The classroom can be anywhere you need it to be

My favorite student (aka my daughter) is getting ready to finish her first year of public schooling and I could not be more proud of her. She is finishing the school year with standardized test scores that are above the thresholds of advanced proficiency in reading/writing and proficient in mathematics. She LOVED being in a public school and thrived like I never saw her thrive when she was in private education. 

(Last year we actually home-schooled and the years before that she attended a private school where I taught and served as a department head for almost eight years.) 

My favorite student loved using her own microscope to do her homeschooling science studies. 

Why and how we did it

Doing homeschooling last year was a necessity because of the very personal and traumatic life circumstances we have worked hard to overcome. It helped incredibly for us to take last year as a year of legitimate respite in order to truly be able to get to where we now are.

I used to be a classroom teacher (I taught public and private school) and so I have always been incredibly intentional to have educationally fueled "toys" for my daughter to enjoy for thoughtful play. Quite a number of years ago, my daughter enjoyed getting a microscope set and prepared slides for Christmas. This is exactly what she got...

Kids Microscope Set (Teacher approved)

Prepared slide for at-home science learning (Teacher Approved)

My daughter used to enjoy using the microscope set under supervised watch (by me) but she's old enough now (she's almost ten) to be able to use it all on her own. The funny thing is, when she first got the microscope set, I never imagined that we end up using it for at-home learning that was home-schooling. That was never the intention with getting the microscope at all.

Studying Science in fox printed pajamas is maybe the best way to get schoolwork done

Homeschooling is more accessible than you think

When we ended up doing a year of homeschooling, having the microscope and slide sets were so great to help my daughter feel like she was doing legit Science laboratory studies. I tried remembering back to my days of doing advanced biology studies (in high school) and undergraduate Biology labs. That helped me to help her do activities that were age appropriate - looking in the microscope and drawing, describing/explaining what she saw, comparing things she learned. Most of what we did was observational but it was also pretty hands-on for as much as it could be.

My daughter loved her first year of public school but she still asks about if she could ever go back to homeschooling. For the year that we home-schooled, we will always have bittersweet memories not just of what we learned together but even more of how we went about learning.