Welcome to another week of Meet em' Mondays.
This week I would like to introduce to you The Kaiser Family.
Family Name: The Kaiser family
Ages of your children: 9 (just turned 9)
How long have you been homeschooling? This is our first year.
What state do you live in and is it a homeschool friendly state? Texas…and yes.
What is homeschool to you? "Homeschool is freedom to me. Freedom from stress, freedom from worry. I am actually in control of what my son learns and how he’s learning it."
What made you initially decide to start homeschooling? "My son was in public school, and he would go in at the beginning of every year with a positive attitude and ready to make friends and learn, and then we noticed every night he was angrier and angrier. It was frustrating to say the least. We found out he was being picked on and threatened and, although he was on honor roll, the stress was keeping him from learning to his full potential. While since beginning to talk he had a very large vocabulary…he lost it by 1st grade…and then second grade we noticed depression and weight gain setting in. My final push was when I was working with math and he couldn’t add simple numbers……but was still on honor roll….I made my decision then."
How do you choose your curriculum? "This year, I just kind of looked around and asked for suggestions, but after 8 months, I’ve kind of figured out what is working for us. So- this year I’ll be looking a little closer. I know we need things with a little “creativity” base."
Do you stay with a schedule or are you more flexible? "We try to stay on a schedule, but we are flexible. Some days are hard days and we do what we need to do to make it peaceful. For example…today is clean up day. No school…just working around the house."
How do you handle the family schedule? "It’s actually easier now than when he was in public school. I’m a “list” person…so I make sure that I get all of the important things done, and then just kind of glide through the rest. I have my son help with a lot of things….let him feel “in control” a little."
How do you make sure your child has regular interaction with peers? "We joined a group in the Houston area HEART- and they have a lot of social events, plus he goes skating, playground, but truthfully, he has never really interacted well with other kids his age…always older."
Do you believe that you provide the same level of education that the children would get going to a public or private school? "Higher level- mainly because I’m able to focus on the things that he has problems with more and give that one on one attention. In some of the subjects, he’s beyond his grade level…in math, he’s around his grade level….(not a good subject for him, so trying various things to make it more interesting to him). I push him more than the school system would, and he has learned to actually challenge himself. He has even become more creative and has been making stop motion capture films with legos (you can find him on youtube under Zachary Kaiser Films OR www.zacharyscomp.wix.com/
stopmotion. It's all him…we let him move ahead on it."
What has been the most surprising part of homeschooling? "His change in attitude for learning and his creativity. He always felt like an outcast therefore became introverted. Now he feels better about himself and has become a little more extroverted. (Still working on the public speaking though…if he doesn't know you he backs away from conversation!)"
You can find and follow the Kaiser family over at: www.itsyourtimeblog.blogspot.