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Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Homeschool Journey

So many times people ask when I began homeschooling my children. I know they mean "formally with academics". 

When my children were little they leaned to crawl, talk, walk, use the potty, dress themselves, make their beds, clean up after themselves, tie their shoes, etc. So learning was just a natural part of life.

I helped them as they learned the alphabet, learned to sound out words, and read at home.
We began our official "homeschooling adventure" when my son was 4 years old in Pre-K. I actually got a preschool curriculum from a friend and used it. (It was from Weaver called Interlock.)

So the next year when it came time to enroll him in Kindergarten, I decided to begin homeschooling. I really just took it year by year.  I had the heart to do it, and really felt that for my children it would be great. I really sort of took it year by year. I had many things cross my mind, can I teach him everything he needs to know? Will I ruin my kid forever?  Will he be able to interact with others? Will he be too sheltered?  All those common things that people seem to assume about homeschooling.

Fast forward....9 years later and my son will begin his Freshman year of high school this year. This was another time that I really stepped back, prayed and my husband and I talked again about the direction we should go. Should we continue this course, or choose another. My son, was the biggest factor-he wants to continue to homeschool.

There are many reasons different people choose to homeschool Not everyone chooses to homeschool for the same reasons. Some are religious, some are because of the schools being more dangerous, bullying, some are flexibility, and others choose to do so because it opens up many opportunities to unconventionally teach your children. It gives you freedom to try different materials and approaches and see what works best for each childs' learning style.

We have tried curriculum materials, some we loved, and others we set aside, since they didn't work so well for us. Learning is a lifestyle, not something we do just during set school hours. We have learned unconventionally, we have studied out in nature and been able to go on many great field trips. Most of the time I learn new things right along with the kids. Learning never ceases. In fact I must admit my love for history wasn't even ignited until I began homeschooling. I discovered a literature approach to history which made all the difference for me. I grew up reading history from a traditional boring textbook, but now we get to travel along with characters of the past in amazing books and adventures. The kids and I have had many opportunities that we would have never had if they had been enrolled in traditional school. Especially opportunities to share together in this amazing journey.

The kids and I taking a walk at 10 AM on a traditional school day.
So glad we get to spend this time together and not segregated.  

Now, even though I am pro-homeschooling, it doesn't mean I am against traditional (public or private) schools. I am for allowing parents to make that decision for themselves.  They can decide what they feel is the best way to educate their child. I believe parental involvement is very important no matter how one chooses to educate their child. I can tell you that I want my town to have the very best educational opportunities for everyone. I believe having more choices is better, than fewer.