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How do you decide what to afterschool?

 

I've been homeschooling for seven years. Xh decided to walk out in the autumn and while I (hopefully) have ~3 years before I have to seek fulltime employment, for a variety of reasons, my oldest is going to enter a classroom this fall.

 

So...how do I decide what to afterschool? She's very mathematically gifted, so I know I'll want to enrich that area. Beyond that, I'm sort of at a loss. I know I can't do the full array of things I'd want to do. I have to turn over some of it to the school and let them do it! But how do I decide?

 

Also, any tips on transitioning? She's been at home for her entire life and will be starting in middle school.

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In this order, I look at:

1. Core areas--Is my child reading, writing, and computing well? Any deficiency (or necessary enrichment) here would be my primary focus.

 

2. Subject areas-- Do they not learn history? Is science minimally covered and boring? Does art or music get skipped?

 

3. Areas of interest for my child--Does the school do a good job with science, but my child wants to learn more and more? I put this one third, but it's probably tied for 2nd in importance.

 

ETA: Then I look at how much time I have to get it all in. Lol

Edited by snickelfritz
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Before last week I was making up for the lack of education from her school in areas she needed so we were covering reading, math, geography and art. We just moved schools this past week and she moved from pre-K in the public school to Kindy in private school. Now she is getting reading, math and some geography. We are still doing some geography at home because it's something she really enjoys. I plan on adding History in the fall, and science. We are also going to continue with fine arts since that's one area her school is really lacking.

 

I agree with the PP I would start with any areas that need to be supplemented to help them stay with their grade level, followed by subjects that aren't taught and finally what interests your kiddos.

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How do you decide what to afterschool?

 

I've been homeschooling for seven years. Xh decided to walk out in the autumn and while I (hopefully) have ~3 years before I have to seek fulltime employment, for a variety of reasons, my oldest is going to enter a classroom this fall.

 

So...how do I decide what to afterschool? She's very mathematically gifted, so I know I'll want to enrich that area. Beyond that, I'm sort of at a loss. I know I can't do the full array of things I'd want to do. I have to turn over some of it to the school and let them do it! But how do I decide?

 

Also, any tips on transitioning? She's been at home for her entire life and will be starting in middle school.

 

Since the previous posters gave great responses re: subject areas for afterschooling, I will discuss transitioning.

 

Focus on your daughter enjoying school.

 

Ensure you have a good relationship with her teacher - a respectful relationship because you appreciate what she does. Your daughter will pick up on the fact that you have a mutually respectful relationship. I think it is important for the child and teacher to 'get along' as well. This makes being in the classroom pleasant for her. (That sounded wierd, I hope I made a little sense?)

 

See if she can make connections with one or two special friends. Perhaps you can provide a playdate for her to get to know her friends better. (It's surprising how little time they get to socialise at school!)

 

Obviously talk about her day after school, and get her to highlight subjects and moments that she enjoyed.

 

Her wanting to be at school can make learning more enjoyable for her. Yes, school is about academics, but it is much more than that too.

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Don't be surprised if, after your daughter is in the school for a period of time, that you change your afterschooling plans. My 5th grade son started at a new school this year and by the end of the first semester I (we) decided to make major shifts in our afterschooling emphases.

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I base our after-schooling on what she is getting at that time in her school. They switch between history and science each semester this year so we switch and do the opposite of what she's doing in school. I incorporate a lot of writing into either subject, so I don't use any formal plan for language arts.

 

We always do math, and always do foreign language. She goes to an arts based school so I don't do any music or art at home. In the last two years she's learned the piano and violin at school, in addition to a visual arts class and a graphic arts class.

 

I'd suggest waiting to buy curriculum until you see what areas you want to supplement.

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DD11 (Grade 6) started at a Montessori school 4 weeks ago. The academic/classroom transition went well, but then, how they work is very similar to how we worked at home (a fair amount of freedom to do what they want when they want, within weekly guidelines). Socially we've found the children very ready to extend themselves - she has had one social invite each week. I think this aspect will depend on the personality of the child and the ethos of the school itself. Where we have found the transition a little difficult is in dealing with deadlines - I have been supportive so far, insisting that she works on a schedule I know will have the work completed in time, but I think I am going to have to let her find out the hard way about missed deadlines!

 

For afterschooling we will use the programmes I felt were exceptional and/or particularly fun while homeschooling full-time - Mosdos Literature, MCT Language Arts and Life of Fred. As I do trust the academic standards of the school, it's just about "back-up" for me. The teacher has noted that she is well ahead in Language Arts, so we will continue to extend in that area. We'll cover Geography and Science through games and "fun stuff" where we have the time, and she'll listen to audio versions of a couple of the chronological narrative histories around. We're reading about famous composers and artists at the dinner table. Although I feel that this is perfectly reasonable at the level of attention I plan to give it (i.e. not as intensive as I would if using as a full-time homeschooler), we've found that these early weeks haven't really been conducive to afterschooling. I think a lot of energy is going into settling in, so I'm taking it easy for now.

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I'm sorry to hear about the stress you must be facing OP! :grouphug:

 

I have some extended thoughts about Afterschooling here on my blog that might be helpful.

 

In your specific situation I would start with the academic areas that made you all the happiest, and brought you pleasure.

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Guest wendycopper

then, just let them handle the problem themselves. and you just spend more time on your full time employment. the easier they learn to study dependently, the better for them.

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