Posted in homeschool, Mommy Stories

Chapter 1- I’m just as stubborn as you and I’m not giving up!

I am 100% sure that by the time Noah is graduated I will be able to write a book on homeschooling your stubborn, argumentative, strong willed, and wonderful child! The good days are so good and the bad days are so bad but some days start good and end bad and vice versa. If anything this is teaching me extreme patience and how to let up on needing to be in control of every aspect of our school time. Here is some encouragement to you homeschool mommas…….don’t give up on that stubborn, strong willed child!!! God called you to this and He will see you through. Take a step back and look at how far you have come with your child and how much he/she has learned. What I have learned in our 2nd grade year this far………

1. I can not change anything that I may or may not have done wrong up to this point so quit thinking about it, dwelling on it, worrying or letting anyone else put those doubts in your mind. One day at a time, one subject at a time, and just keep.moving forward. The public school system has failed many children…..there is no way you are doing that badly. (That was supposed to be funny:)

2. Before I start our “school time” or what I like to call it now “learning time” I make sure he (my strong willed, stubborn, hates changes to schedules and will vent about such changes for a fair amount of time….child:) has done those few things he likes to do in the morning. This usually means eating something, listening to his favorite song, maybe even giving him a set amount of time to play in his room. However I have stuck to my guns that there is no “TV time” or “gaming” until all learning is done for the day. easypeasyallinonehomeschool.com has been a tremendous help this year. He can see what subjects have to be done for the day and can navigate the website easily.

3. This is OUR year! Emphasis on OUR because it’s nobody else’s! That’s right! I will not freak out because my 2 year old daycare child knows her alphabet better than my preschooler. I will not feel defeated because other 2nd graders are reading on a higher level than mine and in turn I will not make him feel defeated! We have all the tools we need to be successful and it’s OK if the way we do it doesn’t look like anyone elses.

4. If this was the easiest way to parent and educate your children then everyone would be doing it! That’s right…remember that mom or dad when your independent, smart, and a bit conniving child is in the throes of a major fit because he hates reading (poems, a certains story about a puppy, song lyrics, Bible verse) whatever he is supposed to be reading that day. The smarter the strong willed child the more ways they will use to make you feel like this will never work when in fact their main goal is to get you to give up for the day so they can go back to playing! No they wouldn’t do this with a teacher in a school setting…….WHY?…..the same reason they act better for others than they do for you. They are kids and they know what they can get away with and with whom. Don’t let them get in your head. A simple….”this is what we have to do today and when you are ready to do this and do it with the right attitude you let me know.”……has worked well for me this year. I step away from the area we are learning at and let him call me back when he is ready. I am steady seeing less of these moments this year and when we do have them they are short lived.

4. It will not be like Mary Poppins and I don’t not recommend a spoon full of sugar! Don’t belive the hype……or all those blogs you read that don’t speak of the negatives or hard times of homeschooling. You WILL have moments when you want to curl up in the fetal position and hide under the table and there will be moments when you feel like the best teacher in the world AND there will be moments when your child grasps a concept and you both celebrate. None of these moments would be experienced the way they are if your child was in “school”.  Search out those blogs or groups with “real” people that aren’t afraid to share all the moments….not just the glossy, pretty ones.

5.I no longer feel like a failure if we skip a day or don’t finish. Another reason I love easypeasyallinonehomeschool.com! I am one who loves to make a strict schedule and then beat myself up when I don’t follow it. This curriculum has Day 1-Day (whatever the end day is:). In the past I have written out Monday – Friday schedule and then when the inevitable happens I have to reschedule. The beauty of homeschooling is that it doesn’t matter!!! It really doesn’t…..catch up on the weekends……..keep a list of things you skipped over and incorporate them into your summer learning….or in our case we skipped over a couple of chapters in our pilgrim story so we are watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Guess what? It is telling the exact same story but he is much more attentive to this than if I am reading it to him.

So in short I just want to say you are doing great and don’t give up! That strong willed child inherited that stubbornness from somewhere…..right?!?! Dig your heels in momma(or daddy) and don’t give up!!! The holidays are right around the corner so plan a little break in your learning or let them pick some topics to learn about over Thanksgiving and  Christmas break. Bake cookies and pumpkin pie and let them lick the bowl!!

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Posted in #christian, homeschool, Mommy Stories

Top 10 reasons why I love homeschooling my children

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My boys are still young 7 and 4 so while I feel I am still very much an amateur at this homeschooling life there are still so many reasons why I love it and how I know it is going to work for us all the way through. When people ask if I will be homeschooling the “whole” time I always wonder a bit where this question comes from. Am I all of a sudden going to not want to be with my children? In a moment decide I am not capable or do they think at a certain age my children are going to beg to be woken up at the crack of dawn to be ushered to a bus stop and then sent to a building where they have to spend 8 hours before they can come home and resume their own interests? I usually reply with something like, ” well we will see how it goes” or “for now that is the plan”. Maybe sounds a little wishywashy to you but since God led me to homeschool and indeed answered my pray with a very real “YES”, if in turn down the road He tells me to throw in the towel then I would absolutely do just that. So here are my top 10 reason why I homeschool, why I am 100% sold on it and why I know it’s best for our family.

#1-I run a daycare out of my home. Some days this makes the doing school work a bit harder but most of the time it just works. Our days don’t look like a regular “what you would see down the street at the school” day. We get done what we can during the day and use our evenings as well. Our emphasis is on learning to read. I feel once they grasp that the skies the limit and all knowledge is at their finger tips.

Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. —Tomie dePaola

Which then brings me to the 2nd reason…

 

#2-My children are learning Life Skills. Lately I have made the goal that my kids will be self sufficient by the time they are in the double digits…..around 10 years of age.  What do I mean by that? In my mind they should be able to do their own laundry (mainly folding and putting away properly) but I have no doubt they can also learn to separate it and use the washer and dryer. (not that I will make them do this or be able to give up control of the laundry entirely:) I watch my 7 year old navigate through an app on the tablet or play video games, build lego creations so  sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, etc should be a piece of cake.  They should be able to make small meals for themselves. Both of my boys love helping especially when it comes to cooking and admittedly I don’t ask them to help enough. Am I going to put them in charge of the house? Goodness No! However I have seen them light up when they feel they have contributed to the family and the household in this way. I love taking care of my family but all of us that run a household know the more help the better.  Having my boys home during the day gives us time to teach and learn these skills. I mean let’s admit it right here….kids aren’t learning to fold laundry, make beds, or even make a grocery budget at  a traditional school. My other secret prayer is that when they find that special girl someday and get married they will already know the work it takes to keep a home and raise children so they will never undermine it and will be more likely to jump in and help without being asked because they already do! So to your future wives….”your welcome and don’t you dare let them tell you they don’t know how!” 😉

#3-They are learning how to care for and teach each other and the younger kids. This is another plus of having other kids in the home of different ages. It isn’t all sunshine and roses because there will always be personalities that clash. Like two “little big dogs” under the same roof. I have watched both of the boys grow in this area. They try their best to be gentle with the toddlers and they love it when we have a little baby in the house. They want to teach them the do’s and the don’ts. They want to make it better when a baby is crying or a toddler is upset. They know that this is what mom does for a “job” but we treat the children and parents like family and that is what the boys call it…”our daycare family”. They are sad when a child moves on from our home but also excited when we have someone new join us.

#4-I know where my kids are and what is influencing them. OK Call me a helicopter parent or a smothering mother or whatever negative phrase makes you feel better. Guess what? I don’t care…why? because for all of history, before there was such a thing as government run schools, kids were either in the home working and learning from their parents or in a one room school house, with all different ages, learning together. Of course I let them out of my sight  and I am not hovering over them 24/7 and of course they have activities outside of the home….which includes…..gasp….other kids their age! So as they grow up they will flee the nest to pursue their interests and I will have to let go but there is no evidence that suggests children need to be away from the home or parents at a certain age or a specific amount of time to thrive and grow into well adjusted and happy young adults. I don’t have to wonder if they are getting the attention they need, falling behind, or bored because they are ahead of the rest of the class. I don’t have to worry about bullies. This goes both ways. I don’t want to be on either side of that call from the school.

#5-Absolute flexibility and control of our schedule.- YES I love having the illusion that I am in control of my days. When are you starting school this year? Oh sometime in August….or September was an answer I recently gave. Can we take that little trip in the fall? YES! Can we take a day to go to the pool or can we have late nights without affecting school the next day? YES ……this probably should have been the #1 reason because it doesn’t just sound awesome….it is. Much like when you become your own boss, you just don’t have anyone telling you what you HAVE to do. I also live in a great homeschooling state so I truly don’t have to answer to anyone. The rebel in me just smiles:)

#6-Stress free mornings:) Ok that is a lie but now that the boys are sleeping in later it really is great to let them have their rest and not have to rush around.

#7-The world really is a classroom. Kids learn from doing. All those  worksheets, lectures, apps, and videos are great but ask your child what their favorite thing is that they have done this summer. My oldest would say “when daddy and I took apart that cabinet in the garage!” to which he would add, “I got to wear safety goggles because you know….safety first!” My youngest might say something totally off the wall or made up (he is at that stage) or he may something like “when we went to the campground and swam.”  There is a reason kids long for summertime and a reason they dread going back to school. Summer means exploring, hands on play, running, swimming, and being with the people they love most….their parents! It’s what sticks in their minds. So wouldn’t it go without saying if you can teach in this kind of environment the information they learn would stay with them all the better?

#8-I am learning or re-learning right along with them. This really doesn’t need explanation but it is neat to learn together.

#9-It really does bring the family closer. My husband works outside of the home so he doesn’t get to see a lot of the teaching that goes on. The other night he heard Noah reading to me in the bedroom and afterward said how cool that was to hear. I think he forgets just how much he teaches the boys in their day to day interactions. He is their teacher too. We are a team.

#10-God will never be kicked out of this school! This year I am committed to include prayer and Bible study into our daily routine. Let me just add this as well……. because my kids do not attend a public school  I will not have to explain to my boys why a “girl” is using the boys bathroom or vice versa or why so and so has 2 mommies or 2 daddies nor do I have to worry about them learning a liberal version of sex education at way to young of an age. Yes I know these things will come up and No I will not teach them to hate someone who is different but I absolutely will teach them what God’s Word says about male and female relationships and that we need to treat others the way we want to be treated.

This is not to bring down parents who send their kids to school. These are just the reasons I am loving this homeschool choice so much. It seems that our society today has made it next to impossible for families to survive on one income but let me just say that if you feel led to teach your own children and to teach them your way it is definitely doable and your homeschool does not have to look like a traditional school at all.  Make it your own. As long as your kids are learning, happy, and healthy what could be better. If you put God at the forefront of this adventure everything will work out just fine.

                   Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

                                                 6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
                                        And when he is old he will not depart from it.