Monday, September 16, 2013

Homeschooling

This week my family and I began a new adventure and it’s something I never thought I would do in a million years. We officially became a homeschool family.
When I first began talking about homeschooling, not just to my husband and kids but to extended family and friends, I learned very quickly it can trigger very strong emotions in people. Either they are very supportive or very negative, but I find it very hard to find someone in between. I had to learn to handle the negative comments with grace and soak in the positive comments straight to my soul. I have yet to find one homeschool family that I have talked to that regrets doing it and that tells me a lot. The bottom line is that I have to do what I think is right for my children. It may not be what is right for someone else’s child and I, maybe more than most, am the first to say that not everyone should homeschool.
Since this is a brand new adventure for me, I am going to try as hard as I can to blog once a week about what it’s like to be brand new homeschoolers and some of the things I learn along the way. Maybe you’re someone who has always wanted to know more about homeschool, maybe you’re someone who has really thought about starting homeschool but doesn’t have a clue as to where to begin, or maybe you’re just curious and you’re hoping to see me go down in a blaze of glory.  …Hey, I’m not saying that it won’t happen. No matter what your motives are, I hope to shine some light on the subject of homeschool and I hope to help a few people along the way.
I think I’ll start with a few things I learned about homeschool so far:
1.   There are 325465432165432.5 different homeschool curriculums out there. Really. I counted. It can be mind boggling to say the least. I figured out very quickly that I am a person who needs a definite teaching guide and a stricter program to follow. Some people come up with their own teaching guides and pull curriculum from several sources to come up with their own mix. ….that is NOT me. The point is that you have to kind of jump right in and start swimming in order to figure it out. Because I am a control freak, and after reading until my eyes crossed, I decided to join an independent study program through www.K12.com . It’s basically like a teacher walks up to you and hands you everything you need to start teaching right this minute. It works for me because I don’t really have the time to look around for different curriculums and make sure they meet standards and all that jazz. Like I said, it’s not for everyone, but it works for me.
2.   My Son needs breaks. He starts vibrating like a cell phone if he has to sit still longer than about 15 to 20 minutes. I figured out that if I take him outside and we read on the porch swing or we practice spelling words in the grass that his focus improves. It’s awesome now, but I’ll definitely have to get creative in the winter.
3. I generally get a whole day of school done in about 3 hours. It’s amazing.
4. I start seeing the learning potential in every single thing we do as a family. I go to the grocery store and we’re talking about prices and money, we go to the park and we’re talking about trees or seasons, and we are driving in the car talking about… well… everything. Seriously.  What I like about this is that it takes learning into every aspect of life, not just in our little homeschool classroom.
5. Peace.
Ahhh… there is some sort of peacefulness that has come over our house from the moment we have begun. I’m not sure why or how, but the “stressed-out pinch” behind our eyes has faded and we can just take a deep breath and work at our own pace. I love it.
So, I hope to have a lot more to tell you in the next few weeks ahead. I imagine there will be struggles, but there will also be moments of great joy. Either way I’ll try to share them with you!
Happy Monday.
love,
Val
p.s. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask or contact me!

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