Friday, August 23, 2013

Thoughts on Our Homeschool Journey

So its been a while since I have posted.  I meant to finish up my Michigan studies posts from two years ago.  Life just seemed to get in the way.  I suppose that is the case with lots of families that balance home, and homeschool and outside activities and family commitments.  I am hopeful that since I am teaching the same topics to our youngest this year that I can finish them up.

As I was looking back at my posts to review for teaching my Michigan unit again, I was stirred by a longing to write again and to try to be more diligent about it.  At the same time I have been asked by relatives from both sides of my Parents' families for information on homeschooling, especially encouraging stories, so I took that as confirmation I needed to get back to posting.

So to start with here are some thoughts I have had recently on where we are and why:

1.) I have three kids who have been homeschooled from kindergarten. The oldest two are now in the 5th grade the younger one is a first grader who does 3rd grade math.  The middle child is 8 1/2 and starting 5th grade and when I gave him the Saxon pretest for this year he aced it, so he is skipping to Saxon 7/6, could you imagine how bored they would be in school. I am forever thankful that I can allow them to learn at their own pace.  Just today I had a friend explain to her daughter that while Andrew may be 11 months younger because he is homeschooled his grade placement is different because he doesn't have to follow the schools rules. To me rules that hold kids back from learning make no sense.

2.) In a different conversation with the same friend she expressed concern about her kids teachers for this year. No concerns here, I know that all our learning comes with lots of love.

3.) She continued with the thought that she wished she had a desire to homeschool. I had to agree if there is no desire you will probably fail.  I think my passion for homeschooling is why we as a family succeed at it. it's the desire to see the kids not just learn, but to love learning and to see that as something we do as a family.

4.) Same friend same conversation: her biggest concern with even considering homeschooling is that she doesn't want to be home all day with her kids all the time. My response you don't have to stay at home to homeschool.  This seemed to be a new perspective for her.  My thoughts went immediately to co-ops and filed trips.  My kids would have mentioned the days we pack all our supplies and head the the Barnes and Noble cafe to do our work while sipping Lattes and Hot chocolate and eating cheesecake. The world is our classroom has never been a truer statement.

5.) There are so many good resources that make learning fun that are better suited to the small class sizes of one family than a school that I have a hard time staying on budget.  In fact after I went to my first convention this year I decided I need a much bigger budget so I found a new job, or at least started a job.  I joined the world of home party sales to support my addiction to curriculum supplements.  I sell Lindt chocolate, who doesn't love good chocolate, you can see see my website here.  Shameless plug but I have big dreams for laminated wall maps for next year where we can write the names of countries and continents. But seriously the best thing about all the choices is that there is something for every one once you figure out how your kids learn.

6.) Finally and this is important, I love being my kids' teacher.  It's the best thing I ever decided to do.  My kids love being homeschooled.  However that does not mean that I got it all right from the very beginning.  You will pick curriculum that won't be a good fit and there will be days you don't get it all done or the kids don't want to sit still.  Just remember the long term goal and keep going, because as the parent  you have more invested in them than any school ever will.

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