I've been homeschooling for over 18years! I will get to retire in 4 years! My days fly by with all that has to be done, but I can tell y'all this, my boys are self sufficient! That is one of the benefits of homeschooling, well that is for most homeschooling families.
We strive to raise our kids to be leaders, to have good a work ethic, stay true to the morals and values that have been taught, family comes first, respect, love and honor...oh yes and obey. Now I don't want others to think that we don't laugh, that our home is some cold environment...Lord no honey, it is not that way at all. My family is wonderful! The boys can make me laugh at a moment's notice! They are absolutely hilarious! I love my kids so much! All of my boys are so incredibly handsome too and they have great manners. Oh I'm not the least bit prejudice of my kids am I?
The other day I was thinking about the "advice" that so many home schoolers have to give to others, especially those new home schooling moms. Their advice is the only way to do things is their way and if you sway from this narrow path way you will be "one of them".
When I first began homeschooling, being so new and literally alone I did not know what to think. I listened to anyone and everyone that had advice to give. I bought all kinds of books to read about the homeschooling topics. Topics such as learning styles, teaching styles, curriculum, discipling your children, organizing your day, organizing your home, how to get your husband involved, how to do this and that....and I overwhelmed myself trying to do what everyone else said that I was supposed to do!! No wonder I gained so much weight! I was so stressed over being the perfect family! I lost years of being me and enjoying my kids!
I had one friend who, actually several friends felt this way, but this person did not like textbooks especially a textbook for history and science. But I loved them! One day we went to a homeschool bookstore together. I had all my history and science textbooks for my kids in my hands and she gave my pile of books a look....LOL....Another friend could not understand why I bought all those textbooks either, that we should just go to the library and get everything we need. I truly wanted to be like them and write my own history and science lesson plans, make that weekly trip to the library and come home with a huge pile of books! Get home and just have all of us devouring the information that was waiting for us inside all of those books! But my life, my family was not like that! It took me years to realize this!! My kids did not learn anything from me trying to do history and science someone else's way...for someone else's family....I forgot I needed to taylor it to my family's needs not others.
Homeschooling moms are very opinionated! Ask me about how I feel about unschooling....I don't agree with it. Only because I have found too many gaps in a child's knowledge. Most of the time though it is the parent that has given up on schooling any method to their child due to disrespect from the child...the parent just gives up. Or they have this grand dream that their child will absorb all this knowledge on his/her own!! Most kids are not this way! We, the parents, have to be there every step of the way! Now I know there are some success stories about unschooling, but I am not comfortable with this method. If it worked for a family, fantastic! but don't expect me to do this.
The elementary years should be the years we are sitting by our child's side through all subjects! It is a very hard road to walk down. Teaching your child how to read, write and do math is well hard! daunting, stressful, rewarding and the benefits that you reap....I can't even describe them. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication! Patience! Love! and Time! Once they get around 5 and 6th grade you can give them some freedom and allow them to do some of their work on their own. By middle school level, they should be on their own...they should know the routine and you should expect nothing less from them. Sit down and get your work done! I'm here when you need me!
I'm so thankful that this is the road we took, home schooling. I know my boys so well! I love having them around me! They are such wonderful young men! Home schooling has afforded us to take our time with learning, to make sure they learned the skill, or method of solving and that we love each other. We are a family unit.
Now I have left out that there is one other person I helped to homeschool. That would be Kate. Man do I miss her! Kate is my step-daughter, she is a beautiful young woman! Kate would stay with her mom for 2 months then come to stay with us for about 4-5 weeks at a time. If her mom would not have homeschooled her we would not have been able to see Kate. Nor would I have developed a relationship with such a wonderful person! Matter of fact, if it were not for Kate's mom introducing me to homeschooling, I would have never considered it! Wow!
My advice to other families that might be considering homeschooling. Don't think you have to mimic what another family does. If it does not fit you, than move on, make adjustments and make life wonderful for you and your family. Don't let some mom make you feel as if you are doing something wrong because you have let your child read a certain book that she would dare not let her children read. Or watch some tv show that she feels is inappropriate....
Since I've started today's entry on homeschooling I will list my favorite curriculum:
Teaching Textbooks math program, hands down the best....
Science (well we've used them all, lol) apologia and BJU science are my favorites
History (again, I've used just about all of them) I go between abeka and BJU
Grammar (early years) Easy Grammar
Writing program (not handwriting) IEW!! The best!
Literature: use the sonlight catalog!!
Bible: variety of sources, but the Bible is the best!
Spelling: Spelling Workout
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise
Now I tweak all of this to match each child. I would love it if we could do a literature based curriculum such as sonlight or Tapestry of Grace. But my boys are not readers, they are just not. Bummer I know. But this was another area that most home school moms would brag about their kids, "Every homeschool family is suppose to love to read" did not happen with us! LOL
Well I need to end this post, it is very long and I have a party plan today!! Today is our last day for our high school IEW co-op class! This is year number 3 for us! This year I had eleven students..mostly boys, but we have a wonderful group of kids! I love everyone of them!
Till next time.....