Homeschooling

We’re a homeschooling family with two daughters: 15 and 10.  The 15-year old is doing mostly 9th grade work; the 10-year old, 5th grade. We’ve been schooling them for their whole career and plan to continue through high school. I am a product of public education and that method of teaching is the only method I know. So going against that grain and realizing we’re going to be ok is sometimes tough. I constantly attempt to embrace our hectic, busy, on-the-road lifestyle and tailor our homeschool to fit that. I still rely far too heavily on workbooks. Trying to change that!

The best thing to do, no matter what style or method of homeschooling you choose is to teach the way your child learns (a good book for this is In Their Own Way by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.). I work well getting things done quickly and moving on. My thought is that if I get it done I can move on to things I’d rather be doing. That’s not the philosophy nor the attitude I should be bringing to the table everyday. Is it a wonder why the girls aren’t enjoying school as much as they could?

The girls like to play and experience things, like most kids, I’m sure. The worksheet, “get it done” method just doesn’t give them the love of learning that I should be fostering in them right now. Teaching The Trivium by the Bluedorns has several good points, especially for our younger daughter. I’m being reminded that education for someone as young as seven should be fun while still meaningful. Is it necessary for her to do twelve addition problems, twelve subtraction problems and other sundry math problems each day? Is it necessary for her to be learning what the difference is between igneous and sedimentary rocks when she’s just going to forget that and have to relearn it in a couple of years?

NO! I’m continually reminding myself that our homeschooling needs to be more about experiencing while learning. Whatever they don’t learn in textbook form right now they’ll pick up quickly when they’re older because their brains will be ready for it in textbook form then (this is a Bluedorn belief and I think they’re right).

Writing these things is helping me to actually believe more firmly what I’ve been trying to tell myself. It’s ok to break away from the public school way of doing things! If you’re a homeschooler did you have trouble convincing yourself of that? It’s taken me years…and I’m still learning!
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CURRICULUM and EXTRAS!!

If you have a question about any of the curricula we’ve used just ask!

Curricula I’ve used:
I’m a curriculum junkie and it’s hard for me to stick with one thing…because the next best thing could be one mouse click away. Cost holds me back somewhat. I do experiment from year to year. We have used

Here’s what we’re using for the 2015/2016 school year:

Here’s what we used for the 2014/2015 school year:

Here’s what we used for the 2013/2014 school year:

  • Bible: AWANA
  • History/Literature/Writing/Art: Tapestry of Grace, Year 2
  • Math: Abeka
  • Science: Apologia’s Zoology 1 for the 6th grader and Alpha Omega’s LifePacs for our 2nd grader. (I stopped after book 4 or 5. It’s such basic information that she’ll learn through living everyday life. She’s going to take part in the Zoology experiments.)
  • French: Taking part in a local co-op
  • Art: Taking part in a local co-op
  • Spelling: All About Spelling
  • Grammar: Easy Grammar/Daily Grams (7th grade) and Alpha Omega Horizons (2nd grade)
  • Cursive: I had started using a program with our 2nd grader, got through half of it, and realized she needs to mature a bit before tackling that.

(We did school for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 years,
but I wasn’t blogging much and I don’t have that recorded here.)

Here’s what we used for the 2010-2011 school year:

Here’s what we used the 2009-2010 school year:

Here’s what we used the 2008-2009 school year:

Here’s what we used the 2007-2008 school year:

SOME OF THE EXTRAS WE USE/HAVE USED

  • Donna Young‘s organizational tools. It’s FREE!
  • Homeschool Tracker (to replace my Microsoft Office One Note addiction). I use the FREE version!
  • HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association)
  • Trivium Pursuit: A great site to understand and learn about Christian classical education.
  • Teaching The Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Styleby Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn. This is the book that can be found at the site above.
  • Cathy Duffy Reviews: A wonderful resource for comparing 100s of various curricula.
  • Homeschool Buyers Co-op: An awesome way to save big bucks on curriculum. And it’s FREE to join! If you want to join let me know. I’ll send you a referral email where I’ll get 20 “SmartPoints” for you joining. SmartPoints help you buy curriculum. For more info on the Co-op read below.

The Homeschool Buyer Co-op is a free homeschooling organization for both new and veteran homeschoolers. Co-op membership is free and confidential, and entitles homeschooling families to discounts from over a hundred educational suppliers. They also sponsor “Group Buys” for curriculum packages that save homerschooling families lots of money. On the site you’ll find lots of free information, such as databases of free curriculum, field trips, and educational contests and scholarships.

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12 thoughts on “Homeschooling

  1. I linked to your site from Serenity’s site, and am really enjoying it! Thank you for your great advice on homeschooling, and your energy and love for sewing! I will be homeschooling for the first time next year, my 10 year old son, and am learning the ropes. Also, I love to sew, but am way too busy. Maybe that should change!

  2. My daughter intends to homeschool using the classical method. Have you read “The well-trained mind” by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, a mother/daughter team? Very comprehensive how-to on using the trivium. A lot of emphasis on the “how” along with scheduling and book lists.

  3. Vicki V. says:

    Hi – Just left a comment about being “Vicki” and then noticed that you are a homeschool family -CONGRATULATIONS!! I always said I would never homeschool but then went on to do just that for the next 22 years ! My youngest is a sophomore so I only have two years to go before I retire – I have been very blessed to have had such wonderful memories of teaching my children (now age 30, 25 and 16) and wouldn’t have had it any other way !!

  4. I googled Vicki needs and it lead me to your sight. I see we have many things in common
    1. we are both named vicki
    2. I thought the needs things were lame too.
    3. I homeschooled and worried about it sometimes. I’m here to tell you it works and I’l highly recommend it to anyone who’s thinking about it.
    DD 1 is about to graduate from college and with honors, and DD2 is a freshman in college
    4. They both went all the way through awana and also danced which we counted as p.e. class
    check out my blog for a picture
    ps you were like me picking curriculum and our type are called eclectic…..

  5. I am so glad I found your site! I have been homeschooling for 5 weeks and am glad to connect with other homeschooling families

    Thanks for your example!

    Be blessed!

    Sarah aka @MissVibrant on Twitter

  6. A great write up on curriculum’s… here is another couple you could try, they are not so much curriculum, they are more like homeschooling perspectives mixed with curriculum.

    – The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom
    Mary Griffith

    – Christian Unschooling : Growing Your Children in the Freedom of Christ
    Teri J. Brown

    – Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
    John Taylor Gatto (a must read for any homeschooler I reckon)

    All the best in your HSing endeavours
    A (homeschooling) Mummy

  7. Shanna says:

    I am strongly considering homeschooling my two girls (only ages 3 and 1, but never to early to start planning!). I do have fears; mainly that they will miss out on the fun things I remember about going to public school. Also I will be giving up a high-paying job (as soon as DH finds a job) to stay home with them. I worry that my money (and thus the things i can buy for them and where we could live) is better for them than my constant presence. This is something I am praying about. I despartely want them to grow up loving our Lord and serving Him, and I guess that starts with my example. Seeing your blog and the commenters posts helps reassure me that homeschooling will be a good decision.

    • Vicki says:

      Sorry it has taken a couple days to respond! Homeschooling is definitely something to pray about. If you feel God calling you to do it then it’s just a matter of obedience. God will provide what your children and your family needs. It is hard sometimes to think about the things that we “could” be doing or the children “could” have if there were two incomes. BUT, there are so many blessings seen each day, even in the little things, it becomes easier to realize kids don’t necessarily need all the extras we can give them in today’s culture. Your presence, and love and even discipline is something that they will grow up appreciating, even if they can’t verbally express that 🙂

      Do research in this time period when you don’t have to make a quick decision. There are hundreds of curricula to use and even different theories and methods of teaching at home. If you choose to homeschool you’ll find something that fits for your family and fits your budget. Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Vicki

  8. I just recently discovered your site, and I forward this email message to request your permission to mail you DVD copies of a few NEW Christian movies scheduled to release to stores within the next few months with hopes that you will also consider adding a review of these movies to your blog/site as well. Please let me know if I may send you these free DVDs to review.

    Very eager to hear from you,

    Sincerely,

    Rodney Bowen
    Marketing Director, Social Media

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