Monday, February 4, 2008

Homeschool Galore

A lot of people ask us when we're going to send our kids to public or private school, the modern traditional school. We really don't have a plan for that, though we're not entirely opposed to it. I know that what we're doing is not traditional and can be kind of difficult to understand, particularly given the lack of information most of us receive about homeschooling options. So, I thought I'd start using this blog to share with concerned family and friends what it is we DO here at Best Family Academy.

First of all, BFA is registered with the state as a private school per state requirements. So, while we say we're homeschooling, technically our children are attending a (very) private school.

While we don't used boxed curriculum, I do consult with the state's "content standards" to ensure that our girls have completed those requirements. This ensures that the girls will be in line with their peers when or if they attend public school. It also gives me some guidelines since I'm not one who studied education and child development. Anyone who knows me understands that I tend to have rather high expectations. Checking content standards may help keep that in check. But I also move well beyond those standards as I take each girls' interests, knowledge and attention span into consideration.

I believe our girls' use of time is much more efficient in this 2:1 student-teacher ratio and tailored curriculum. They are as likely to create a historically accurate diorama of their own accord for fun on a Saturday as they are to pick up Chinese during a school lesson on any given weekday. So far, we've been able to complete the state's mandated content standards in the first month of school, then move on to projects in which the girls are more interested, thereby keeping their attention throughout the school year and beyond. In addition, they have a lot more freedom, more time to play and learn life skills like cooking, goal setting and the steps it takes to reach those goals, sewing, carpentry, and whatever else comes along in real life.

Here's a taste of Social Science ala Best Family Academy. And a look at P.E. More to come...

I know a lot of friends and family are also worried about how our girls will EVER learn social skills. Well, the first thing I think everyone needs to remember is, well, you've MET these girls. What do you SEE and experience? Still, where do they meet friends, you ask, and how do they develop relationships? Well, they DO have regular activities outside our home including, at this point, swimming 3-days per week, gymnastics (thanks, Grandpa!), and ballet. Through these activities, they're making friends with whom they immediately share at least one common interest. We're also involved in our local homeschool group with which we do a variety of activities, both academic and social. (Today the kids are converging upon our home to work on Chinese crafts for our Chinese New Year celebration slated later this week.)

In coming months, I'll use this blog to offer updates on the girls' schooling and related activities. Stay tuned!

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