First off I want to say a huge thanks. You have asked questions on the blog, through emails and Instagram. I couldn’t have wrote this post without your help.
Secondly I want to say how weird it feels to be starting a little series on homeschooling. I never pictured myself here, but I’ll share more about that in just a minute.
How did you decide you wanted to home school?
Our story is proof that God is not lacking in the sense of humor department.
We enrolled Marissa in private Pre-K when she was 4 hoping to get her ready for Kindergarten. Summer came and she was enrolled to start public school that fall, then with only a few months to go something changed. Something crazy and unexpected. I never saw it coming.
I began to feel God leading my heart to consider home schooling.
At first I was resistant but slowly I became more open to the idea. I talked to my husband about it and his heart was open to the idea as well. In the end we both felt it was the right direction for our family so we went for it.
Now I look back just so amazed at how perfect home school has been for us. I am overwhelmingly thankful that we were led that way and chose to listen even when it scared us. It certainly wasn’t ever a part of our plan.
But isn’t God’s plan always better?
How did you get started?
I connected to a local home school co-op pretty quickly. That has been a huge help and encouragement to me over the past two years. Having a good support system in place is needed when you have a rough day. Everyone needs someone who’s been there, can relate to your struggles and encourage you to keep on.
How early did you start teaching the girls?
What resources did you start with?
I am not the mom who starts teaching my kids at a super young age. To say that my kids are counting to 100, know all their ABC’s and are speaking Spanish at the age of 3 just isn’t my style.
How much instruction do you actually give or are your kids more self motivated?
I think at this age quite a bit of instruction is still needed. I have noticed a huge difference between Kindergarten and First grade as reading skills have improved. Some subjects such as Math and Writing tend to be more independent. But others such as History, Science and Bible are taught and will continue to be that way for years.
I like that this keeps me very involved in the process. I know what she is learning, I learn with her and we can explore what we are studying together outside of the text books.
What curriculum/books do you use?
Just like so many other areas of home school you have to figure out works best for you and your kids. It is perfectly fine to buy math curriculum from one place and science from another. I also learned that the easiest way to find what you want is to get your hands on the books. Curriculum shows are abundant, reviews online are great and I also really like talking to other parents about what they have tried.
I am a HUGE fan of ‘Explode The Code’ phonics curriculum. I have really enjoyed ‘A Reason For Writing’ for penmanship practice. And we tend to be pretty Abeka heavy, using it for Math, Science, Health and History. But ask me again next year and I may sing a different song.
A few other lessons I have learned.
* You don’t have to use the same curriculum every year. You are free to mix things up, remember that.
*Buy used whenever possible, it will save you lots of money.
*Each kid is different be willing to adapt for each child.
How difficult is it to set time aside for school instead of planning your day however you want?
The struggle is real, but ultimately I have to make education a priority. Does that mean every day will turn out just the way I have it wrote down on paper? Of course not. But, for the most part we have a schedule and we try our best to keep it.
To find out more about our schedule come back next week for part 2. I am planning to do a “day in the life post” so you can see exactly what a typical day looks like for us.
Questions, comments, thoughts?