Chances are, if you are a parent of school-aged children, you have been faced with some tough decisions concerning what to do with your children this coming school year.
I struggled and found myself unhappy with all of the options: virtual learning, in-person learning during a pandemic, or homeschooling. For me, it came down to picking the least worst option using the resources I have available.
Full disclosure: before deciding to stay home to raise my first born, I had received my Masters in Elementary Education and taught fourth grade for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, so this isn’t my first experience with teaching.
Also, I have the privilege of being a stay-at-home-mom, whereas others are working full-time and trying to figure out how in the world to manage a job while simultaneously educating their children.
Ultimately, I decided to homeschool because it was the one option that I felt I had control over, versus being at the mercy of our government/school district’s decisions. Homeschooling provided my children with the most normal, consistent school year, given the constraints of the pandemic.
Before coming to my decision, I spent weeks joining national and local homeschooling Facebook groups and researching the literally thousands of curriculum options available.
My intent is for my children to return to public school once (Lord willing) life goes back to normal (starting to wonder if that is ever actually going to happen . . . ) so I wanted to select a curriculum that aligned with state standards.
I also am a mother to a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year-old and don’t have a lot of extra time nor the desire to piece together a lot of different programs. I wanted something that was all-inclusive for my first year. A program that said, “Here. Do this.”
I found that in the program Moving Beyond the Page. It is a literature-based curriculum that covers language arts, social studies, science and math. I purchased ages 4-5 for my daughter in Pre-k, ages 5-7 for my rising 1st grader and ages 7-9 for my rising 3rd grader. The cost of the program initially gave me pause but when I stopped to consider all of the things we won’t be doing this coming year (ballet, gym membership, live shows), I realized it all comes out in the wash.
The program includes hands-on projects of which they send you all the materials you need down to the number of cotton balls in particular units for the 4-5 age. I LOVE this- that I don’t have to go searching around for a bunch of random materials; instead, everything is already organized and labeled by unit so that I can just grab and teach!
Once I shared the news to my daughters that we would be home for the 2020-2021 school year, I shared the examples and videos of the curriculum that we would be using. They were so excited the day the curriculum arrived, meeting the UPS driver in the driveway!
Once we had the materials, it was time to get them organized. Out with the couch and in with the giant super desk! I wrote about the transformation of our homeschooling space here if you’d like to check it out!
I will continue to share our experience with Moving Beyond the Page throughout the year so make sure to click the “follow” button to add your email for our updates!