Homeschooling posts

This category will include our homeschooling experiences, links to pages that may help, or just general stuff that could be put here.

Lessons from Homeschooling

This morning as I decided it was a lazy day for our family, I was on facebook and read an article.  It was 10 Lessons I’ve learned from Homeschooling. It is a great article and got me thinking…. what would I say my top few things would be that I’ve learned.  I’ve only homeschooled for 2 years. I do have a few that I sort of live by.

So here is my top  that I want to share with you:

  1. Stop worrying that you aren’t doing a good enough job. You are.  God has called you to homeschool and he will give you everything you need to make sure your children are well rounded.  I’m not saying you should sit and do nothing, but if you are worried about it, then you probably already have made sure you have a well rounded child. You won’t see it every second. Some days you might not think they are learning anything at all!  It’s those far and few between points when your child suddenly spats out what he learned in science to your neighbor, that you realize it’s sinking in.
  2. Make sure people understand what homeschooling entails and your schedule. My family and friends, the first year, thought that homeschooling meant my kids were playing in the yard and I had time for visits anytime they wanted. I would be in the middle of teaching science and they would call, wanting and talk for hours. They wanted me to go with them here and there as if I had no kids.  It wasn’t until they sat with me a day and then realized it’s not fun and games.  They realized how much work it was and  that they were truly disruptive to an already stressed mom just trying to get her kids to focus!  My friends and family now know that I am unavailable until noon. It may take some time getting them used to it, but oh well. That is what voicemail is for.
  3. Focus on a couple of subjects and be ok if you slack on the others. This year started with a lot of kids were going to do Grammer, Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, Art, and a Foreign Language.  By the middle of the year we had dropped the Foreign language, Art, and Social Studies and combined Grammer with Writing. At the end of the year Writing had mostly gone out the window too.  I’m ok with that. My kids will learn vocab and sentence structure even though they don’t know what a prepositional phrase is. As long as they can write well and know how to convey a point, I’m ok with them not know every single part of speech in a sentence. I surely don’t remember it! I didn’t remember any History till High School!
  4. Don’t be afraid to school year round. I know kids need a break, but homeschooling is not public school.  Public school they are going and going for 8 hours. They are crammed with information, then come home and have two more hours of stuff to do.  My kids are going only half that time, so in the afternoon they have breaks. Since we dropped some of the subjects over the year, I am doing them this summer. I believe Writing is very important and the program we are using, Excellence in Writing Intensive A, really has made a difference in their ability to do a report. This is going to be very crucial when college comes. It really does a great job at using Grammar to expand the paragraphs and so that is all I am concerned about. I also am having them do the next level of math. All in all it should take them two hours to get done instead of 4. In the morning most people aren’t even up yet when they are up and so by doing two hours in the morning, it really doesn’t make that much of a difference, but it does in their brain.
  5. Take one day at a time and look at the big picture.  A friend of mine recently decided to put her kids back in public school. I was a little disheartened by that, but since I am not in her shoes, I cannot completely understand. It is very important, if you have children who struggle, to take one day at a time. My son has ADHD and we have opted to not use medication. School takes twice as long and I am constantly in there looking over his shoulder, but I think that it is better for him then being in school pumped full of medication so he can sit still. There are days when he is so distracted it takes us from 8 am till 4 pm with minimal breaks, just to get done. Other days he is super focused and can get done in a few hours.  You have to roll with the punches. Make sure to look at the broad picture and not focus on one horrid day.  Believe me there have been days when I was crying to my friend wondering why I was homeschooling and wanted to quit. I’ve also had days when we were done in like two seconds and we had such fun going somewhere special because we had the time.
  6. Don’t expect anything to get done during your homeschool hours. I am really bad at this. By the time some of my homeschooling days are over, I haven’t done one thing on my list.  I expect my kids to work independently because they are 11 and 12.  I enjoy doing household things while they are working on school because I am nearby. The problem comes when I want to go outside to weed the garden in the cool morning, or when I need to do chores….the kids go on “break” until I return. We have had to revamp school days and start later, I’ve had to stop everything to sit with a child to make him focus, and I’ve had to call vacation days to get all my stuff done that hasn’t gotten done all week.  Homeschooling needs to be just  If your child needs you, you need to be available at the drop of a hat, not tied up in a project that you cant quit for an hour or two. There are children who work independently and then there are children that need you to sit by their side till they are in high school.
  7. Make your family a TEAM.  We wake up and all do chores. I do the animals while the kids are up eating breakfast and getting dressed (ha if they do!). I get ready with a shower and breakfast while they are cleaning their rooms. Then we set to work…I wash the dishes, one child dries them while the other does their chore of vacuuming and straightening the living room.(They switch those chores every week)  Then I tell them the first subject I would like them to work on and I start a load of laundry.  By getting most of the chores out of the way in the morning before we start, it is easy to not be distracted during school. The house is mostly clean too! My children get a 15 minute break between subjects and they must pull a timer so they don’t go over their time. That is the time I hang laundry outside or finish cleaning the kitchen. By having my kids help with the housework, it definitely takes most of the burden off of me. As laundry gets done I sort into each child’s clothes and they fold and put them away. It doesn’t always get done like that everyday, but if we end up not doing the chores in the morning, they are done right after school. We all live here and each have to take care of something in the house. Mom cant do it all and shouldn’t have to do it all.

Well sorry it’s not 10 but I think 7 in two years is pretty good 😉  I hope this helps just a little and encourages you. We are far from perfect and you would know it if you came and observed for a day. My kids would also do their work in a timely manner, so pop on over!! If you have questions or comments please feel free to leave them.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homeschooling posts | 4 Comments

Why am I still Homeschooling?

That is the question that I seem to be asking myself this week.  Some days and weeks and even months go really, really well.  Then there are the days you think, “why the heck am I still doing this?”  People, I believe, really have to be called to homeschool.  You need patience…lots and lots of patience.  I would say about 60% of my days feel like this..and I’m being very generous.

I try to keep a schedule because that seems to keep us on track better. We wake at 8, do chores, eat, get dressed, and start our assignments by 9.  My oldest has ADHD. We are not medicating. There is something that is still in this diet that has me saying on auto-repeat, “pay attention” “hey get on it” “hurry up” “focus boy!”   My youngest dispite having Dyslexia seems to be focused and goal oriented.  He can complete all this work in like 3 hours without a break.  That is horrible because he has days he wants to do that and then it is distracting for the other child who wants to have fun too!

Most days flow well. If it is a subject I teach them, I do it after lunch or right when we start, or if they end on break at the same time.  Everyday is different as far as the order of what we do.  I hope this post doesn’t discourage you from wanting to homeschool. I just want you all to know, it doesn’t go as you want, but believe me your kids are learning.  There is nothing more satisfying then being out somewhere and something happening, only to have your children repeat a lesson they learned.  I get to see that a lot now and it is of great hope to me on days like these. Realize that not everyday will go as you want it to go, but it always goes as God wants it to go.


Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homeschooling posts | 6 Comments

Special Education Services

Ok I’m just going to say one more thing about the public school system.  I hate it. There lol. Ok it is more of the Special Education Service part I hate.

When we started homeschooling both my children had IEP’s from the public school.  I decided I would continue these because my goal was to eventually place them back into public school around high school.  I wanted them to be able to have things in place at that time and why not? The school has to give you some services even if you don’t go there. There are tax dollars allotted for just such students.

We had been scheduled speech services for my older boy and they were to work on vocabulary building. We went 1 time a week for 20 minutes, during lunch time by the way.  The younger boy was to be monitored by phone every two weeks on his progress through the Barton Reading and Spelling System.  I highly recommend this for any dyslexic child. It was a package sent from heaven. You can teach it yourself and I promise it WILL make a difference.  Anyway, when the time came for him to be able to read fairly well, he would go to the school to receive reading intervention.

We started in August.  I stopped today.  I denied all services.  Why you ask??  Well of course I’m going to tell you.  First off, I have given this school multiple chances to help my kids. Why I thought they would all of a sudden is beyond me, but you know..hope, caring for kids, and all that  stuff…

The speech therapist, bless her heart, is really nice.  I just didn’t see any difference in this 5 month time.  Lack of progress reports and lack of letting me know what was going on was really frustrating.  I am the teacher.  Had this been in the school setting, a call, a letter, a meeting would have occurred between her and the why not me..I’m the teacher.  When I was in the room and we were leisurely talking she told me that she has noticed my son having a harder time focusing.  She said she’s noticed it for a while now.  So why wasn’t I told. Honestly he does have a harder time focusing because we are med free, she knew that going in, but that is not the point.  Why does it take me saying I’m denying services because I don’t see it working, for you to tell me it’s not your’s his lack of focus.  Ok sure blame my child because you can’t hold his attention for 20 minutes playing learning games.

My second child was supposed to receive calls every two weeks.  Yeah..sure.. I received a welcome call. She talked to me, she talked to my son..a sort of get to know you call.  Then 3 weeks later I received a call on our way to a field trip in September.  I have not received a call, letter, or anything since.  It is January people.  Do you realize how many calls should have taken place??  Had she called she would have realized that we were already working in real books now.  She would have known that we were reading 3rd grade books and working up to 4th grade books.  She would have realized that he should have been in reading intervention for about two months now.  Why didn’t I call her you ask?  It’s not my job.  My job is to teach my child. Her job, that she gave herself mind you, was to call and get an update every two weeks.  The other school had only done once a month.  If she knew her schedule was busy why did she suggest every two weeks.  She just didn’t have time for my child, plain and simple.

So there is my story. My children will never go back to our district public school. If I put them in high school it will be in an online school without services.  It is just sad that the educational system is failing children.  They wonder why we want to homeschool.  I hope that my children never have to go through what I have.  I know by God’s grace my children will be everything they were meant to be even without credentials after my name.


Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homeschooling posts | 13 Comments

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