Please note: I have never had time to continue to do a monthly newsletter but I decided to leave this one and only issue of our newsletter up so you can see why we decided to homeschool.
NOVEMEBER 14, 1998
Aloha friends and family! In case you haven't guessed yet, we have decided to homeschool Kaylina and have chose "Akamai Academy" as our official homeschool name. Welcome to our very first issue of The Akamai Academy Times. We have decided to do this quarterly newsletter as a means of keeping friends and family abreast of all the wonderful things Kaylina has been doing in homeschool. In this first issue we will answer such questions as, Why Homeschool?, What About Socialization?, and What Subjects Are Being Covered? Of course the answers to these question would vary from family to family so we will answer these questions from our own family's perspective.
Why We Chose To Homeschool
1. Individualization. We feel home education is a wonderful opportunity to tailor Kaylina's instructional program to her specific learning needs, ability and rate of learning, and who better knows what her specific needs and abilities are than her own parents. This will allow Kaylina to work to her potential and increase the probability of educational success as well as personal satisfaction derived from the learning experience.
2. Family Time. We feel family time is very important and it is our personal experience that this was lacking when Kaylina attended school out of the home. Much time was spent centered around her school schedule (i.e. time spent getting ready for school, commuting, coming home and putting everything away, afterschool snack, homework, etc.) and truthfully speaking she was fairly tired when she did come home from school (physically, mentally, as well as emotionally). After being around so many people all day long, she would just want to come home and retreat to her room and be by herself. Since we have been homeschooling (we started on July 20, 1998) we have noticed a BIG difference. Kaylina is much more relaxed now and spends more time with the family. We enjoy being involved in her education and being able to spend quality time with her. Although we have just started, we plan on taking advantage of scheduling fun, enjoyable, and of course, most important of all, educational field trips, something we did not have time to do when she was attending school out of the home.
3. Spiritual Training. We also chose to home educate Kaylina because, as Jehovah's Witnesses, we take to heart the Bible's counsel to provide spiritual training. Ephesians 6:4 tells us in part, "go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah." In line with that thought, Proverbs 22:6 tells us, "Train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it." We feel that theocratic education is the most important education one can receive because of the lasting benefits that can be derived from it--serving our God, Jehovah, forever! We, again, have seen a very noticeable improvement in this area of Kaylina's education now that we are homeschooling, as compared to when she was attending school out of the home. We start off the day with our Bible Instruction and this sets the tone for the rest of the day.
4. Concern About Increasing Violence in Schools. We have been concerned about the increasing violence in and around schools and the decreasing of moral values. The pressure to take drugs are being introduced even at the elementary age these days and therefor children even in Kindergarten are forced to be taught about drugs already because of this fact. We realize that children need to know what the real world is like, however, one does not need to actually experience the bad to know that it is there. We would prefer to teach her about what the world is like and help her develop knowledge, maturity and moral strength to make wise decisions.
What About Socialization?
A common myth about homeschooling is that a child does not get enough social interaction with their peers, and they, therefore, don't know how to conduct themselves well in social settings. On the contrary, the competitive atmosphere of school, coupled with inadequate supervision often brings out the worst in children. Much school socialization is negative. We strongly feel that social skills are best learned from adults who can gently guide children in the right directionin a loving and caring environment while they learn to get along with others. Speaking from our family's perspective, we have provided Kaylina with more than enough social interaction with people of all ages. Most of you know how socialble Kaylina can be and how much she enjoys interacting with people. Rest assured, we will continue to provide her with many opportunities to develop her social qualities.
What Subjects Are Being Covered?
In case some of you don't know, Kaylina is now 6 years old and is in the 1st grade this year. Our curriculum consists of the following subjects:
Math-We Use a program called Miquon Math
Foreign Language Instruction-Chinese
Reading and Writing Instruction-We use SRA Reading Power and The Comprehensive Curriculum Workbook for 1st grade
Integrated learning through Unit Studies using a program called Five in a Row or FIAR for short (Includes Science, Social Studies, Language arts, Music, Art, and P.E./Health/Safety/Manners).
Our Schedule. Take a look at our schedule
As you can see, homeschooling allows us to be able to spend quality time on the typical subjects taught at school such as Math, Reading, Writing, etc. as well as the untypical subjects such as Bible Instruction, Piano Lessons and Chinese Language Instruction. All that and our day is still productive because there was no time spent waiting for a class of 24 or so students to pay attention and listen to the teacher's instructions. And since I am there for Kaylina to help her and answer any questions she has right away, she is able to learn at a much faster pace and best of all there is no extra homework after school because we have already done all our "homework." Kaylina then has extra time to do whatever interests her (this would usually be coloring, drawing or anything having to do with art--she is an excellent artist, but of course we are being biased here aren't we?!).
Well, we hope this first issue of this newsletter has given you some insight as to what we will be doing as we continue to home educate Kaylina. We hope you will enjoy reading about our homeschool activities in future issues of our newsletter and please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. Mahalo and Aloha!
Jim and Terry
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