If you have been following my social media accounts or know me on a personal level, you probably have seen that our daughter is being home-schooled. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s best for our daughter.
Last year, Alyra was in public school when I moved out here to Eau Claire. Her mom and my fiance Jamie, felt she needed more one on one attention with her education. It was thoroughly discussed between the three of us what, why and how this could be accomplished. With a blended family dynamic, we had to work together on creating a plan that fit us all to put Alyra’s education first.
Right off the bat, Jamie & I discussed the ideal of me working from home. This fit in well with the drive to home-school. Over the summer we talked to other home-school parents and bought books, products and other learning materials in preparation for Fall. Our plan was to have her mother handle half the subjects, and us the other half. It was a great plan for us when we have split time with her. We felt ready.
Oh, little did we know the learning curve we ALL would go through! Looking back, there would be a few things I would have done differently but fortunately we have caught up as a family quickly.
During the first two months, it was a major transition for me and Alyra. Getting to know each other better, learning how to balance school, work and the house. It was somewhat stressful. Learning how Alyra learns was one of the larger personal battles I had. It took me 2-3 months before I felt like I got into a groove and really understood what drives Alyra, educationally. During that time, I noticed that something was missing. She appeared to be struggling with letters, let alone words.
Thankfully, as a blended family – our co-parenting is AMAZING! As a 3 parent unit, we discussed what we had noticed, as well as our options. I brought it up that there was a Sylvan Learning Center in town and that we should set Alyra up with an assessment. The assessment would tell us where she was at academically.
Alyra received one on one attention from the super sweet director, Sylvia, during her assessment.. She was at ease and wasn’t nervous to take the assessment at all. About an hour later, she was done. We set up the parent conference a few days later. There we learned that Alyra was behind on her reading skills.
Based off of the assessment, Sylvia helped us set up a plan of action to help Alyra. We set up two nights a week for a total of four hours a week at Sylvan for Alyra to receive small group tutoring on top of our Monday through Friday homeschooling.
I cannot begin to tell you how happy we are as parents that Ayra is attending Sylvan. Reading and writing doesn’t come easy for Alyra, and she was lacking confidence when we started. We recently had our first conference or ‘progress report’ with the director. The results have been very pleasing. Over the span of two – two and a half months, she has made big strides! Her confidence with letters and words are much stronger. She isn’t scared to at least try and sound out letters or short words.
Speaking for myself, I cannot express how thankful I am to have this help! All of us work hard with Alyra in homeschooling to the best of our abilities, but it is a great comfort to know that we have professionals to help if and when we get stuck. For example, I have been working on large numbers with Alyra and bounced some ideas off of Sylvia who gave us a blank and filled out 100’s chart. Surprisingly, Alyra really likes using it.
Homeschooling, in general, is an opportunity to turn any situation into something educational. Even when we are on the go. Sylvan has helped with those opportunities – a lot.
Alyra is just a few short months into Sylvan but I have full confidence and faith that she will be excelling in all areas of her education. The staff are warm, welcoming and down to Earth.
Honestly, I feel we will be with Sylvan for many years. Not to help with the hard things, but to give all of our children a challenge with areas they are interested in or excel in. That is the beauty of Sylvan, there is something for every learner. Down the line, I already know that when our kids are going to be preparing for ACTs – Sylvan will be well on it.
If you are a parent with children between the ages of 4 and 18 – invest in your child’s future. You will not regret it.