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Making the World Cuter: Three Things Thursday-Homeschooling

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


Three Things Thursday-Homeschooling

Thanks for all the fun questions for my Q&A. I decided to split them up into categories, so that I could give an adequate response for each question. This week I will focus on the questions about Homeschooling.

Question 1: Why did you decide to Homeschool?

Answer: This is a tough one to answer simply, because there is no simple reason. So get comfortable! :)

The first notion I had to do it, was when I was in my sister-in-laws amazing school room with her time line that I loved and saw how absolutely great her kids were (and still are). There wasn't any of that social weirdness that I was certain all homeschooled children had, in fact these kids had tons of friends, lots of time to pursue the things they were interested in and were best friends with each other. The family got to go on all sorts of fun trips and not have to worry about missing school-they just incorporated school into their lives rather than their lives into school. My oldest was a baby when I started thinking about it, and I didn't give it much thought after.

Then when my Bekah went into preschool, I once again thought about homeschooling because of how going to school changed her. Nothing drastic, or even all that bad. It's just that she started doing things that kids do, that I wasn't ready for.
She started caring about who was "first" to do something or who had the biggest or the most. She started saying to her little brother when she didn't get her way..."then I won't be your friend." Now granted these things were probably all inevitable, but at 3 I felt she was a little young to be acting this way. Plus she would come home and say words that were "bad words" at our house, like dumb, shut-up and stupid. Argghh.

That wasn't all though. When I would go to pick her up from pre-school, I would have to wait most days for 20 or more minutes while she finished her project. My daughter is a perfectionist (wonder where she got that huh?) and school just moves so fast. They would spend 10 minutes on art, 1o minutes on a worksheet, 10 minutes on story time, which is what you have to do in a room full of 3 year olds. But Bekah would get anxious because she was trying to cut something out on the lines, or glue her hair on her puppet just so. I felt that being a perfectionist and taking time to do something that is important to her was something I didn't really want her to lose, just so that she could move on to the next thing.

I am not worried about her social skills one bit, we have plenty of play dates with lots of friends, she goes to church every week, and ballet and tap once a week, and we are in a pre-school group that does field trips once a month-and honestly what school does field trips once a month?

Finally for my own selfish reasons, I REALLY enjoy my little girl, she is helpful with her brothers, she loves to learn and I would miss her like crazy. It might have been a different story if my boys were the oldest! :) Plus we do school when we want to, if I need to sleep in because I am pregnant and exhausted, that's fine-we don't have a bus to catch. If she is feeling sick-she doesn't have to miss school, we can still do it. If either of us is just having a busy or an off day-we can work school into or around it. We can take breaks when we want to, just to make cupcakes, or watch a movie and then get back to it when we feel more into it. She learns when she is ready to learn, not when the clock says it's time, and that has helped a lot.

Question #2-Where do you get your outline for homeschooling?

Answer #2-This will not be as long as answer #1 :)

Basically up until a couple weeks ago-I just pulled things from wherever. We learned about what we wanted to. We try to go to the library here in town at least once a week and get new books about what she wants to learn about, and videos that go along with it. You can find everything you need on the Internet too, so we did a lot of researching and playing on the computer. What I focused on though, is teaching her to read. My theory is, is if she can read-she can learn anything and everything. She can get a book on any subject and learn it. If she wanted to learn rocket science she could, as long as she could read it (and comprehend it of course). So we focused on just reading a lot of books, learning sight words and reading everything we saw. It just seemed like overnight she went from reading signs around town that said stop and one way to ones like library and pharmacy. She caught on very quickly when we started focusing all of our energy on it-and now she sits and reads over my shoulder while I type-or will sit and read her brothers books while I'm making dinner.

Okay-so this answer is getting long. About a month ago, I decided we needed more structure now that she can read, and now that I am pregnant and not feeling like doing much during the day. I needed some accountability, and she needed some challenging work.
I found out about Connections Academy-which is an online virtual public school. Which means it's free. (Yeah for us, the poor students).
She is getting a stellar education-she is learning about fractions, soil, and how to write a letter in kindergarten! They let your advanced students fly ahead to where they are being challenged, and then allow you to take it slower with subjects they need a little more time with.
So far it's been great.
They sent us a computer to use just for school, which is nice that she is not monopolizing mine.
They sent us all the workbooks, lesson manuals, teachers aids, about 30-40 reading books, paper etc...etc...
They also sent crayons. paints, arts and crafts things, music, math cubes-you name it they sent it, all free of charge. A lot of it is from Calvert Academy which is a private online school that I looked into and it was going to cost over $1000 to get her enrolled...something I just couldn't swallow. She also will do all the state standardized testing, and since she is enrolled in public school...I don't have to worry about truancy officers knocking on my door.
Question #3-What kinds of things do you do?

Answer #3-I still like to do our own thing for school on top of the awesome curriculum that we are doing.
Every morning we sing a song, have morning prayer, say the pledge of allegiance, read a scripture or inspirational story and work on our time line.
Then we log onto her school website and go down the days schedule. We made the schedule so we chose what days we were going to do each subject-some subjects like math and language we do every day. I try and have all the worksheets and materials that she'll need for each lesson in a folder at the beginning of the day, so that when we get to that lesson she has it there in front of her.
The nice thing about the curriculum, is that a lot of the subjects mesh together, so while we are reading books about weather and the earth, we are doing science, math and activity lessons about soil, thermometers and things to do in different weather.
It takes about 3-4 hours a day, most of which she doesn't need to be managed since she can read the directions herself. I am just there to give her encouragement and answer any questions she has.
It's super fun to see that she is gaining her independence, her self-esteem and her knowledge of all of these things in my own home. I get to be the one to give her a gold star when she does a great job.
Plus, now my 3 year old is starting to get a little more of an attention span, so he will follow along for a good portion of the day-and do some "homework" of his own.
He really likes it when his sister is the "teacher" and shows him how to do things, and that makes her feel good too, when she can read the directions and teach him something.

I know home school isn't for everyone, but for me I honestly can't imagine another way. Sure it would be nice to have time for myself-but with all these littler ones, right now it would just be harder if I sent the one good helper I had away for 7 hours a day! (We have full day kindergarten here).
Hopefully that answered all your homeschooling questions you had for me, but if you have more feel free to contact me, and I will email you back! :)



Blogger Kelly Howard said...

You are such a good mama! All your answers were perfect! HSing is the best and after being almost at the end of 13 is a way of life. It has brought treasured relationships that might have never been! HUGS!

Thu Feb 18, 05:23:00 AM

Blogger Addie said...

Thanks so much for this information. I have toyed with this idea since my now 2 year old was born--- but haven't really looked into anything just yet.

Thu Feb 18, 05:31:00 AM

Blogger Kristan said...

Thank you for the look into your homeschooling ways. I wish my hubby was on board with homeschooling. That Connections Academy sounds fantastic

Thu Feb 18, 06:29:00 AM

Blogger Jo Shabo said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on homeschooling... It is nice to hear what other people are thinking about this as well.
This was a great read! :)

Thu Feb 18, 06:37:00 AM

Blogger Kaysi said...

Thanks for answering my questions!! You are amazing for all that you do! I wish that I had the patience to home school my kids. My oldest is too much of a social bug and he would not like me to home school him at all! I'm with you though, it drives me nuts that they are already getting exposed to all the "junk" of the world and come home saying bad words.


Thu Feb 18, 06:41:00 AM

Blogger Cheryl said...

We're homeschoolers too and for many of the same reasons:) Glad to have you share your experiences!

Thu Feb 18, 08:58:00 AM

Blogger Mommabear said...

Wow, this Q & A was great! I love to know why, how and everything else when people homeschool. I have been thinking about doing it since the day my first was born...and he just tuned 3 so preschool is right around the corner for us. Thanks for the insight into what you do to school at home :)

Thu Feb 18, 11:50:00 AM

Blogger Jacqui said...

Thanks for sharing! Good to know that there are other homeschoolers out there =) We also do it thru our school district and enjoy all the "freebies."

Thu Feb 18, 05:14:00 PM

Anonymous Denise said...

Great article. If you are looking for a fun activity involving sight words, please visit our website -

Sun Feb 21, 12:57:00 PM

Blogger Lisa C said...

Cool, I like your homeschooling techniques, especially the parts about learning what she is most interested in and focusing on reading--I totally agree with what you said about reading. Never heard of that virtual school...may look into that. Thanks for sharing!

Wed Mar 03, 06:04:00 PM


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Thanks for making the world so stinkin cute!

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