Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'll Take Those Culottes, And Could You Throw In a Denim Jumper Too?

I'm not going to start this post with some catchy intro.  I'm just going to throw it out there:  We're homeschooling...and yes, I'm crazy. My brain hurts from all of the research on curriculum, I'm tossing around names like Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick, and I'm pretty positive I left all sensibilities behind somewhere.  If you find them, I'll give you my mailing address.  Thanks.

I can tell you, that I honestly never thought I would choose to homeschool.  As a matter of fact, several close friends are homeschooling their children, and when the question was posed if I would be homeschooling, I laughed hysterically and after catching my breath exclaimed, "No way!"  Not because I was against it, but because I felt I was not my child's best teacher.  "Leave it to the pros," was my motto.

I didn't even make the full commitment until a couple of weeks ago, and it took our local school's principal calling to get my decision for the coming school year for me to be able to say out loud (with a slight hesitating stutter) "Hello Mr. H...I-am-homeschooling."
So, why the heck have I taken the plunge?  Well, I can tell you it has nothing to do with my view on public schools (our neighborhood school is awesome), or the fear that another kindergartner will try to sell something illegal to my son.  I can also tell you my goal isn't to shield the little Mr. from the world...I mean, come on.  I think he has a proven track record of running the world amok with his own two hands.  I also in no way feel that our teachers are not either doing their job, or doing it properly.  They have a huge responsibility, and I commend them for getting up each day and giving their all.

Our reasons are pretty simple.  We want to have the opportunity to prepare our little ones with an education that teaches them to view the world through a Biblical lens.  We feel that homeschooling gives our family that opportunity.  Plus, I look good in culottes and denim jumpers... kidding...just seeing if you're still reading.

I have found so many resources readily available online (you can homeschool without the purchase of expensive curriculum if you'd like), and the support and encouragement from friends and family has been overwhelming.  Honestly, I never thought I would be so excited to teach.  I'm compiling our materials and curriculum (I'm piecing ours together rather than going with one company), and have begun to make our 'classroom' feel a bit more 'homey':

Instead of getting online and purchasing curriculum right away, I've taken the last few weeks to evaluate where my kiddos are academically and how they learn best, then work from there.  I've found lots of great websites that provide free worksheets and ideas on unit studies, and I've shopped the dollar bins at Target and Dollar Tree for flash cards, workbooks, play money, various charts etc.  I've also utilized some really wonderful learning sheets that seasoned friends have put together for their own children.  It's amazing how everyone in the homeschooling community freely shares with one another...I have yet to meet a parent who keeps all of their ideas under lock and key, and for that I am grateful!  

I'm learning homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive to be effective. More than anything, I've learned, that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to homeschool your children.  It looks different for every family, and I love that we can do something fun like using the little Mr.'s cars as math manipulatives, or anything else in our home to get our kiddos excited about learning.

So, in the coming weeks, I hope to blog about our progress and give you a list of links and tips on what we've learned along the way.  Homeschooling will not be the main focus of this blog, but since it's a new member of the family, you'll probably hear about it from time to time.  What do you think?  Is that something you are interested in reading about?  

Also, I want to encourage you to share in the comment section what you are learning, tips, or resources that have been a key to success for your family!  You don't have to be a homeschooling mom to share...because as parents, we teach our children everyday!


Heather said...

Love this! I think you'll do great and enjoy it too. It really is fun to see them so excited about learning, isn't it? :)

Jennifer Handsaker said...

Love it! You're going to be great!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Wow! That is HUGE!! I am sure you will do a fantastic job. I can't imagine doing it myself, but I'm a huge proponent of each family doing what's best for THEIR FAMILY.

And for the record, when I briefly taught, I joked about being excited to wear "teacher clothes." But I'll tell you a secret...I wasn't really joking. I wish I could've gotten away with a comfy denim jumper! Haha! :)

Kristy @ Fried Kristy said...

Welcome to the club, lady! ;) I'm excited about the whole process and am excited so many people we know are doing the same - makes for lots of friends to bounce ideas off of! :)

Anonymous said... & I are really excited to hear how the kids do being homeschooled. We totally have faith in your abilities to teach them and know they are really going to enjoy this experience. Love You, Mom