Tag Archives: homeschooling mom

A Reason for Homeschooling

We’re going into our third year of homeschooling at our house! Wow. That’s so crazy to think about. I read once that most people give up on homeschooling in the first three years, so that has been my goal – 3 years. Do it three years, and if then it isn’t a fit for our family, we can try something different. Well here we are, entering year 3, and I’m not thinking about quitting anytime soon.

I don’t think I was ever asked my reasoning for choosing to homeschool until this year. Then out of nowhere I was being asked over and over, “Why do you homeschool?”

There are several reasons our family homeschools, but I’d like to share just a few of them with you today. Hopefully I can provide a little encouragement to someone that is on the fence about it or is having a rough day. If you’re 6 weeks in (or 6 days or 6 years), and wondering, “What on earth have I gotten myself into?” take heart. Breathe deep, and remember that His mercies are new each morning. Is it all roses and fingerpainting? Nope. Some days there are tears all around. Some days are exhausting and overflowing with to dos, as there just aren’t enough hours in each day. Some days my husband comes home and I go hide in my room to cry because I’m certain I’ve failed terribly and I need to repent to God and my children.

If you’re on the verge of submitting that intent to homeschool form, but are scared to death, say a prayer, take a deep breath, and go with the Lord’s leading. I always tell new homeschool moms, “Find your why and write it down. Go back and read it as a reminder on the hard days.”

So why do it?

Some days ARE all roses and finger painting – on the front porch, with school books and cups of lemonade scattered around. In winter, some days are books read aloud, all of us curled in a pile in front of our fireplace with little ones on top of me and bigger ones next to me, sketch pads and Lego blocks strewn about. They also get to explore their own interests. Today we’ve had lessons in sewing, and my crew is currently working to plant their own winter garden.

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Family time. My husband’s job is demanding. It’s not uncommon for him to walk in the door, just to turn around and leave again 3 minutes later, or 30 minutes later just as I’m setting plates of food on the table, only for him to return long after the kids are in bed. When he’s off work, we soak it up. When he has a Friday off, we have a family day. There’s no rush to get everyone up and out the door. We can run errands as a family or just hang out at the house. When my husband works on Saturdays, we take that time to work ahead in preparation for the days he is off.

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Relationships. Watching my 6 year old son teach his 3 year old sister how to fold laundry. Or all four big kids having piggy back races through the house. Just this morning Ihad a conversation with my older boys about my number one job being to teach them to love God and love others. If they can recite the entire Declaration of Independence or multiply 5 digit numbers in their heads, it means nothing if they don’t love God or each other.

Because I was called. My number one reason. This is what keeps me going on those hard days. Even when I start to daydream about handing the teaching over to the local school district, I know in my heart I would be disobeying God. That is not His Will for our family. Does that mean we will homeschool forever? I have no idea. God’s plan for our family may look different in several years, or it may look much the same. But for now, this is my calling, my family’s calling, and we are thankful for the opportunity toย  make it happen and the blessings it brings with it.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, homeschooling

100 Books in August (2016)

It’s that time of year again! Boxes are arriving on our porch daily, filled with colorful new books, art supplies, and even several DVDs that I will be using to educate my children this year. (I’ll be sharing all about our curriculum choices in another post.)
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Once again, this year we are kicking off our school year with 100 books in August! This will be our third year for the challenge, and we’re all excited to get started. We have a stack of overdue library books to speed through, (Thank goodness for small town libraries that don’t charge late fees!) and are also enjoying The Long Winter, our current read aloud.

The goal of this challenge is for us to read 100 books in the month of August which will help us get back in the swing of reading together, and if we reach our goal (we always do), we earn a fun family activity! Once again, my kiddos have chosen Chuck E. Cheese as their prize. I may try to convince them to take another option.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a fun way to get us excited about getting back into our school lessons, and it gives the kids motivation to spend those super hot afternoons reading together instead of begging for screentime or whining about being bored. You’re kids do that too, right?

(This article contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them will not change your pricing, but will benefit our family and this blog.)

My 6 year old loves to read, but doesn’t usually want to read aloud, so this challenge is also good motivation for him to practice his reading skills to his siblings. This year we will follow the same rules as last year for my 6 year old’s reading to count toward our goal. Here are a few of our guidelines:

  • If he reads a book, he has to read it aloud to his siblings (because this is 100 books for everyone!), bring it to us, answer a few questions, and then read a bit of it aloud to us, for it to count. If it is listed, he will also be taking a book quiz on BookAdventure.com
  • Our read aloud chapter books will count as 1 book per chapter.
  • Books such as our science textbook for school do not count.
  • While I want to include as many different books as possible, my kids will be choosing the books most of the time, so I know I’ll be reading some books multiple times.

Join in! PRINT YOUR OWN STICKER CHART, decide on a prize for your family, and share your progress andย  book choices on Instagram, Twitter, or Instagram with #100BooksinAugust! I love to see what everyone else is reading!

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just another day in paradise

I’ve seen this at least 50 times, and I love it no less.

My toddler ate all my gum this morning while I cooked breakfast to retaliate for me making her stop digging in the freezer and putting the ice cream back. (I know it was in retaliation because she proudly waltzed into the kitchen with the last half stick in her hand, opened her mouth wide, and said, “I eat all your gum,” with a very devious ‘what are you going to do about it’ grin.)

Then she colored on the walls with my orange highlighter I’ve been missing for a week.

And unrolled all the toilet paper.

I also found a plate of half-eaten food (and a lego man) in our stack of folded blankets tucked under the hall table.

And my husband just called to say he’s working late.

And I texted him this afternoon to say that I dozed off watching a science video with the boys today during our school lessons.

And our oldest has a 1 1/2 hour baseball practice this evening.

Unfortunately the nearest Starbucks is an hour away. Sonic will have to do.

I’m really glad God gave me a good sense of humor and pretty weather today.

And caffeine. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under children, daily adventures, funny, motherhood

“I see you!” {joy and blessings…and fear}

So I’m tip-toeing into the waters of homeschooling. I’m still afraid to completely commit to it. God’s working on me though. ๐Ÿ™‚ God laid it on my heart more than 2 years ago, right about the time The Boy was born. I’ve always said it was an option, but leaned toward the “no” end. After all, I survived public school, and loved it, why shouldn’t my kids? My husband felt differently about it though. Honestly, I don’t have much confidence in myself as a teacher, especially for rambunctious boys! Nor am I excited to hear the negative comments that I know some friends and family will feel the need to express to me. Even as I type that, Deuteronomy 31:6 comes to mind. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I’ve had all kinds of excuses why I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t do it, but God keeps pushing them to the side. I was worried I would be going at it alone. Most of the people I knew who were involved in homeschooling had children much older than mine or had no children at all, but they had grown up in a homeschooling family themselves. In the last few weeks I have found out several families I know are homeschooling, and I had no idea. I also found out that several young moms I know (that also happen to have children the exact same ages as mine) are researching it and considering it. Even two of my own relatives with children the same ages are considering it. One of those, my aunt, lives a little over an hour away, and her little girl is 8 weeks younger than my oldest son.

I began worrying about the cost of curriculum, especially since I was wanting to start a preschool curriculum soon. My aunt told me about ABC Jesus Loves Me. It’s FREE and looks like it is going to be fabulous. We are starting it this week.

I began feeling overwhelmed every time I tried to research anything or look into curriculum. I sent a quick message to another homeschooling mom I know via Facebook, hoping that she might have a minute to send me a couple of links to web sites or book recommendations. She does have 4 kids, so I wasn’t expecting much. She did have time though, and she also sent a longer reply than my original message and invited me over to look at her stuff and share info and ideas with me.

Through each of these little blessings, God has reminded me, “I will provide. It will be a JOY.”

Last week He started working on my insecurities about my teaching abilities. I am very concerned that I won’t be able to teach my children everything they need to know – that I don’t know enough. One morning last week, while the boys were eating their breakfast, I read them the story of Zacchaeus and we talked about the story. I even looked up a video on YouTube of the old song I learned in Sunday School 20 years ago at First Baptist Church of Almyra. The boys weren’t nearly as excited about the song as I was. ๐Ÿ™‚ After breakfast, Lincoln stood up in his chair, told me to go to the couch, and started saying, “I see you! I see you!” He loves to hide, play peek-a-boo, sneak up on people, etc. so I hear that phrase a lot and really didn’t think much of it. He was getting frustrated though. I paid closer attention to what he was saying. He instructed me again on where to go. Then I got it! He wanted to act out the story! I asked him if he was Zacchaeus, and he gave me an excited, “Yeah!” I was shocked. He really had been listening! I gave him a playful, “You come down!” and he scrambled down, grabbed my hand, and pulled me to his house (the kitchen). I was overjoyed. I’m so glad that God allowed him to be excited about that lesson and show me that it can be done – my rambunctious 2 year old can listen, understand, and retain stories and lessons spoken by me. I’m still terrified, uncertain, and feeling overwhelmed and incapable, but that definitely planted a seed of confidence. Maybe this can be done.

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