Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why Homeschool?

 It was around April of this year that I felt the tiny nudge.  Just a tiny one.  I ignored it at first.  Then I said, "um there is no way that is happening." I remember telling Josh the crazy thoughts going on in my head, and he didn't freak out.  Not even a little bit.  He calmly said we should pray about it.  So we did.  Someone had mentioned to us that we might really enjoy using a curriculum called Classical Conversations.  We sat down one Saturday and researched it. We ended pouring over it for 2 hours, and I instantly fell in love.  I love the philosophy behind it and the structure of it.  If you'd like to know a little more about their philosophy please check out their website.  God started to slowly change my heart that day.  The very next Sunday as we were dropping Amaya off to her class at church, we saw someone that we knew.  She works at a private school that I had visited earlier in the year.  The school uses a classical model and I absolutely loved the concept.  We began to talk to her, and she mentioned a family that we needed to meet that uses Classical Conversations.  Guess who at that very moment popped around the corner?  Yep, the family she was speaking about. A family we had never seen in church before just happened to pop around the corner.  They were so very nice to stop for about 15 minutes that day and talk to us.  Then later that month they came over for coffee to discuss it more, and I also had a chance to go visit their house to see school in action.  The entire time I continued thinking, "God what are you doing? We move across the country and now we are going to homeschool? WHAT?"  I love how God molds us and changes us in the moments when we least expect it.  He uses our "nevers" or our "no ways" and teaches us how to listen to Him and follow Him instead of simply doing what we think is best for us.   At this point, Josh and I were both feeling the little nudge that perhaps God was leading us to home school this year.  We prayed and we sought some more.  I then had a chance to read the book "The Core" by Leigh A Bortins on a plane trip in May and loved the book.  As an educator, I soaked it in.  It all made sense.  I felt an excitement about educating my own child.  I was ready.  Sort of.  In less than a month we had gone from "never" to "let's do this."  We are now less than one week away from the first week of school and I have those teacher feelings all over again.  The nerves and excitement are there all at once, and I absolutely know that I will need God's strength to do this each day just as I did when I had 25 kids in my classroom.

All that being said, I'm sure you may have some questions about all that has transpired.  Here are just a few that come to mind:

1. Do we have something against public school?  
    Nope.  I would actually love to go back to teaching some day, and I know some very incredible teachers in the public school system.  These teachers love and care for the kids the best way that they can, and they attempt to provide the best education that they can despite the constant new regulations, etc. from the state.

2. Is this forever? Is it for both kids?
    We don't know.  We are simply taking this one day at a time.  Next year God may lead us in a completely different direction, and we are ok with that. 

3. Will your kids end up wearing "homeschool jeans" and being socially awkward?  
    This one makes me laugh because I have to be honest. We totally had this misconception too.  For a long time.  Until we had friends that home schooled that did not fit this silly stereotype! Then we moved to CO and met MORE awesome kids that were "normal."  So perhaps it is just a bit of a stereotype just like anything else.  We also have some great programs here for home schooled children. Amaya will attend a one day a week program offered through the public school for free.  She gets to spend all day with her Kindergarten class learning new things and spending time with other children.  Our Classical Conversations community also meets one half day a week, and she is enrolled in soccer and a swim class.  As far as her being social. She's got that one down. We aren't concerned about that one at all.

That being said, here is a glimpse at what our curriculum looks like this year:

Math: Saxon Math 1

Phonics/Reading/Spelling: First Steps Books, All about Spelling, Copy Work, Explode the Code (seriously love these), lap books to begin the year.  This girl LOVES to read.  She has spoiled me in this area. She'll know words I have never taught her.  I'm excited to see where she at the end of this year! Of course this is also my favorite so it is very easy to be exited about. 

Writing: For now we are doing our own prompts that integrate with the reading work and doing copy work.

History: Classical Conversations + added materials from various resources.  Our first week we are learning about Christopher Columbus.

Geography: Classical Conversations this year focuses on The United States!  I'm a little excited about starting with learning the states and capitals.  

Science: Classical Conversations this year focuses on Anatomy.

Music: CC facts + piano

P.E.: Soccer and Swim

Little Man will be attending his first year of preschool this year and is very excited.  I''m not sure I'll be able to hold back the tears as he walks in with his new Spiderman backpack, but I know he will love it.  

Here we go!


1 comment:

Traci said...

How very exciting. We are starting out third year w/CC, and I, too, am in line with the philosophy. We hope you have a fantastic "first" year teaching and pray the Lord guides your steps. You will have "those days", but we all do, and He makes His power perfect in our weaknesses. I appreciate your honesty and mentality going into your school year. He will certainly lead your family specifically and give you wisdom to know what/how to teach in the future. Looking forward to see your year unfold!