Thursday, August 7, 2008

Homeschool Hursday

I read several blogs that have a weekly post like Wordless Wednesday, Frugal Friday, or Man-cat Monday. Seeing that there was not a day of the week that started with "H" I thought it would be kind of funny to have my homeschool title be misspelled. Dorky I know, but I like it.

So Thursdays will be all on homeschooling. Feel free to ask questions, and contribute your two cents. This first post will be my "history", and how I began to homeschool.

To really begin this story the right way, we have to go back 4 years. Mekala was 4 almost 5, but she didn't make the "cut off" for starting kindergarten that year. I thought that her late birthday gave us the perfect opportunity to give homeschooling a try. If it worked, great, if it didn't we still had time to find some other options. We ordered the Abeka K-4 curriculum because that was what I was taught with when I was in kindergarten (a private school), and off we went.

The birth of baby #3 (ms. Sarah Kate) in the middle of August meant that we got off to a late start, but we set up a school "room" and got started. We kept at it for several months. It was extremely hard. I was nursing Sarah, had to entertain Hannah (who wanted to do school) and teach/encourage Mekala, plus I had the worst case of post-pardom depression.

Mekala is not naturally motivated when it comes to school work, (I think she gets that from me) so getting her to just try tell me the names or sounds of letters was frustrating. We ended up having to bribe her with the promise of a Tea-Party if she could/would do school for so many days (I forgot how many) with out whining. There were so many days that I dangled that tea-party out there like a carrot on a stick, but it worked.

After several months and one tea-party I was finished. I don't even know when we actually stopped, but I probably thought it wasn't soon enough. There was no way I was going to try and school 3 or more children one day. I couldn't do it, I wouldn't it. (Not on the farm, not in my home, no sir, no sir, please leave me ALONE). I had fallen off the homeschooling wagon. All my other homeschooling moms were so disappointed in me. They tried to convince me that I could homeschool, but I wasn't about to listen.

My parents generously paid for Mekala to attend private school (the same one I went to) the following year. It was wonderful!!! Now my biggest problem was keeping Hannah, who wanted to go to school busy and happy. (Oh and I was pregnant with #4 by Christmas).

Mekala's Kindergarten year came and went, and was a great success. Our short time of schooling had really helped her have a great start. (I think she had some of the best cursive handwriting in the class). Even though Hannah and Mekala are almost two years apart in age, Hannah made the cut off date and I didn't think I could keep her at home, even if I wanted to, so she started kindergarten and Mekala started 1st grade. The Lord graciously gave my mother a raise, so they were still able to cover the cost the tuition.

The timing couldn't have been better if we had planned it ourselves. On August 1st Emma was born, and two weeks later (on Sarah's birthday) the big girls started school. OK OK I know that this is getting long, but we are almost to the end and there is a point, I promise! Life was great. There were mornings were it was hard getting everyone up and out the door on time, but we managed and we were only late a few times (I think).

Then February came.

Kent went to Uganda, Africa for three weeks in February '07. His purpose was to help do some mission work, we weren't really sure why he was going, but we knew it was from God, so he went. Simple right. Well after a week of getting every one up, dressed, fed, with lunches, homework, etc.... I was really ready to quit. I couldn't believe what a hassle going to school was. And in my frustration I began to look at all the other "cons" there were to school. By the end of the three weeks I had made a list of reasons why I wanted to homeschool. Yes me, Miss I would not, could not.

God had done some SERIOUS work in my heart while Kent was gone. And I was truly ready to pull them out of school right then and there. (It didn't help that I had gotten the letter that school registration was coming up and we would need several hundred dollars more, to get them in for 1st and 2nd grade).

When Kent came home I had a list of "pros" for homeschooling, and had started looking into curriculum. Some of my Pros included:

-Don't have to be any where by a certain time everyday.

-WAAAAAY cheeper

-No more uniforms (this was an issue for Hannah)

-No more spending the few hours I had with Mekala each night arguing over doing her school work. (since we were still having to motivate her, might as well do it during the day, so we could enjoy our evenings)

-We could finally be in the church Christmas plays!! No more having to be home for an early bedtime.

-We could travel whenever we wanted to.

-If any one is sick, no school, which also means no make up work!!

- You set your own schedule and pace, if you need more time..... you take it.


-Best of all..... I get to be with my kids all day, I get to know what they are learning both in and out of the classroom (no more rude playground rhymes)

There are so many other reasons and "pros" for home schooling, unfortunately if just took me a while to see them.

So if you are thinking about homeschooling, but aren't sure, or if you think the answer is no...... just wait, if it was GOD wants for you and your children, then it will happen!!

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