Sunday, August 17, 2008

On your mark get set go!

Well I figured I needed to document our homeschooling career, sooo here we go!... OK maybe I should tell you a little about myself first. I'm a mom of five amazing kids, unless you include the hubby then that makes me a mom of 6! : ) The kiddos' ages range from 2 to 9. I've been blessed with an amazing husband who has always understood and supported me in my desire to stay at home with our children. I thank Heavenly Father for that decision we made very early in our marriage. We are LDS and our beliefs mean alot to us. As LDS we believe that families are very important. So I felt that it was my responsibility to take care of my children instead of trusting my little ones to some one else. There is no judgement here! I was raised by a single mother, so I know that we all have to do what we have to do. And that know matter what choices we make in life we all make sacrifices. Trust me we have made plenty of sacrifies in our family, mostly material things. My kids are often found sporting handmedowns and out grown hair styles lol, and we don't have brand new furniture or cars, and I couldn't tell you the last time dh and I had a weekend alone. But... I was there when each of my babies smiled for the first time, for the first words they spoke, for the first steps they took, and countless other beautiful moments I've been blessed to witness. And when they got "old enough" I, like most loving parents, sent my oldest two children to PreK and then on to public school. That's what your suppose to do...Right?

"So why (you may ask) would I or any sane person want to Home School their kids?!" Well every family is different and all of them have different answers to this question. But for us there were many reasons.
-I guess my first reason would be because the Spirit had been warning (or preparing me depending on your point of view)this was coming for a couple of years before it became an absolute necessity.
-Then there is the fact that the schools have become obsessed with teaching to the test instead of the individual and that everything is timed whether you know the material or not. My kids did not respond to this kind of pressure, very well.
-Also the homework lasted past 10pm most nights. He was only in 3rd grade!
- And then there was my son's well being. He stopped smiling and laughing. This was unacceptable! My children's happiness is very important to me!

So I prayed and the Spirit confirmed that Homeschooling was the right thing to do for my family.

Let me tell you, a lot of self doubt followed. But I was excited at the same time. Then when I began to research HSing on the internet I begin to get very very overwhelmed!!! There is so much info out there. What kind of homeschooler was I going to be? Classical, Unschooler, or do I just use a curric from a box? Who do I get the curriculum from? There are so many different companies. And man are they expensive! I liked Charlotte Mason's way of doing things. I love her nature studies and copy work ideas. I liked the classical approach as well. Living books are definitely a wonderful way to learn. But I also wanted to do some child lead learning. And the everything in a box was appealing, just because I'm lazy. Too many choices!!! Especially for someone who has a hard time making any kind of decision. I'm very wishy washy. Where do I start, there is so much I want to do.

It wasn't until I prayed again(Hum... is there a pattern here? Maybe if I pray in the beginning...maybe I'd "get it" without all the frustration...nah that would be too easy) for direction that the idea came to me like a thunder bolt START FROM THE BEGINNING! The Creation... of course!!! So that gave me the direction I needed and I was able to begin gathering books and materials together. It was a wonderful feeling to be doing something productive. By the way I've decided that I'm a eclectic kind of gal : ) So I pulled resources from all over, and I feel good about the choices I've made. I took the whole summer to gather everything.

And in a nut shell, that is why we started to HS. Really it hasn't been that big of a leap for me. Homeschooling has fit pretty naturally into our lives so far.
Now that you're up to speed it is time to see if this plan is actually going to work in action.

HERE is a rough outline of what we will be studying this year:
Of course we will be doing daily scripture study. OK let's be honest, we will try to do it daily. (Is that better for those who know me)
For math I choose MIQUON math.
We are starting with the preexistence and then working our way through creation and history.
And we will be using Story of the World for history.
For creation science we are using the Apologia series. Astronomy is what we will study this year.
To kind of round things off we'll be using HomeSchoolShare for unit studies and lapbooks.
We've already been reading quite a few books. I'll give a list and a review later.
And of course we will be taking advantage of any field trips and clubs we can find that interest my kiddos.
The library has become an inexhaustible resource! Thank you Ben Franklin!!!

Just an update: Since we've taken our son out of public school he's been happier than we've seen him in along time!!! He smiles and laughs all the time now! It's like he's come alive again. This alone has made it worth it to me. I know that this is not the answer for every family, but I know without a doubt that it was for our's! I feel so blessed to see the difference it has made in my son and in my home. I will keep y'all posted on what adventures we embark on next! Love, Haben


Wendy said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and found it really interesting. Being LDS and a public school teacher I see both points of view. I totally agree that parents have divine right to teach and bring up their children. Good luck to you in your new adventure.

Angela said...

Hi, First off let me say I think what you are doing is great. I think that it is people like you that make the world a better place to live in. I just wish there was more of them out there.

I teach a sunday school class I think this would be great, I also have 3 children at home that are wonderful. Any tool out there to help in our teachings would be greatly appreciated.

Good luck to everyone out there, whether they win or not, I think we are all winners in God's Eyes.

God Bless Everyone