Monday, September 23, 2013

Homeschooling Week 1

Well, it’s been a full week and we’ve all survived Homeschooling. So here is my pros list so far:

1. So much less stress! – I find that many times in my life I am looking for ways to slow it down, to stop and smell the roses so to speak and this is definitely opened up a lot more time to do that. We can work at our own pace at our own times so there is no hurrying and rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off. I find I am nagging a lot less at Benjamin to hurry up and just enjoying him more as a fun filled little boy and not stressing him out by constantly rushing around.

2. I know what my child is learning. – I always felt a little bit in the dark when it came to school. You’d go in for an open house or a parent/teacher conference and you’d see all this work your child has done that you knew nothing about. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t feel the need to know every single little thing that was going on, but homeschool has changed all that.

3. Science, Social Studies, & History – I am able to spend more time on these three subjects than most public schools are allowed and capable of spending. Why? – What the public school system teaches is determined by the state and national levels. They have to meet a certain standard to get funding so therefore they have to teach what they are told to teach..and this year they are even told how to teach it in some aspects. I, on the other hand, do not have anyone to answer to except the school program I joined. My son really excels in Math and Reading so that opens up some time to spend on the other subjects every single day instead of only once a week or twice a month. These 3 subjects happen to be what he loves the most so therefore he is really loving homeschool.

4. Attitude is everything. – My son’s disposition was taking a plummet this year. Everyday when I would pick him up from school, he would be very nasty, hateful and mean. He would back talk at an alarming frequency and all I could think is, “what is this kid going to be like as a teenager?” Once again I am blaming stress. I think the kid was truly stressed out by school. …For the last seven days he is a completely different kid. His demeanor has changed, he’s sweet and loving again and way more respectful toward me. This tells me that perhaps we made the right choice for us. Only time will tell!


So now I’ll tell you the things that aren’t so hot about homeschool. Yep, that’s right, nothing’s perfect, sadly. I am not saying these are necessarily “cons” because they obviously haven’t made me change my mind, but perhaps they would be for you and I am here to provide you with information whether it be good or bad.

1. You are with your kids ALL the time. – Oh yeah, as much as I love him, by 6:00 pm my son’s voice starts to sound like Elmo on Speed. I often find that Dad has to take over in the evenings to give me a little break from the joys of being a Mother/Teacher otherwise he might see an alarming rise in the wine budget. The choice is his.

2. I have noticed my younger son acting out a little more. – I blame this on two things really. One is that he started preschool (I do not homeschool him yet) and for a toddler, whenever there is a big change like that, sometimes it manifests in behavior difficulties. Two, he gets really jealous of the time I devote to Ben when I am teaching so he does things to get my attention, and it’s not singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. It’s things like taking the cushions off the chairs and stacking cardboard boxes on top and then climbing to the tallest point in the living room and plummeting down into the boxes to “crash” like an airplane. I’m thinking bubble wrap and duct tape might solve this problem.

3. Not getting things done when I want. – It’s like being the Mother of a newborn without the sleep deprivation. Sometimes the laundry sits for a couple hours before I can fold it. Sometimes the dishwasher doesn’t get emptied until we are ready to fill it again. That stuff just happens. Just when I plan on an assignment being really simple for my son and thinking he can handle it on his own so I go start something, I am proven wrong and find myself glued to his side. It’s a small price to pay really, but I have had to REALLY dedicate my down time to getting simple tasks done and doing them quickly.

So there you have it. Our first week in a nutshell. I can without a doubt tell you it has truly been a joy and perhaps I’m even a little surprise that I have enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. Our bonds as a family have strengthened and what more could I ask for?

One other thing we did this week was go to a Revolutionary War Reenactment on Sunday after Church service. Now that I am responsible for Ben’s education, I find that I am constantly looking for things like this to take him to. This did not disappoint and I recommend going to something like this if you ever get the chance. The information these re-enactors bestow upon you is better than any history book you could ever read. These guys (& gals) really know their stuff.


This is a picture of the whole encampment. You walk along and each tent has someone(s) in it to talk about their job during the battles.


Here is a picture of Ben getting pretty grossed out by a doctor talking about what he does when a soldier is wounded. All I can say is EEEK!


This was a man talking about the Boston Tea Party. He pulled out what I was hoping was a huge Hershey Bar but I was sadly mistaken. That is actually a replica of the bricks of tea that were thrown into the harbor when the ship was raided the night of the Tea Party. I had no idea that the tea was shipped in bricks from England to the Colonies.

…I still wish it was a Hershey Bar though.


Did you know this is the flag that was flown during all the Northwest Territory Battles? Yep, I was amazed too. They commissioned a woman to make red and white striped flags for the whole NWT and she said she could only make red and green. So they said that was fine and flew this flag at all the encampments and during battles. It makes me feel like singing a Christmas carol.


This is a women’s fashion show from the Revolutionary War era.


One of the models decided that she made a bad career choice and made a break for it.


They managed to catch her and finish the fashion show so all was right with the world.


The county park authority had a lot of local craftspeople demonstrating how to make things from back in the 1700’s. Above is a woman who is a world champion quilter. …….Actually, I don’t know that for sure, but her stuff was amazing!


Here are some ladies demonstrating yarn making and weaving.


We even got to make our own candles. You got a wick and stood in a circle and walked around while everyone took turns dipping their wick in the hot wax. The boys found this fascinating.


This picture was taken on the 3876th pass around the wax.

This kept them busy so long that I am seriously considering getting my own candle making kit.


Here is some pretty silver jewelry replicas from the war era. These were used to trade to the Indians for pelts and supplies.

Fun fact: The Indians thought the crosses looked like dragonflies which were thought to be sacred. A lot of the Indians would wear them and the clergymen would take credit for converting them to Christianity even though they really hadn’t.


A Tomahawk throwing demonstration was the only thing that took the boys away from the candles. It was too enthralling to pass up. ….Sharp weapons being thrown at wood. What more could a boy ask for?

potato walk

Finally the kids all got to play games. Above is the potato walk race.

egg toss

This is a picture of the egg toss champion. It’s a good thing because he doesn’t take losing well. Failure is not an option at four years old and definitely not when there is a pumpkin on the line as the prize.


As you can tell we had a wonderful time visiting the Revolutionary War Reenactment. It’s a wonderful way to take learning out of the classroom and do something fun!

Happy Monday.




  1. Val. I am so glad u shared this! Ur midday are getting the best education they can get and that is from thier parents. That is so biblical! There is so much you can do with education besides with text books. Exploring is the best for us! Field trips are wonderful. You are right, we have no one telling you what you can and can not do. That ia the best! As far as u getting ur chores done. Hey, it's your house! U can work as u plz. Spending time w those kiddos is more vaulabe. Let the clothes just sit. They will get folded! I am so proud of your family taken this step! You are/will be Blessed! I will.continue to pray for you as you are in a new season! God Bless!

  2. Thanks for all the support Amanda! Your comments are very much appreciated!