Homeschooling Our Way

I had a question on a previous post on how we homeschool. First, I’ll be honest. I’m still figuring it out! This is our first year homeschooling with both of the girls. M is in 5th grade and K is in 2nd. We brought M home last year, but she started out on an online public school. So even though she was home, she still had PS guidelines to follow, standards she had to meet, tests she had to take. So this is our first year where we aren’t tied to any outside school. 

First, I’ll explain our reasoning for wanting to homeschool. I will be the FIRST to tell you that I have NO patience. I could never be a teacher or a daycare provider. I love kids. I DEFINITELY love my kids. But I can deal with my own (sometimes) way better than I can someone elses. Probably because I can be my “true” self in front of my kids, without being afraid of pissing off the parents, because I AM the parent, haha! I will admit right now that I have told my youngest (who I have the most trouble with, in terms of attitude and head-butting) that “I’m not the same as a school teacher. I don’t have to be so nice.” LOL… not the right attitude to always have with your kids, and DEFINITELY not the norm around here… but let’s be real. Kids are hard. All of that said just to say that if you want to homeschool but feel like you “just couldn’t…” I am one of those “just couldn’t” people. And this actually works out way better for ALL of us!  We pulled M out because of her math and me wanting to be able to give her that one on one attention she needed. I was SICK of my child thinking she was stupid. SICK of her thinking that she didn’t measure up, that something was wrong with her. So I took matters into my own hands. We threw K into the mix because I didn’t want all of us to have different schedules, always running in opposite directions. LIFE DOES NOT NEED TO BE LIKE THAT. 

Right now our schedule is pretty laid back. We use two resources heavily with some other stuff thrown in. Our first resource is a website called http://www.time4learning.com. This website offers a full curriculum, which can be used for homeschooling or “after-schooling,” which is people who want their kids to use it after school (duh, lol)… It covers math, language arts, science, and social studies. They just added a high school program, but it was started with the intention of going up to 8th grade. I try to make sure that the girls do this every day. They do a couple of lessons in each subject and are done in a couple of hours, if that. K usually works faster than M. I have M’s math tailored to fit her needs, so she is actually working on 2nd grade math while all of her other subjects remain at a 5th grade level. The way the site works, because she is in 5th grade, she has access to both 4th and 6th grade curriculum in all subjects, except math. For math, she has access to 1st and 3rd grade material. So she can go back and review if she needs to or work ahead if she needs to. The same goes for K, just pertaining to her grade level. Because this is a full curriculum (meaning that it provides the average amount of material they would learn in a PS for a full school year), I want them to at least accomplish this to feel like we are getting somewhere. Our other resource is called Story of the World, by Susan Bauer. It’s a full history curriculum that comes in 4 volumes and can be used with all ages. The reason why we are using this is because I like history and want to go through it, lol… there really is no reason other than that. We are only a few chapters in, so I can’t really say if we like it or not… actually, I can say that we do like the story. And we like a lot of the projects too, but I’m a procrastinator so I don’t always have the materials needed, which means no projects get done. Hey, I never said I was perfect. 

I think one big misconception people have about homeschooling is that you have to do what a PS does, taking up the entire day with academics. The reality is that a school works that way because they have a ton of kids. If your child was the only one they had to teach, a regular day would be done very quickly. Honestly, if we get up and at ’em right away, our day could well be done by 11a or noon. If not earlier. Reality here is that we wake up a bit later and dink around, so our work is usually done in the afternoons. But we are still only busy for a couple of hours. More so if we throw in extra projects, watch a movie about something, go on a field trip, etc… the reality is that homeschooling frees up your schedule SO MUCH, so that you are allowed to learn using different methods than just a book and paper. 

I’m still trying to find our groove though. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to jam in too much, sometimes I feel like I’m not doing anything at all. They say that the first year is the hardest, and I am beginning to find that true. But I am also beginning to see how rich of an experience this can be. 

I’ll answer more questions as I think of them, or if you have anymore, V… I’ll keep on going! I like talking about this! 

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5 thoughts on “Homeschooling Our Way

  1. You have some good points here. In the district I grew up in, we always said that if you were an amazing student, or a student who needed extra help, you got all the attention, and the “average” students were almost put at a disadvantage. I think it’s great that you made this decision to give your girls extra help where they really need and give them a chance to excel.

    Not sure if you were originally from Xanga, but you have it tagged in this post, and I’ve been looking for more people from there – to try and rebuild that sense of community. Welcome!

      1. I wasn’t huge either, but I enjoyed the sense of community there, that I just haven’t found here. I was “thegirlwiththecamera” there, decided to change it up a bit here!

  2. Another former Xangan here…. 🙂 We are out there. Actually I still have Xanga for some reason even though I didn’t pay anything. I think since I was a “life” member they decided to honor that in some form or fashion. But it is so screwed up over there and NOBODY is there so I don’t blog there anymore.

    I homeschooled for 19 years. Yes, you read that right. 19 years. We started when our oldest three were going into 7th, 5th and 3rd grades. And I had a pre-schooler. Of course we started out saying, “we’ll take this one year at a time” and soon came to discover it was a lifestyle and education choice that fit our family perfect and it became us, no more one year at a time. My youngest child never attended any formal school. This was so long ago that the resources you have today we did not have available, no co-ops, no online schools, no groups.. it was just us. We found a couple of other families and hooked up for social things but teaching was all me. And I learned so much! It was fun. And it was exciting. And it was good. And it had it’s days where I wanted to hide in the bathroom and not see my children. And there were the days I declared holiday and they played outside all day while I read a novel. lol In other words we were pretty darned normal. And know what? All four kids did great. They finished school (I homeschooled through high school graduation), they all went to college. They all graduated from college with honors no less. They all are very social people. They all married. They all have children. And now three of the four homeschool their children. All in all I’d say it was a success. And why? Because I taught to them at their level and their speed and in their style. Which is what you are doing. No “you have to teach this by this age” and “you must read this book in 5th grade”, it’s what is good for your child at that point in time.

    The best part about homeschooling was the impact on our family. To this day we are a very close family and all the siblings love being around each other. Which is a nice thing when they have to attend those pesky all-school reunions. 😉

    Blessings on your endeavors. Love every minute of it.

  3. LOVE this post, Pennie!! I’m late to this party but lemme just say you have a great handle on the pros of home schooling! 🙂 I’m excited to see how things progress for you guys!
    Also, my mom swears by Story of the World. 😀

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