Hey everyone! Day 2 of our First Year of Homeschooling series. Today I want to share with you about our experience and the process of our first year. In case you missed Monday’s post, here is this week’s line up and a link to Day 1 post:
- Day 1: Why We Chose To and How our reasons changed
- Day 2: Our First Year Experience: thoughts, feelings, socialization, and more
- Day 3: The Curriculum we used
- Day 4: How we did it & what I would change
- Day 5: Helpful people & books who helped along the way (Resources)
Our First Year of Homeschooling: What an Experience!
What a crazy, unknown year for us! I never thought I would be homeschooling my children, but here we are studying 3rd grade at home as a private school. The decision to homeschool was not something we took lightly. We put in a considerate amount of time praying, talking, researching, praying, and talking. And more research. The idea of it came in the middle of Kindergarten year when things were falling apart, but we thought things would get better each year. So, on to 1rst grade and 2nd grade. Same stresses. I couldn’t handle that anymore. The stress and fighting wasn’t good for our family. We needed to try something different.
I’m sure I had over analyzed everything. I read the laws of our state at least 6 times over, and bought books and checked out every homeschooling website and blogs I came across. WOW! Their was an overwhelming amount of resources out their. But I was blessed that their was so much out their to read.
I was a little worried about homeschooling. I had all the same worries any other homeschooling parent could have told you about. Can I really teach my child? What about friends? Would he enjoy this? How am I suppose to get anything done? Over and over these questions had played in my head. Family disapproved, so that didn’t help the pressure any. But as I was ordering our curriculum and boxes started coming in, I had a sense of peace over the decision. I knew that this is what God was calling us to do, and who am I to argue with God?
We started the week after our public school started. At first it was a little odd seeing all the kids get on at the bus stop and sending out the extra child I keep a few days a week. But I knew that this felt right. We tried to get into a routine of doing things and get into a pattern. But it wasn’t easy. The hard part for me was trying to be and stay organized, have everything ready, and trying to plan everything out. I wasn’t a good planner. And trying to homeschool a 3rd grader, 2 preschoolers (one mine and one extra child), and then have tot running around definitely wasn’t easy. Each one wanted my attention. Each one wanted me to help them at the same time! Or they would whine because they had to do the work or “I CAN‘T doo it!” Half the time they wanted to watch tv or play with their toys. and me having little patience probably didn’t help much.
But still, I felt peace with the decision. Almost like, we should have been doing this all along. I really felt like God had called me to this new adventure of ours. The stress levels went down. Their was no more pressuring and pushing to get ready, have things done, and be on time. And as I learned, I can’t push my kids. They like to take their time doing things. We were able to save money by not having to buy certain clothes and supplies (which my husband loved, saving money). We found joy in being able to make up our own curriculum, being more hands on with projects, and taking our own field trips. We were able to dig deeper into God’s word and how he wants us to live our life. We were able to be together as a family and enjoy watching each other grow and learn. I know that these are precious years and it was a true blessings being able to contribute to my children’s knowledge. The moments we have we can never get back, so being able to watch them grow, was such a blessing!
Now, with the year almost over, things are still a little rocky. We have tried different variations of curriculum throughout the year. We have tried text books, hands on projects, and computerized programs. We are still learning what works for us. We have fallen out of rhythm and schedule. TV and educational videos are starting to take over. We work from all over the house, we start at the kitchen table, than the kitchen, than the living room, and sometimes when the weather is nice, we go outside. We have workbooks, real books, and tools all over the house. And I still can’t keep myself organized (in fact, I just bought a bunch of notebooks just to write notes in!). But it has still been amazing to watch them. They are learning from each other (the good and the bad) and they are learning no matter what they are doing. They have taking an interest in things they never would. Like laundry and cooking. They are eager to try things. I caught Little Man using bigger words, most of the time he didn’t know the meaning and we would have to look them up, but I was still impressed he used them in the same context. It has still been a blessing for us.
What about Socialization?
Big Man missed his friends. That was the down fall. We tried to get together with a number of his friends. When I joined up with a local Homeschool group, they got together 2-3 times a month plus adding on field trips and meetings. We tried to get active in there group, they eventually learned to play with the other kids, after getting to know them. We also joined 4H, where he was able to make new friends their and get into special projects. We were able to still be involved in sports with his friends. We also had a number of different cousins, church friends, and friends in town to play with. We often had friends over or playgrounds to join in. It was difficult at first to adjust. But once they got acquainted with different kids, the found friends to play with where ever we went. Just last night we were at a Playland and they each found a buddy to play with.
Best of all they had each other. No matter what they did, they were having to learn to work together and get along. They still fight like cats and dogs. But through this experience they are slowly learning that they are brothers, and nothing was going to change that. They were stuck together throughout their entire life. They were going to have to work together no matter what.
Our first year was rocky with a lot of emotions, but it was a blessing. He called and we answered. We aren’t sure what is to come of the future, whether we continue on homeschooling or if they will be going back to Public, But I do know that whatever God decides for our family, we will follow. We will continue on homeschool to next year but who knows where God will take us after that. But we know, it will be in his hands.
Please feel free to comment. Tell us about your homeschooling experience! What was it like your first year? How has it changed? Do you have any questions about homeschooling? Feel free to comment below! I love reading everyone’s comments!
- First Year Homeschool 1: Why We Chose to Homeschool (amongmanyblessings.com)
- Why Homeschool? (sunnydelay72.wordpress.com)
- Homeschooling? (noelnallen.wordpress.com)