If you aren’t familiar with the Homeschooling A-Z series, you can start here: What is she talking about?
And the letter of the day is … K!
Ok, Class, please be seated … Let’s begin with K. K is for … kit and kaboodle. And let me tell you, I’ve got it! That’s right … I’ve got the whole kit and kaboodle! I’ve got the workbooks, the boxed curriculum, the freebies, the computer apps, the printables, the puzzles and the board games … and I’ve got the library books. I’ve got dice and flash cards and Wrap-ups and markers and maps and a globe and at least 5 whiteboards ranging in size from lap-size up to giant classroom wall-size. And I’ve got more. I’m telling you, when it comes to homeschooling, I’ve got the whole kit and kaboodle … how about you?
Next, K is for … kitchen. Many, many homeschoolers “do school” in the kitchen. Not us. In our house, the kitchen is the equivalent of the restroom in the public school, as in: it’s where my kids are always escaping to when they want to avoid their school work. I really need to incorporate a hall pass system!
For this next entry, I have two explanations: K is for K – 12, and K is for K12. “School” is often thought of as starting in Kindergarten and continuing through Grade 12. In other words, K – 12. In reality, our children start learning when they’re born. As parents, we start “homeschooling” them at a very young age. Some parents “teach” their children to be good sleepers from birth (it takes effort, but this can actually be accomplished). We teach them how to eat, speak, walk, use a bathroom, how to get along with others, where to put their belongings, etc. That’s right … we “homeschool” them before they ever reach the traditional kindergarten age of 5. For successful homeschoolers, “school” is just an extension of the natural parenting process. This might explain why homeschoolers sometimes have a hard time stating what grade their child is in. We just keep moving forward, regardless of the grade levels the schools have to use to make their systems work. We just continue teaching them as we’ve been doing since they were born, adding in new ideas, concepts, and skills and new methods of learning all the time.
Speaking of “methods,” some parents find that using an online public school or online curriculum is a good fit for their family. I’m not here to address the controversy of whether using an online public school is actually “homeschooling” or not (some call it “school at home”). My family has tried using an online public school that uses the K12 curriculum and I’m here to report that the K12 materials are excellent. We learned a tremendous amount of material using this method (and I do mean “we” because I was learning right along with them). That said, our family needs a little more freedom and flexibility to go in different directions with our learning than what an online public school offers so we have chosen to stick with a more traditional homeschooling method for now. Some families function better with the structure an online system offers, others function better with more flexibility. The beauty of homeschooling is in doing what works for your own family.
Finding what works can be challenging! That’s where K is for kindness comes in. I’ve never known such kindness as that of other homeschoolers. They are willing to loan you curriculum when you can’t afford it or just want to peek at it, take your kids when you need a mental health day, share secrets and burdens, offer advice and, more importantly, perspective, and laugh with you about things only another homeschooler would understand. I know there are kind people everywhere, in every walk of life, but my own experience is that there are proportionately more kind people who homeschool than those who don’t.
Finally, K is for kisses (and kuddles, if that works for you). We’re not kissing and hugging all day every day around here, but I’ll admit that I’ve learned to use physical contact, even in the form of kisses and hugs, to combat poor attitudes and frustration during the school day. Nothing says “We’re in this together” and “I know you can do it!” like a kiss and a hug from mom. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day is knowing I get to make out with the principal when we’re done.
Did any of these K is for … concepts ring a bell for you? Leave me a comment … I’m sitting here all lonesome, just waiting to have a chat with you!