Saturday, March 8, 2014

Celebrating 10 years!

 It has been ten years ( Wow! Ten years already?!), since I began my homeschooling adventure. Yet, it seems like just yesterday, that I was getting started homeschooling. At the time, I only had one child, my two ( almost three ) year old daughter. For some "newbies", figuring out what you need to do, can be a stressful, confusing, overwhelming, and even fun. When I first began my Adventure into Homeschooling, I was all of that. Most newbies, like myself,  will have their share of trial and errors. Or as I like to call them" T& E's".

So, please don't feel discouraged when you come across yours, everyone has some bump along the way.

One of the first of my many T&E's, was getting the idea that you have to re-create the school setting at home. I had our spare room all decorated with teaching posters, dry erase board, and even a princess themed school desk, that I had found at a store. For some, this way of schooling works very well. However, for others...
Well, I think many of us have to "De-School" our mind set and learn what works for "our" school at home.

It took me a while, but I soon discovered that a more relaxed way of teaching & learning, worked best in our home-school. Today, our classroom is wherever we choose. Sometimes, it is at the table, other times the couch, or even outside. We no longer follow a typical school calendar, but instead school year-round; taking breaks when we choose.

Picking out curriculum, was another T&E moment for me. When I started shopping for curriculum, I decided that I would call around to some of the local private schools in my area. At the time I thought, what was good enough for them, would defiantly be the best route for me to go. Being new to the world of home-schooling, I thought that they would be a better judge of what was considered the best curriculum to use. In fact, I was so sure, that I ordered Kindergarten and 1st grade levels; of our boxed curriculum "recommendation" through A beka at the same time.

I do not advise anyone to purchase more than one grade level at a time. The reason is because children change and what works one minute, may not work the next.

By the time I accepted that the set-up I had created, was not working as beautifully as I had hoped, my daughter was half way through her 1st Grade year. We were both bored, unhappy, and she was  having difficulty's learning to read.

 A lot of parents feel ,that they need to finish the curriculum that they had purchased. Being on a budget myself, I understand. That being said, remember that if your child isn't learning well with what is being used, then it is not being used or saving you any money in the long run.

After many, many hours of getting support and ideas through several fellow Home-school friends, Homeschooling forum's, and Blogs, I came to the conclusion that I needed to figure out my child's learning style, before I could decide what new curriculum to buy.
( This was important, especially since we had another child. I really wanted to make sure, that I did not make another T&E )
Soon we discovered that she was a Visual learner!
So, we decided that an Online Curriculum, would be the way to go.
Thankfully, we found an Awesome program called Time4Learning. We use T4L as our kids core curriculum. There are many reasons, besides it's affordability, that we like this program.
For example, it's flexibility ( month to month payment option & it allows us the ability to school at our own pace.), offers Pre-K through 12th grades, and it's very user friendly features ( grading, record keeping, etc. ). Even though, any of those mentioned would be good reasons to use T4L. Our number one reason is because it works so well for our kids. I mean within months of starting T4L, my daughter was actually reading. Reading! That was big for us, as she had been struggling with the A beka curriculum previously. My son also has done well with the program; always eager to get on the computer to do his school work. I still remember when he was just starting his Pre-K lesson's. He was so cute! He would say,  Mommy, I want to play "Mouse"!

We also love to add new things and shake things up every now and then. School should be fun and interesting. So, don't be afraid to think outside your main curriculum ;)

As you probably have relised, Home-schooling is also a learning experience for "us" the parents, too. Some of our journeys, easier than others, but still worth the effort in the end. For myself, after all these years, I am glad I made this choice for my family & I am looking forward to next Ten years to come!

Until Next Time...

1 comment:

Katie Shuler said...

Happy anniversary! ;) We are coming up on our 9th year of homeschooling, and while we started out as accidental homeschoolers all those years ago, we can't imagine NOT being homeschoolers now. :D