Sunday, August 5, 2012

Do you homeschool with confidence?


Do you homeschool with confidence?

Yeah, me neither.

We entered into our homeschool journey with great fear and trembling.


You know how the Bible says “Do not fear” 365 times, one for each day of the year? I wish somewhere it was a little more explicit. Something like, “Thou shalt not approach thy calling to homeschool with a quaking and timid heart. For in it, you and your offspring shall be mightily blessed, even down to the third and fourth generations.”

Wouldn’t that ease your mind?

Alas, it is not to be.

So we proceed, feeling our way like the blind, praying like crazy, trusting our calling, hoping against hope that our children can’t yet see our humanness, our anxiety, our mistakes.

I believe that much of our confidence stems from our curriculum choice. If you choose a curriculum, or a blend of curriculum, that fits your children, promotes learning, stimulates thinking, and creates enthusiasm for education, all while being affordable and easy to implement, homeschooling is a wonderful family experience.
So, what curriculum is that?

I have no idea.

Only you can decide that.

But here are a few things I’ve learned that work for us.

In the beginning, your curriculum choice isn’t really worth a panic attack. (Believe me, I've had several.) I think too much importance is put on pre-K and kindergarten. At the ages of four, five, and six, a child needs to be sure of such things as colors and shapes (things learned through everyday life and reading together) and begin with reading and counting basics. We use Hooked on Phonics, which combines learning to read with jazzy music, and a $7 workbook from Sam’s Club to begin penmanship and numbers. Throw in a few simple animated history and science videos from the public library, read out loud a lot, and you’re good to go. The most important lesson at this age is that learning is worthwhile and enjoyable.

Once penmanship becomes easier and a child is through the first level of HOP, we introduce spelling words. We start with only ten at a time and have a no-pressure quiz every few days. By second and third grades, we introduce more formal reading and doing of science and history. I found Abeka texts at a used book store, so we read aloud together and work through concepts and experiments together.


By fourth grade, our children use the Abeka Book curriculum. With another child starting the kindergarten-first grade work every other year, I simply didn’t have the time to keep making up lessons, no matter how much I had grown to enjoy it. I’m confident that Abeka will cover all that is needed and, without enrolling our children formally in their academy, it allows me the flexibility to add or subtract as we customize each child’s schooling.

Go ye therefore, into all the homeschooling curriculum choices, and choose how to number and read through these days in the land where ye dwell. Be fruitful and multiply thy books, praising the Lord for all His bounteous public library supply. As for me and my house, we will make disciples of all the children, even unto a great and well-educated nation.







What curriculum do you use? What do you like about it? Will you be changing anything about it?




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Linking with Visionary WomanhoodWhat Joy Is MineConsider the LiliesYour Thriving FamilyComfy in the KitchenIntentional MeMom's LibraryDeep Roots at HomeWomen Living WellThankful HomemakerGrowing HomeTime-Warp-WifeRaising ArrowsThe Better MomNo Ordinary Blog HopThe Modest MomiHomeschool Network


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18 comments:

  1. Hi and thanks for linking to the Not Back To School blog hop. That's where I found you. And thanks for sharing your curriculum choices. We've posted ours too and I'd love for you to come see what we planned. I love how honest you are about being unsure!
    http://www.littlelearninglovies.com/wordpress/2012/08/05/not-back-to-school-blog-hopcurriculum-week/ See you there!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sandie. It's mind-boggling to me how many curriculum choices there are now. Yours look terrific!

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  2. I used many different ones but the one my kids like the most is ACE. That's what we have been using. I do get nervous sometimes that my kids will learn what they need to. But I have relaxed alot about it. I just do my best.

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    1. It has taken me a while, but I've finally relaxed as well. Thanks, Michelle!

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  3. Thank you so much for your advice on homeschooling. My son starts Kindergarten in public school but I plan on doing homeschool preschool with my youngest. It is refreshing to hear that play really is the most important thing she can do to start learning at the beginning of her educational career!!

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    1. Homeschooling can be so much fun, especially at that age when everything is new and exciting and wonderful. Blessings in your endeavor, Genevieve, and thanks for commenting!

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  4. This is really some wonderful advice. Thank you for sharing it at NOBH. Have a great school year.

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  5. So glad I found you through the homeschool blog hop! I love your "Scriptures". ;) I took a bit of a different approach. I did A Beka for the early years and now that they are older, I am branching out some but with the same type of structure (ie. Bob Jones, Apologia). I am so looking forward to this year!

    I am your newest member!
    Leah
    Learning 4 Keeps

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    1. I think that's what I love the most about homeschooling -- it can be customized for each family and each child. Thanks so much for commenting and for following! (I've returned the follow. :) )

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    2. We have used the A Beka DVD program for five years and still continue to love it. It has covered everything nicely so far. Corey starts highschool this year, so I am interested to see how this will go. I am looking forward to another great year of homeschooling....it seems to work so well for our family. Hope that you all will have a fantastic school year too!

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    3. Ronda, it's been five years already?? Just a couple of blinks and they're all grown up!

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  6. Love the MCV! I admire those of you who homeschool. I have a daugher who is planning to. I'm trying to do my part by praying.

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    1. Prayer is the most important part, Pamela, so you have a mighty contribution! Keep up the great work. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again.

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  7. Like hearing your thoughts about Abeka. We had picked up a few Abeka things at a used homeschool curriculum swap and even found one at Goodwill and used them and liked them, but that was a few years ago. Have not gone to using any company's materials exclusively, but do enjoy hearing how people like different materials. Your insights were very nice too...think sometimes, it is too easy to worry, so your comments about not fearing are spot on.
    Popped by from the “Not-Back-to-School” Blog Hop: Curriculum Week!
    Hope that you have a happy homeschool year! Happy planning for 2012-2013!
    Hope that you will pop by to say hello over at my blog and my Pinterest boards too!
    Colleen a.k.a. Pinterest Mama
    http://pinterest.com/f5th/
    Sunrise Learning Lab
    http://sunriselearninglab.blogspot.com/2012/08/new-school-year-right-around-corner.html

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    1. It makes homeschooling extra enjoyable when you can find used materials for cheap! Thanks so much for stopping by, Colleen, and I'll be following you on Pinterest.

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  8. We have currently been putting together our own curriculum, but my children are only in Kindergarten and 1st grade. You are so right about the fear thing. A lot of parents are intimidated, but I think whatever they choose, it will be just as good, but probably better than public school. Thanks for linking up at Mom's Library!

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    1. Those ages are so much fun! They are like little sponges, absorbing everything you put in front of them. Blessings on your school year!

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