have a year to keep trying to get better.

And the Saturday school would be easy to enroll her in; I just have to go check it out in person to make sure their educational methods aren't too scary :)

So, we'll see. This arrangement might be feasible, but we'll still have to spend this year ironing out the wrinkles. 

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