Home Ed Q & A with Sydney from the District of Columbia, US

Grab a cuppa and have a read of our next Home Ed Q&A. Today we interview Sydney from the US.

When and why did you decide to Home Educate?
My oldest is 6, so I suppose I officially decided last “school year.” We have a great little charter school locally, but with it only having one class per grade and a waitlist, I wasn’t comfortable waiting to find out if he’d gotten in. I wanted to know what we were doing, so I made the final decision last summer and I’m so glad we did. 

As an aside, when he was two, I took him to a mom & me toddler class at a Montessori class and overheard the teacher speaking to another parent about drop-off. She explained that sometimes kids are fine the first week and then on second week, they start getting upset when their parents leave. She said it was them realizing that “it was going to be like this for the rest of their lives.” I think it was at that moment that the homeschooling seed was planted. Why should my kid have to be separated from their family and unhappy at a place that they spend all day just because that’s the way it is?! It doesn’t have to be that way.

What kind of approach do you take?
We veer classical, but take an eclectic approach.

Where do the children do most of their work? and do they distract each other?
We have a home library with a re-purposed kitchen table in the middle. They do the majority of their work there. They do distract each other, but we do our best. Sometimes my oldest will take projects into his room to focus on them if he needs to.

What is your favourite thing about Home Education?
I love the flexibility! I can provide exactly the level of academics that my children need AND we can do it on our own schedule, no rushing out the door before daylight or having to stick to a school calendar.

What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable?
Math, Literature, Creative writing, History, and Science are the core. We also do art and have dabbled in languages. I’d like to add music and a more formal language program at some point. I don’t use a strict time table, but math and literature are generally every day and history and science are twice per week each.

What do you find most difficult and why?
Keeping my two year old entertained and quiet when I’m trying to teach/read to my older son is pretty challenging some days!

How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others?
I honestly haven’t heard this that much, but when I have, I just say that we have lots of opportunities to socialize! My kids do just fine working with others. 

Have family supported your decision?

How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days?
I get in a workout for myself most mornings and my kids usually ride their scooters at the same time. We also have plenty of running around with friends on playgrounds and in parks. We don’t do a formal physical education program though.

Do you plan and how  far in advance?
I try to plan for the full school year during the summer, but I take it week by week (sometimes day by day) and adjust as needed.

What's a typical Home Ed day like?
We wake up, get in workout time, have breakfast and read aloud, and then start school work with math usually. Then we take a break, have lunch, and do either history or science.

Do you spend a lot of money on resources?
I guess it depends what someone considers a lot of money, but I’d say no. It is certainly less expensive than private school!

How do you make time for yourself?
I workout every morning at home during the week and usually get out by myself on Saturday mornings. I also stay up late and read books just for me. Night time reading is fun reading (currently Game of Thrones), not parenting/schooling reading!

What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey?
Start slow. Think about your goals and what you need to do to achieve them. Then research, join groups, and talk to people. Go to a Homeschool convention if one is nearby. Then, you can think about getting curriculum. Most of all: Be flexible, listen to your child(ren), and have fun with it!

A big Thank you to Sydney! Follow Sydney and family on Instagram @_likeaustrlia_

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Happy Reading! :)


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