Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Classroom Time"

In an attempt to make myself feel like I was actually doing some teaching, I came up with classroom time (creative, I know)  Every morning after breakfast while my 5 month old is taking his morning nap, the girls sit up at the counter and have classroom time with mommy.  It can be as simple as coloring or cutting, or more detailed like flashcards, dot-to-dots, or working on handwriting.  I give them each a few options and they can pick what they want to work on. 

Since they are only 3 and 2, it requires my complete attention and is totally hands on.  I can stand in between them and go back and forth as needed.  So far I have had nothing but excitement, they ask for it a few times a day.  Yesterday, Addison walked downstairs and asked if we could have classroom time even before breakfast, makes me think I am doing something right.

I am not one that likes to force learning on children, but if they are having fun and learning something at the same time, I am all for it!  We typically learn by reading books.  My girls love to read to me and I love to read to them, so I hope this continues throughout their lives.  We own well over 500 books and are continually looking for more shelf space, but I know this will only get worse over time.  I hope to keep things relaxed around here, but I know some structure is needed, which is why I thought I would try out this classroom time idea.  Luckily for me, it is a success!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So I have decided to homeschool, where should I start?

It's official, I am going to homeschool my kids.  After my husband and I made that decision, I thought, now what.  I, of course, did what most people would do.  I did as much research as possible.  I have read many books, looked online, read many blogs, contacted friends and family that have or are currently homeschooling just to make sure I have a complete understanding of what I am getting myself into. 

My favorite book to date is So You're Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel.  It is a very easy read and it gave me a quick overview of the different styles of homeschooling out there.  One of my favorite blogs is They have a few contributors, so it is always nice to hear different perspectives.  Of all the people I have talked to, everyone just loves what they are doing.  I think you would have to, otherwise, why do it.  There are always some complaints, but nothing over the top. 

I keep asking myself, now what?  Should I purchase curriculum?  Should we just live life and see where it takes us?  Should I set up a "classroom" for the kids or just teach wherever they want to learn?  There are so many questions, none of which I know the answer, so I will work my way through them and see where we end up.

Why Blog?

That is the question I am currently asking myself, like I don't already have enough on my plate.  Did I just start this on a whim or is there an actual reason?  Well, the answer is both.  I have been reading a ton of blogs lately and I said to myself, what fun (the whim part) I would also like to record my way through this homeschooling journey so I can look back on it in a few years and probably laugh and if I can help someone else along the way, all the better!

So, what will I blog about?  Who knows!  My goal would be to blog about the steps I have taken in my homeschooling journey, how we do things, what works (and what doesn't) good resources I have come across etc.  I am guessing there may be some random posts about my family in general or even just a place to say what's on my mind.

I have never blogged before nor have I ever set up a website before, so bare with me and we will see if we can get this thing rolling. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Calling

I have been researching public and private schools in my area for about a year.  My husband and I ruled out public schools from the very beginning, so most of my research is on private schools.  We have visited a few in the area including the church it is connected to and we kept coming up short.  A few months ago we "settled" on sending our children to a Catholic school down the street.  Great school, we just don't happen to be Catholic.  I am actually a cradle Catholic, but my husband and I are very happy at the church we currently belong, it is truly our church family.  We knew by making that decision we might need to join a different church, but we were willing to do that for our children's education.

A couple of months ago, I got this crazy idea in my head that I should homeschool.  Yes, you heard me correctly, crazy idea.  I thought and prayed on this subject for a few weeks before I even mentioned it to my husband, hoping it would pass.  I mean what happened to the days ahead where I would be able to go the store while my kids were at school, cook dinner or even clean the house??  I kept saying to myself this is crazy, why I can't I convince myself to stop thinking about this. 

I sat my husband down and told him what I had been thinking (I was secretly hoping he would object) and he about jumped off the couch with excitement!  I mentioned to him that all of the negatives I thought about weren't even bothering me.  That is when he said the 4 magic words I have been waiting for my entire life, "This is Your Calling"  Oh my gosh, he's right, this is my calling and that is why everything just seems so easy.  I am 100% devoted to my family and this is the road God has chosen for me.  As much as I was trying to fight it, I couldn't.  There was an answer to every question and I was finally at peace in my life.


Quick introduction.  My husband and I were married in 2007.  We had our first baby girl in 2008, our second baby girl in 2009 and our first baby boy in 2010.  Needless to say, we have been busy!!  I feel truly blessed that I have been able to stay home with our children.  Our oldest, Addison, has blown us away from day 1.  She started reading before she turned 2.  She is now reading 100+ page chapter books.  She has known her colors, shapes, phonics, days of the week, months of the year, vowels, and most states for over a year now.  Her imagination takes her to many fun places, usually keeping her awake instead of napping.  Laney is now 2 and is not far behind.  She wants to be doing whatever it is that her big sister is doing!  About a year ago the topic kept coming up of what are they going to do when they get to school, they will be bored!  The subject of homeschooling came up and I said NO WAY!!  I can't imagine that ever happening, I would never have another free second in my life.  I will always be taking kids with me to the store and how about those leisurely lunches I used to love.  The answer was no and that was the end of it!  I have been researching schools ever since.