Two and a half years ago, I some how managed to come to the decision that I was ready to officially start considering ourselves “homeschoolers.” It was one of those things that I really never saw my self doing…kind of like how I NEVER wanted a minivan, and now I love my van!
Do you ever have the feeling that something is literally tugging at your heart??
Also, let me just say that, Yes…I am a bit of a superstitious person! 😉 But anyways, you start finding quotes or meme’s, resources that your phone somehow knows you were thinking about yesterday, it all starts to connect you to something you’ve been kind of thinking about, but kind of trying to just let it go…People were put in my life that I now see why!
But that’s how it happened with my husband and I choosing to homeschool. I am here by the grace of God, following my heart every step of the way. You see, I am not your average homeschool mom. I’m not a former teacher, not a college graduate, not even an honor’s high school student.
I am your average, middle-class, midwestern, kind of country girl doing my absolute best to raise my kids. I am present every single day for and with my children. I have not missed a milestone, doctors appointment or activity of theirs. I read the Bible to them every morning and a book to them every night. I am doing life with my children. Some would call it un-schooling, some would call it wild-schooling, I really just call it life. They do what Chris and I do. Learn, work and play.
My son Connor is turning six in a couple of weeks. For some reason, it was always in my head that he was going to learn to read by the time he was six. Thus far, we were not ones to do worksheets, sit down school work, flashcards or anything of the sort. But it was in my head that by six years old it’s time for him to be able to sit and do some schoolwork. So over the years, I did my research!
If you have ever googled “homeschool curriculums”, just like everything else, there’s a boatload of options!! Just what an overwhelmed, tired, homeschool mom needs right?
I’ll spare you all of that and just tell ya what I found and what we like!! With starting “school” with Connor I have learned to tread lightly. He is quickly overwhelmed, worried and starts with the “I Can’ts” and before I know it, he will completely shut down. So, I needed something that has projects, stories, or hands on that can keep him engaged and eager to keep going. If my boy is outside, no matter the weather, he is happy. So that’s where we start. Turning something he naturally already loves, into something he can learn more about and love even MORE!!
Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.Charlotte Mason
We have started with the Charlotte Mason, Exploring Nature with Children, A Complete Year-Long Curriculum! I printed it from Raising Little Shoots blog – she’s got some cute stuff too by the way! And then had it bound at our local UPS store. You can modify it for all ages and has nature walk ideas, project ideas, poems and book lists, it’s AWESOME! You can pick up wherever and whenever you want to go along with the seasons!
Not that I planned to jump right into all subjects right now, I just wanted to have everything we needed so when the interest is there we can have the book and can talk about it! That is one way that I like to teach is with letting the kids lead. If they want to know how their arms move, we will get the “Look Inside Your Body” book out and talk about our arms, and so on!
For reading, we tried Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and it was NOT working for us. Connor dreaded every single time I would pull out the book. I have heard fantastic things about this book, I do love the set up of it, it’s easy to teach and easy to understand but for some kids, it’s not a great fit. I think it’s important to find what works for them and us as their teacher. I mean that’s the beauty of homeschooling…we ALL want to enjoy it!
I was really unsure about quitting 100 EL though! I didn’t want him to think it was his fault, as we always preach we have to finish what we start!! So after thinking and talking it over we decided he is plenty young yet to give a different curriculum a try, we’ere not quitting completely, we’re finding what works for us. So that’s what we did and we explained that to Connor as well!
Enter in…. M A S T E R B O O K S!!
Math Level 1: Lessons for a Living Education (We were SO excited it had a piggy on the front and we got it around the same time we got our real pigs!) This math book actually tells a story about two kids on a farm, while learning math, it’s so great you guys. I have never seen my son so eager to do school, my little mommy heart continues to explode when he chooses to do two or three lessons instead of just one a day!
Adventure in Creation is science, Foundation Phonics is the amazing new reading book and then Language Lessons for a Living Education once we get further into Foundation Phonics and we chose to hold off on the history for right now. 🙂
School time for us the last month has been a whole new world and I could not be more excited!! When I think back to when we were considering homeschooling and all the reasons I thought I couldn’t do it, I just want to shake myself. But why did I think I wasn’t capable??
Do you remember struggling in a certain subject in school? Or one project at work you just can’t seem to figure out and finish? It’s so frustrating! Irritating!
I was not a straight-A student and I did not love school. I can specifically remember times when I would not understand something but they would continue to move on so I moved on. Finished or not. Understood or not. The schedule says we have to keep going.
It’s those feelings of frustration, of self doubt, or uncertainty that I don’t ever want my kids to feel when it comes to learning. We have our whole lives to learn – literally…you can never stop learning. Why do we need to cram it ALL into 12 years and be left with self-esteem and day-to-day life issues by the time we’re 18 years old?
Anyways! My struggle in school is sometimes what I think is my drive to want to homeschool my kids. I don’t want them to ever feel the way I felt during and after school and I know I am plenty capable of teaching them. So…
If I can encourage you to trust your instincts, do it!! It usually always works out, no matter how terrifying it is!
God has equipped us as mothers in more ways than we can even imagine. When we doubt ourselves, God believes in us. When we are overwhelmed in fear and anxiety, He can calm our fears. When we have nowhere to turn or no one to go to, He is always there. Turning my life around and trusting in God is where and when my life took a turn.
Doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Doesn’t mean it’s always going to be fun. Doesn’t mean you will have all the answers. Doesn’t mean we will have a shield protecting our children from this chaotic and terrifying world we live in. Doesn’t mean anyone is perfect.
It means having faith bigger than your fears. Every. Single. Time.
Until next time,