Sixth grade math, seventh grade grammar and spelling, high school level reading – that’s what our homeschool days are made of. At least for my 5th grader. When we began homeschooling over 6 years ago, I never dreamed where it would take us. It has been such a wonderful, enlightening and challenging experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Oh, some days I might want to throw my hands in the air and give up, but I know this is the path God has for our family, so I continue.
So why do we homeschool?
I have shared the story of how and why we came to homeschool here before. As we continue year after year, the reasons stay the same, but the benefits keep adding up. We still believe that this is the best option for our family. We believe the responsibility lies with us to educate our children according to God’s Word, not following what society believes is right at the time. Another benefit is the flexibility homeschooling offers our family.
This year, our school has taken a different course than I planned. I had some great and wonderful curriculum picked out for my oldest, Mister Bull. However, as life often does, I was thrown a curve ball when several of our choices didn’t mesh well with him and no longer challenged him like I felt he needed. So, just a few weeks into our homeschool year, I was forced to find something else that would work.
Changing to make it work
Second, we changed our Language Arts curriculum. We started out with a great creative writing program, then I realized he didn’t have as great a grasp on Grammar as I thought. So, I went in search of a curriculum that could help. I needed something that would help him better learn the parts of speech and their correct usage in sentences. He can write and talk as well as any high schooler, but he didn’t know the terms and that was a problem. We’ve back-tracked a little bit, but he’s doing great with this new online Grammar program I found. And better yet…it’s FREE!! In this program, he does two lessons a day and it self-grades and tracks his scores for me. He is doing really well with this program.
Third, we did away with our spelling and handwriting curriculum. He does a lot of handwriting with his Bible studies and the unit studies, so the additional handwriting was too much for him. Again, I went to the internet in search of a curriculum. I was so excited when I found this wonderful online curriculum that Mister Bull just loves. He gets to play a game while working on his spelling words. If he has trouble or needs some extra practice, I send him over to Spelling City to practice with some more games. Then he can do the test portion, which again, tracks his scores for me.
His reading level is far above that of a 5th grader, so he now goes to the library and chooses his reading material based on what he wants to learn about that day/week. I allow him one fun book for every two chapter books. He still isn’t that fond of reading, but he is doing well with “our deal.”
I wasn’t planning on having a 5th grader that did very little 5th grade work. In fact, it’s pretty much all I picked out for him. Yet, that’s the beauty of homeschooling – you can make it what you want and more importantly what you need. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that I can change things and adjust curriculum as I need to fit my kids, rather than making them fit in to a mold.
Encourage their strengths and nurture their weaknesses
Each of my kids have their own personality and their own strengths and weaknesses. It is my job, as a parent, to help them nurture both. By encouraging their strengths, I want to help foster that love of learning. Requiring them to learn on a higher level in their area of strength not only challenges them, but also lets them know mediocre isn’t okay. Nurturing their weaknesses helps them learn focus, persistence and determination. It is such a rewarding feeling when they succeed at something they’ve worked so hard toward.
Mister Bull is very science and math minded. His favorite shows are “How its Made” and “Mythbusters.” He would watch the Science channel all day if I let him. Mister Mouse was not ready to start school until about March this past year. But, he is picking up his letter sounds and is starting to sound out words on just about everything. Miss Priss is a math whiz. She adds numbers in her head like no 5-year old I’ve ever seen. A and she loves it too. She’s working hard on her letter sounds and is coming along, but I’m able to take more time with her as needed. Punkin has not officially started homeschooling, but I have a feeling that lots of music and singing will be in our future.
So, why do I homeschool…because I love that there is no mold. There is no one size fits all. There is no right or wrong. Homeschooling allows the freedom to find what works for each child. It allows us to change in the middle of the week if need be. And it allows me to see every single one of those light bulb moments that I would otherwise miss.
What is your #1 reason for homeschooling?
This year, I plan to attend our state homeschool convention in April. It will be my first convention and I cannot wait! If you live in Indiana and homeschool or plan to homeschool, you don’t want to miss this event. They have lined up some AMAZING speakers that will encourage and inspire you. And of course, there will be vendors to browse and look at samples of curriculum and products.
Right now you can register for just $50!! But hurry…Early Bird pricing ends December 31, 2015!
Come and meet the IAHE Social Media Team!
We are all excited to meet you and share our love of homeschooling with you.