Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Homeschool Life

   I was not going to homeschool our kids. Not. going. to. happen. Saying something like that is the sure fire way to make it happen, am I right?

   Yep, I homeschool.

   But I never had any intention to. I didn't want to, it sounded like the worst thing in the world to me. Why? I wanted my freedom. Thinking of the days when all the kids would be at school and I would have 8 hours to do whatever I pleased. I could go ride my horse, or take the goats for a hike, or go the grocery store, alone. Wonderful thoughts.

   Then I sent my son to pre-school. No thank you! I hated it. It got to the point towards the end of the year where I would hope Elijah would be sick, not bad sick, just sick enough to stay home.
   Sad, I know...

   I missed him. I had his sisters to hang with, but I missed my Lijah Dude. I wanted him home.
Who wouldn't miss this face?
  At the end of his pre-school year all the talk of kindergarten started. Our school district was going to be implementing Common Core curriculum, blech... They are also an all day kindergarten. Meaning my 5 year old would be away from home from 8-3:30 Monday through Thursday. That's a long time away from home, in the care of people who may or may not have the same values as we do. They also highly encouraged/pushed for kids to be there for breakfast, and didn't want us to pack his lunch. Um, excuse me. You don't think I can properly nourish my child, I have serious doubts on your ability to give him good nutrition.
   Needless to say we started looking into curriculum for homeschooling. There are a TON of options out there. Did we want to go with free stuff you can find online, or pay for books? The options for either are extensive.

   We decided since it was our fist year we should purchase curriculum so we have a better lay-out and organization. My cousin has homeschooled her kids for years so we talked with her about what curriculum to choose and how to stay organized.

   I ordered this Homeschool Planner (affiliate link) from amazon, and we got our curriculum from Timberdoodle. We got the basic kit and added history and science. I'm glad we went this route. It makes it so easy to know what and how to teach Elijah.

Elijah with his stack of books. :)

   The first month or so of homeschool was really hard. We were learning each other as we tried to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. There was more than one day we were both in tears because we struggled so much. But we pressed on, and we learned. There were tears of joy when we finally got that really hard word, and squeals of excitement when math finally "clicked".

   Now, with some basic instruction Elijah can do most of his math and reading on his own. In fact, he does better with his reading if I busy myself around the kitchen instead of hover over his shoulder. I pretend I'm not paying attention and it takes the pressure off and he does amazing. He is starting to really enjoy it, and so am I.

   The best thing is, instead of him being gone from 8-3:30, he's home and school only takes 2 hours on a rough day. If he struggles with something, we can take the extra time he needs to get it. We don't have to rush, we don't have to push hard. He can learn how he learns best. I love that.

   If you don't homeschool, that's great that works out for you, and if you do, that's great that that works out for you. With our kids, we need to do what works out best for our own family's.

  Here is a little Tim Hawkins homeschool humor for you. Enjoy :)

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