Category Archives: Homeschooling

Posts about homeschooling

Summer Reading Incentive

Reading is fun,
Reading is cool.
If I could choose,
I’d read by a pool.

No clue where that came from. Sorry. đŸ™‚

So, I need a little help this summer keeping my girls reading on track. We need a little “Sustained Silent Reading” as Ramona would say. Ok, ok, D.E.A.R if you’re Miss Whaley. (Can you tell which book we’re reading together right now?)

SO, I’m super excited to use the really fun printables my friend told me about (Hi Christy!).

HowDoesShe Reading BINGO

Click the photo to go to my pin or you can check out the original post here. I was a little disappointed I had to register to be able to get the printables, who wants more emails? Not this girl. But, I’m glad I did because I really love this.

Short version, the BINGO sheet has a bunch of fun places or ways to read for a set time (20 minutes in our case) and when you do one of them, you mark it off. Each time you get a BINGO, you get a coupon that has a predetermined prize on it. Say, 15 extra minutes of playing outside or an ice cream treat. Then, when you fill in the entire sheet, you earn The Golden Ticket! (Please tell me you also immediately think of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory whenever you hear Golden Ticket?) And the Golden Ticket should be the prize of all prizes. We’re still deciding ours. đŸ™‚

I showed it to my girls and they love the idea. I can’t wait to get started!

Do you need some help keeping your kid’s noses in books this summer? Perhaps you can stop into your local library to get some good tips or do a quick Google search and see if there are any fun programs in your area!

Happy Reading!

School’s out for SUMMER!

We DID it! We did it! Awwww, yeah!

Yesterday, we finished our first year of homeschooling! What an awesome feeling. Summer break is always exciting, but it feels so special this year. 6 months ago, I didn’t think we’d make it to this point. Well, we’d make it, but I would either have a). all grey hair or b). no hair at all from pulling it all out. Thankfully, I still have hair and it’s not totally grey (note to self, make hair appointment).

This girl just finished 2nd grade! I guess I did too!

There hasn’t been much time for reflection since we slammed our books shut and breathed a big sigh of relief yesterday, but of this much I am sure: I love homeschooling.

I LOVE homeschooling! Can you believe it? I barely can. We had some very distinct highs and lows to our year and I learned as much as the kids did. Homeschooling is not a cookie cutter endeavor. It’s very much a living, breathing, adventure that requires adjustments and flexibility for each person, each subject, and for sure, each year.

We’re going to be changing things up this Fall quite a bit from this past year. We’re keeping the parts that we loved and giving a swift kick out the door to the parts we hated. It has me really looking forward to starting school again – but not until the end of August. For now, it’s all fun and games and the beach and friends and memories. (Ok, maybe a little bit of math facts and some reading, but don’t make me think about that yet. It’s only day 1 of break man!)

Within the past three weeks, each of my girls, at different times and without any prompting, shared with me 4 words I never thought I would hear:

Mom, I love homeschooling!

Be still this Mom’s heart.

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Ch Ch Changes

This is our first year homeschooling. Remember your first year homeschool? Yup, it’s like that.

We walked away from a wonderful private school out of obedience to The Lord and what we felt He was asking us to do. I realize that might sound really weird to some of you. I had never been against homeschooling, I just felt very strongly that it was NOT for me or our girls. And then, one evening sitting around a table with some girlfriends of mine, homeschooling came up. Out of the four of us, one of us was already homeschooling her children. As we talked, I kept praising homeschooling and saying all of these positive things about it and as I was saying them, I was having this internal conversation with myself. “Do I believe what I am saying? Oh wow, I do! Do I want to homeschool? What am I thinking? Oh, I think I DO want to homeschool! Who am I and what have I done with Katie?”

About a week later, out of the blue, my husband looks at me and says, “Do you think we should consider homeschooling next year?” Yeah, it freaked me out a bit too. Except wait, it DIDN’T freak me out. At least not like it would have freaked me out a month before. Reason numero uno we knew this was what we were supposed to do. When two separate people end up feeling the same way about something they both felt the opposite way about a short time before and hadn’t even talked about it? It gets your attention. He had our attention. And so, we were going to homeschool that Fall, which was this past Fall. Are you with me?

The school year started out with great expectations. We were in a new home, with our new school room, and ready for a fresh start. I spent hours upon hours over the summer reviewing curriculum and gathering what we were going to be studying and what we would use. I was excited and the girls were too. I admit, as the days grew closer to our first day, I was a mess. It was NOT a case of ignorance is bliss. I was terrified of what I didn’t know and was feeling overwhelmed. But, we jumped in and, yes, there were surprises, but overall, I felt like we could do it.

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When we got to Christmas break, I was fried. We were SO ready for a break. I had big plans to work in our school room and to revise and improve some things. The previous 4 months had taught me a lot about the girls and myself and I just needed a little time to get us in a better place. Only, the time to work on things never happened. Our break was BUSY. We had the usual Christmas festivities, a memorial service for my Hubby’s Grandfather, our anniversary trip and then my Uncle’s funeral when we returned. So, we took extra days for our break so that we could rest and recover from the craziness that had ensued and so that I could get organized.

We started back up and it was such a struggle. And really, we haven’t been in a good place since. I know that homeschooling isn’t all fun and games, but there have been many times I can’t even remember the reasons we had said it would be a blessing to have the girls at home. Yeah, it’s been that bad. And I fully acknowledge that a lot of our struggle is because of me – more so than them. I want so much more from our homeschool experience and I believe it can be how I imagine it to be. Don’t get me wrong, we have had awesome days. Many times I have looked at them and my heart has about burst from special moments. An “ah-ha” moment for them with a new topic that I get to watch unfold, something that makes all three of us laugh, or just taking the time to realize that I’m getting to spend that hour with them I normally wouldn’t. There is SO much good in homeschooling.

Bakery Field Trip

Bakery Field Trip

I feel really good about what the girls have accomplished. Our oldest is moving right along in 2nd grade and doing a wonderful job. Our youngest, who is doing Pre-K with a bit of Kindergarden thrown in, has started reading and surprises me all the time. What they have learned has shown me I CAN teach them and they CAN learn from me. It’s a really good feeling.

I am so thankful for the wise and thoughtful people we have in our life. Many of them homeschool and others just know all four of us well. It’s been so helpful to talk with them and to know they are praying for us. It’s truly what has helped us get through this phase and to be able to make sound decisions.

And here comes the change…We’re really excited because on Monday, our youngest is starting at the private school her big sister went to for 2 years. She’s finishing the year doing Pre-K there and it’s truly the best thing for us right now. She is thrilled to have this experience and I am really excited for her. She has a wonderful teacher and we already know it’s a wonderful school. While she is at school (3 half days a week), I will get one-on-one time with our oldest and it’s going to be precious time. Yes, I’m going to miss our youngest, but this is going to work great for us.

I am thankful that I in no way feel like a failure. That would be a common feeling from a Mom in my position, right? Feeling like “I couldn’t do it” or “I’m not good enough” because something has to change. I don’t feel that way though. My 5 year old can read – because I taught her to! Holla! I feel we are making decisions based on what is best for our children (and yes, for me in some ways). You don’t know what something will be like until you try it. We’ve come through these months knowing something needed to change, and we are stepping out in faith and making that change. It’s the right thing to do. I’m certain of it.

I have so many other thoughts I could share here. I could go into the whys and reasons we’ve have come to this place, but as I have tried to add them, it starts to sound like I am defending our choices instead of explaining. Maybe there is a bit of fear of what others will think deep inside of me! If you are in a similar position, or have been where we are, I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a reply! Some of you may be wondering why I am even sharing this story of our life on here. So much of writing this is for me. It’s so good to take a look back and see where we have been so that where we go from here has so much more meaning and clarity.

“And Mom and Dad Can Hardly Wait for School to Start Again”

It seems like I have been humming “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” a lot the past week. I guess because it’s absolutely NOT looking like Christmas outside! There is a chance we will get some snow tonight and tomorrow and I will be so happy if we do. Christmas needs to be white! I can only think of one Christmas when I was a child that didn’t have snow. It seems like the past few years we’ve been waiting for the white stuff right up until Christmas Day and some years, it just hasn’t happened.

There is a certain line in the song that makes me chuckle each time I get to it. “And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” Ya know, this homeschooling Momma has to disagree with this line this year!

We are ready for a break! I don’t know about anyone else, but these past couple of weeks have been rough! I’ve been running on fumes and I can tell the girls are ready for a change of pace. In hindsight, I truly can’t believe we’ve already worked through Fall to Christmas break. When we started homeschooling this Fall, Christmas break seemed sooooo far away. But, here we are and I have lived to write about it. I have learned a lot since September and hope to get some time over the break to really focus on tweaking parts of our routine and generally making things better for all of us.

Today should be quick an easy. Wrapping up chapters in both english and math and taking a spelling test. After some reading time and I’m thinking an art project, we’ll call it BREAK!

How are you finishing up before Christmas break?