Homeschooling, Part Uno…

This will probably end up being several posts since I am passionate about this topic and there’s just a lot of stuff that you can say about homeschooling. Some of you know more than I do, so feel free to add your two cents in a comment for those that are curious! :o)

Since this is from my perspective, I’ll start with why we homeschool.  Let me preface by saying that there is not one right way for every family. Ultimately, you have to search your heart and listen to God’s leading for your family.

Hubby and I decided before we had children that this was the direction God was leading us. We feel that we are better able to train and teach our children in the ways of the Lord if they are with us more, than with a teacher and peers for 8 hours a day. And although there are some wonderful public and private schools around, a lot of the quality has been reduced and replaced with what ‘those in-charge’ want our children to learn. It’s amazing what things can be left out of school books nowadays.

“If we continue to send our children to Caesar for their education we need to stop being surprised when they come home as Romans.Voddie Bauchaum

I’m not saying, nor do I believe, that all children that go to school will become heathens (I was a public school child) but we feel that for our family one of the best ways to prevent it and teach the truth is to keep them close and at home. Some people might then ask, “Don’t you trust your children to be witness and a light for Christ?” In a word, no. At least not when they’re young and still impressionable and building the foundation of truth and morality in their own lives.

Homeschooling also gives me the ability to tailor each child’s education to the way that they learn the best, and lets me choose what is in their curriculum. We want our subjects to be Bible-based and homeschooling definitely affords me the room to keep that tied into everything they learn. God is not separate from our education. Our goal is to glorify Him in everything we do.

Another popular question is about socialization. Do I feel that my children are handicapped socially? Absolutely not. They may not run up and talk to strangers but they still run around with kids at the park and are more able and comfortable, I feel, talking with adults and those of different ages more than they probably would be if they were only in a classroom of their own peers for many hours a day. Not to mention the homeschooling group we’re a part of has a play date every Friday that we attend sometimes. (I definitely recommend finding some support in your area if you can!)

Here is a cool article on the topic of socialization ~

http://www.sahero.org/articles/nothankyouwedontbelieveinsocialization

Once we were pregnant with out first, I started researching homeschooling (I’m a junkie, remember?). The first thing I did was read about the different categories of homeschooling that most people fall into. There’s a list of some of the different types on this page, http://www.homeschooldiner.com/guide/intro/main.html.

(By the way, I’ve not read the rest of the website so I’m not necessarily advocating what they say.)

When Ethan was 3, he started trying to write words so I decided if he wanted to learn then we needed to do it the right way. Since it was my first time, I chose a curriculum that had everything altogether and that was Bible based. The thought of going through each area and choosing a book or style to use on its own scared the bejeebees outta me!

On the basis of a recommendation I chose Heart of Dakota ~ http://www.heartofdakota.com/index.php and we LOVED it! It has each day’s subjects blocked off on one page per day. (You can preview the books online)

After we finished this, I had done a lot more research and had visited the Arlington Homeschool Book Fair, http://www.homeschoolbookfair.org/  (very large and overwhelming so it’s good to go with a plan, lol) and felt a lot more comfortable choosing my own things. I didn’t want to tackle a lot because of his age so I chose to start Handwriting Without Tears, Phonics Pathways, Saxon Math, and I picked up “God’s Wisdom for Little Boys” to do some scripture memory. Here are the links~

http://www.hwtears.com/hwt

http://saxonpublishers.hmhco.com/en/sxnm_home.htm

http://www.dorbooks.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Wisdom-Little-Boys-Character-Building/dp/0736908242/ref=pd_sim_b1

Handwriting Without Tears worked wonderfully for him and still does as we are now on the 1st grade book.

Saxon was great for manipulatives but I did not like having to do the prep work for it. A lot of lessons require you to make charts out of construction paper and things like that. I like to be able to open my book that morning and tackle what we need to do. (Call it laziness if you must, lol)

We didn’t get past the first page of Phonics Pathways before I realized it wasn’t going to work. It just wasn’t Ethan’s learning style. So I headed to Mardels and picked up Explode the Code, http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/details.cfm?seriesonly=1460M and that worked great! More workbook style but it worked for him and I better.

Let me insert a note here and recommend reading through the reviews for different books online at Amazon and also here, http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/.

Whew! This is getting long winded so I’ll end here. Part 2 will probably be on the Charlotte Mason method and why we lean in that direction now, but there may be a brief interruption tomorrow with a post about chickens! 🙂

If you haven’t started homeschooling yet, I’d just encourage you to know why you want to do it, to keep researching, and to continue to pray that the Lord lead you in the direction best for your family!

If you read all of this, go have a cookie…or four or five. You deserve it.

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4 responses to “Homeschooling, Part Uno…

  1. Every time I hear about others making comments AGAINST homeschooling along the lines of “aren’t you concerned about them lacking ‘social skills’?” I think of my BFF, Sandy Williams, who has EIGHT–count them, YES, EIGHT!–adult children who were ALL homeschooled and who had the BEST manners and social skills I have ever witnessed in children OR adults. At an early age–and I watched them grow from tots to teens to young adults–they spoke with advanced articulation and manners, seemed to recognize social “cues” that mature adults missed, and were well-behaved whether playing with other children or conversing with adults. Much like your own children, Candi. Not only that, but they all have a deep love for the Lord and have all become EXACTLY who they are–very different and unique based on their own strengths and weaknesses as monitored by their mother and reported to their fathers. Lol Social Skills? I would say that to trust that to ANY other source except parents is a gamble. What I see in your situation, your home, and your children is EXACTLY what I witnessed over the years with the Williams’ family.

  2. Great post! I love reading about people’s journeys as they begin homeschooling.

  3. You’re awesome Candi. That’s all I have to say. Awesome. ^_^

  4. I have enjoying reading your blog Candi. The “socialization” question was something I really questioned or was concerned with when Jay and I were praying about our decision to homeschool. I was pretty clueless when it came to anything related to homeschool.Most of the info I had was based on what I had heard, which didn’t satisfy me. I needed to know some things for myself and started doing my own reading and research on what I really believed. I was introduced to Educating the Wholehearted Child and they have a whole section in their updated version of the book on socialization that helped me put the issue of socialization to rest. Clay and Sally write about family style socialization where children are more family dependant than peer dependant, and they actually have a chart where they make some comparisons where you can see the fruit of the two different types and the effect each one has on your child. The family style socialization had fruit that I desire to see come forth in our children and helped me determine what I believe in that particular area. It is not mainstream thinking on socialization and its not that they can’t socialize with peers but instead of peers dominating their relationships we work hard on family ties where children will prefer home relationships to be the safe place which I personally believe will predominantly shape the way they socialize with others. I have a plaque I bought recently that reads, “Home is where your story begins.” I think there is a lot of truth in that statement. Keep blogging, your an inspiration.:)

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