Thursday, August 9, 2007

If I had only known.....

Thursday, August 9---If I had only known...
What have you learned on your homeschooling journey? What would you/did you change? This is an opportunity to encourage others who are just starting out or who are struggling with issues that seem unsolvable. It is also a perfect opportunity to tell us about one of those days made you want to throw in the towel. A funny story? Perfect!


Well, I think I am a know it all anyway... so I went into homeschooling determined that I knew what I was doing, and I stayed that way. That is just my personality, not that I was smart about anything! When I began, I was more interested in building up my family than building brains... so we did the work and got it done. We used Christian Liberty Press Homeschool kits, and it worked great because my boys were used to textbooks. With my younger kids, I just did the things I learned while teaching preschool with them and someone told me about Teach Your Kids to Read in 100 Easy Lessons... and Amelia was reading great by lesson #85. I started hearing about Charlotte Mason and was convinced it was the way for me, being an avid reader myself and loving good books. My friend Lynn told me about some Charlotte Mason ideas and ever since then we have been doing about the same things with our children. I learned as I went, really. I learned about learning styles and personality traits when I had a child that didn't 'fit the mold' as they would say in public school. That has made a difference in my school, learning that one child NEEDS routine and schedules makes the rest of us, who would be happy to float in and out of activities, stay on task. As far as academics, there was nothing that qualifies for "if I only had known".

I can honestly say that I never wanted to completely throw in the towel, except with my oldest. That was a special situation, too much to go into now. He re-enrolled in Public school in the 8th grade. We live in a small town with a K-12 school. The school has a prayer march every fall before school starts... it is still a public school, but has some advantages that other do not. Anyway, our second oldest started back to public school in 8th grade for different reasons and will graduate this year. He and I both have had moments when we wish he hadn't, but we had decided that it would be for the long haul. No going back and forth... just stick with it and get it over with! He is a good kid and doesn't let the crowd guide him. With my younger children, I know they will homeschool the whole way through, and they know it, too. It is what we all want and need.

About the only thing I wish I had KNOWN when I started homeschooling had nothing at all to do with academics. It had to do with my children's hearts. You see, I was raised in a loving yet strict Christian Home. I knew I had to obey, because it was the right thing to do. So I did... mostly. I didn't have problems getting my kids to obey me... but I was missing what was in their heart... why were they obedient... because they wanted to or because they HAD to? The book, Shepherding a Child's Heart really opened my eyes. I am going to read Heartfelt Discipline, soon. I was told that it deals with the same topic in an even better way. I look into my children's hearts now, not just at their actions. It has made a much nicer home and I have sweet loving relationships with my children. We discuss issues of the heart and pray... A LOT!

Well, I guess I will end with a funny story that really tested me because I had to laugh, or I would be angry! My son learned to read when he was about 9yrs old. Yes, it took a while, but I can't keep books away from him now! (not that I would want to) Because we focused so much on reading, and his small motor skills were not developed enough to do pages of writing.. we did a lot of oral work. He was a slow writer, but that is OK... trust me, it is! He was at church, in class, one night and was struggling to write what the teacher wanted him to write... extremely too much, in my opinion for the boys to write... if for no other reason than it just wasn't FUN! The teacher saw his struggle and told him... "It's alright if you can't write because you are homeschooled, you don't have to do this now!"

Back to Homeschool week is hosted by Randi at i have to say...

2 comments:

Magran said...

I really wish I could have homeschooled my children. You are blessed

Our Family of Five said...

I can't believe his teacher said that!?!?! Oh my goodness! Some people just amaze me!