Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Homeschooling Epiphany!

Homeschooling was really never a dream of mine. I grew up going to a public school every single day, had breaks like the kids do today, so did Jim. When our first child was born I thought of all the amazing momma moments of taking her to daycare, preschool, her first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school, etc. I never really thought of homeschooling nor knew much about it. I had met a girl once who was homeschooled and her mom scared me to death, we couldnt really be friends because she was never allowed to do anything. I knew I didnt want my children to have a life like that. When Gaby was 4 we tried a daycare in our area to better her for kindergarten the following year, that settled ok for me, but her dad had a different point of view. He didnt like that each day when asked what she learned she couldnt tell us, she would say she played but nothing about her actual learning. When the teachers were asked what did they do all day, we got very vague answers, so about 3 weeks later we pulled her from the program and I started our own little preschool at home. She went with me to pick out her workbooks and some learning materials, I made it very fun for her. We would do about 45 minutes a day of actual structured learning and we read tons of books. Soon after we ended up making a move across the country for Jim's College. The following fall we started full on homeschooling using what I had researched I decided to use Heart of Dakota for kindergarten. I thought it was laid out well, came with everything we needed, and looked like a ton of fun for my girl. She enjoyed it, we had a wonderful year, her 1st grade year was the same. However this past year was her 2nd grade year, she didnt much care for the program, she has had a bit of a bump when it came to math, she wasnt interested in the science nor the history of the program, and the book selection wasnt really her thing. This past year was really a struggle for us. Andrew enjoyed the kindergarten program from Heart of Dakota but he became bored too. And to make matters worse I became bored with the program too. 

I have homeschooled for 3 years. Each year I look at what other moms are doing, what programs they use, what materials they use per said children, and I even get all excited about other programs that I have never heard of using. I oogle over so many new items, so many too expensive items, I want to be just like other moms who homeschool. But what I have realized is that I want to live up to their standards, not my own, nor my kids. That became my goal, to try to be like every other homeschool mom. That is the wrong goal. 

Last night I was praying about putting the kids in public school next year, asking God what was best for them, what was best for me, and what was best for our family. I felt His loving arms surround me and say "Dear Daughter of mine, you have got to stop caring what others think, you have to put your children first and let me guide you within your homeschooling". I wanted to ball. I knew I had been selfish, and I had damaged my childrens love of learning because of that. Too many days we have had dealing with arguments upon math or reading, or history, or just pure boredom. We have no excitement in our learning. We spend to much time comparing ourselves to others. 

I came across a new site last night while I wondering the internet, its called Living Well Spending Less, Ruth the author of this site had written a very amazing post in Jan. about her homeschooling journey, and I have to say that the post was a big wake up call for me. The post is called : And Then I Realized I Was Doing It All Wrong {Lessons In Homeschooling}...I got so much from her post, it helped me to see that I am comparing myself and our learning to others. I am so consumed with what I want others to see or what others are doing that I am not focusing on my own self or my children the way I should be. I need balance, the kids need balance, we need time to grow and learn our own way, not the ways of others. I have to understand my children are not your children, they each have their own differences, abilities, interests, and talents. I cannot and will not compare them anymore to each other nor other children. I dont want my children to have a cookie cutter education. I want them to explore the world, have real life examples, read real books, and most of all really know God. They will not get that at a public school. 

I have finally grasped this, and next year I have chosen to use Sonlight for our children. I believe its a wholesome curricula, that comes laid out completely for me. I have read so many other blogs and gotten so much insight on this program. It looks amazing. Its fairly priced, and I think my children will really love it. It takes so much stress off me because I dont have to plan anything and each weekend I can look at whats coming up and know that Gaby needs X or Andrew needs X. I have decided to go with the 3rd, 1st, and P4/5 Cores for them...The only exception I am going to make and buy extra of is science because all of my guys love it, they love nature and I am going to nurture that completely. 

I want to give my children the best out of life and education. I want them to look back and love the childhood they have had and know that without a doubt their parents loved them. I dont want them to be afraid do share God's love with anyone and to be completely open to walking the road God lays before them. For that I am giving myself an award. Its been a hard year, but I am really looking forward to our next journey this coming year. Many Blessings!

Disclaimer: All photographs on this blog are that of my own unless otherwise stated; photographs that are not mine will be linked to the source I got them from. Please do not take any of my photographs without my written permission. Thank you!

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