Category Archives: Homeschooling

B is for Bumpy

It’s my second week in the ABCs of Homeschooling, hosted by 5 Kids and a Dog. ABCs of Homeschooling

We are on a homeschooling journey and the road has not been smooth. The road has been under construction. I’m not sure when it will look the way I want it to. The road is hardly paved in gold like in the fantasies of Oliver Twist. Instead, I am reminded of the poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Our road is covered in brambles and undergrowth.
First there are the naysayers. Most homeschooling parents have heard similar concerns:

  • We aren’t qualified.
  • The public schools are good enough.
  • You aren’t rich enough to homeschool
  • Homeschooled kids aren’t socialized enough
We’ve done our research.  We’ve weighed all our options.  None of these things bother us.  We know that we have made the best possible decision for our children and their future.  I don’t waste my time trying to convince people anymore.  I have a lot of supportive people on my side who I can talk to when things get tough.
It’s hard to start homeschooling, even with the most thorough preparation.  Curriculum choice is tough. This year, we put together a mishmash of different materials for each subject.  For some subjects, we had chosen wisely; they engaged our children and kept their interest.  Some of the books I had chosen didn’t even hold my interest.  Next year, our son will be attending a virtual school where all the materials will be provided. Hopefully, they will keep him interested.  I am not sure what we’ll do with our daughter.  She doesn’t seem to sit still long enough for much of anything.
It’s difficult to teach anything substantial to young children.  They will be listening to a story one minute, then hear the garbage truck outside.  I am learning to break up subjects into short, little sessions.  That way, if they are distracted, we have covered the key points for that session.  I am also learning that the flashier the lesson, book, or materials are, the more excited the kids are about sitting next to me for a lesson.  I am slowly discovering their personal learning styles.  My son is a kinesthetic learner, using his hands and objects to figure out solutions to problems, how to make states and countries, or how to spell a word.  His sister is an auditory learner in a way; much of her knowledge comes from listening to her brother and modeling him.
As difficult as this first year has been, it has been so worth it to see our children learn firsthand.  Whether it be from hands-on instruction or self-discovery, these tidbits of knowledge they are soaking up are valuable.  I am very happy and blessed that we decided to homeschool our children.  Although our road has been bumpy, I’m sure it will eventually smooth out.

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A is for Alpha-bet

I’m a day late, but here is my letter “A.”

The word alphabet comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta.  The letter alpha itself

can signify a beginning. It’s only fitting that the alphabet began our homeschooling journey, while on a journey

of another kind.

Abc

It was late August of 2008 and we were contemplating evacuating for Hurricane Gustav.  Knowing how long

previous evacuations had kept me in the car, I wanted to prepare for a long car ride with my son and daughter

who were then almost two and one.  I packed some small toys, their blankets and a sleeping lovey each.  For

my son, I also packed an ABC book and some flashcards.  He knew a couple of letters. I think one of them was “I.”

At first, we had decided to evacuate to my brother-in-law’s house.  We decided to leave there and head to my sister’s

house in another state.  We wound up going in the opposite direction for some reason, driving all day until we found

a state that had hotel rooms.

By the time we settled down with the children in a hotel room, my son had somehow learned all the letters of the alphabet.

He spent the rest of our “vacation” spreading flashcards about various hotel rooms.  He loved letters so much that I decided

to decorate his birthday cake with the alphabet when we returned home.

My son still loves the alphabet. He makes them out of anything he can find: crayons, Mardi Gras beads, even socks.

When he started writing his letters on his own, I knew it was out of his love for the alphabet.  He has since taken on other subjects with the same fervor and enthusiasm. But it was the alphabet that started it all.

ABCs of Homeschooling

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