Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Enjoying the Ride: Our Homeschool Adventure So Far

Do you remember this post? Well, it took me almost all summer but I jumped on the homeschool train. After two months, I'm now 100% sure it was the right choice for us.

I was really unsure about actually doing it because I have never seen myself as the homeschooling type and it just wasn't something I wanted to do. Not to mention the kids can be really stubborn about taking directions and learning from me. I wasn't sure how I would be able to teach two completely different kids in different grades with an extremely curious and active toddler in the mix too. And let's not forget that I have a deployed husband and this mama gets zero breaks to be alone.

After going back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, I decided to go for it. After all, I can always change my mind if it isn't working. There were just a few reasons that really pushed me to my decision. For one, our public school system we live in is not one where I want my children to be. Two, come winter, I absolutely do not want to be driving my kids to school every day to the next closest public school in the snow. No, thank you! And three, when Gabe comes home for his R&R or when we want to visit family, we do not have to plan anything around the school's vacation days.

I then researched a few different homeschool curriculums but nothing stood out as the one I wanted to follow. The kids are still really young so I headed out to the book store and bought oodles of workbooks for Alena (2nd grade) and Christian (K and 1st grade).

Christian just barely missed the cutoff for Kindergarten last year and is ready for 1st grade. His writing needs some work before that though. He's breezing through the Kindergarten books so I have no problem moving him up to 1st grade early (I'm guessing after the new year). That's one of my favorite perks of homeschooling! He has his moments where he is just so sloooow. But for the most part, Christian does his work without hassle. He just likes to talk and talk and wiggle around which increases the amount of time it takes to finish.

Alena has surprised me the most. She has always been the most stubborn when it comes to me showing her how to do anything. She would fight me so much until I either gave up or we were both nearly in tears. She has her days of resisting but does rather well for the most part.  

On top of learning at home, we participate in a homeschool co-op one day a week. They had several classes for their grade/age group to choose from and they chose Insects, Sports, and Art. There are around 10 families that attend so not too big and we all really love it.

The kids are enjoying the experience and doing better than I expected. Christian does especially well with not disturbing Alena and I when she is doing her schooling for the day. Alena likes to hang around and "help" Christian with his work. In other words, she hovers over his shoulder to give him answers or prove how she is smarter than him. We're working on her being better about that though.

I try to schedule our lessons around Noah's nap time (usually 2 hours long) so that we can do it uninterrupted. There are plenty of days where that doesn't happen and we just have to work around that. Thankfully, he is pretty good at entertaining himself. Sometimes I sit at the table or we sit together on the couch while I nurse Noah. We just make the best of the situation and do what we can.

All in all, we are embracing being a homeschool family. I really do love the freedom it brings to our day and how I don't have to drive anyone to school! Honestly, I never expected this much less to enjoy it, but I do. WE do. I would like to encourage anyone who is on the fence about whether to homeschool or not to give it a try. Jump in and enjoy the ride!

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