Thursday, November 15, 2007

First week of Homeschooling

Our first week of homeschooling was a real struggle. We had 8 subject lessons to fit in a day. Other homeschool moms were telling me that they work for about 4 hours a day. We started at 9am and would not get finished until 5pm. I was just ready to cry. What were we doing wrong? Brayden was constantly wanting me to do this and that for him causing us to stop and start teaching. My brain was frazzled by the end of the day. When was I suppose to fit in cleaning the house, laundry and cooking dinner? I kept hearing God say just focus your day on Him and everything will fall into place. He knew I needed to turn towards Him and just have patience. After the first month, things started to be more relaxed. We know only do 6 subjects. We dropped Penmanship. She did enough writing in her other courses. We also dropped Bible. Ashton did not care for the curriculm. The lady on the video taught it like she was in kindergarten. It was still hard to fit those 6 subjects in on day. We stopped History to focus on Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Science, and Math. Once we got in routine over these we eventually added in History.
The best thing I did was found a rountine that was consistent. Here is our schedule that worked for us:
8am: Get out of bed eat breakfast at the table; then had a family devotional together
(This is the best thing we started together! How else to start your morning reading the Bible together and praying for each other.)
8:45am We did morning exercise. This is so much fun. I was worried it would make Ashton tired and not want to do school work, but it did the opposite. I woke us up!
9am School starts! We work till about 1 or 2pm depending on what we have planned that afternoon (soccer, errands, etc.)

I put Brayden in Mother's Day Out twice a week just so he can have interaction with other kids his age. This gave Ashton and I to catch up on anything we were behind on or needed extra attention to.

I have to say I still have "stinky days" that I just want to throw my hands up in the air and just quit. I just have to remember "the testing of our faith produces patience." James 1: 3 Homeschooling has been a great journey of trials and testing. I have faith in God that he will be there every step and will give me patience. I want to enjoy my children and they grow up and just cherish every season of life with them. God gave me the best job in the world- raise my children in a godly home.

I have really enjoyed to start to blog. This is my first. I really have have been wanting to write my thoughts down in a journal, but this seems to be easier. Plus I get to share all my great moments with my friends and family. Warning- I am not be the best writer (especially grammar!), but it has been fun.

Off to finish teaching ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Beginning of our Journey into Homeschooling

Hank and I decided to homeschool our daughter, Ashton, this year. She graduated from elementary to middle school which can be a scary transition. Our neighborhood recently got annexed into the city where Ashton will no longer be going to a city school rather than a county school. (City schools are very poor in academics, violence, etc.) We thought about private school, but our finances just couldn't handle it with one income.

I recently graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance. Since I finally got my schooling out of the way, we thought this was the perfect time to begin homeschooling.

I was really nervous about beginning this journey. One minute I was excited that I could have a closer relationship with my daughter. The next minute I was literally freaking out. I have never taught school plus I had a two year old that demanded all my time. I really prayed about this decision. I just felt God wanting me to homeschool- not just academic school but learn more about God . Does that make sense? I want my daughter to grow up to be a godly woman. I needed to show her how to have a close relationship to God. I think that is the best knowledge I can teach my children, God's Word, for their future.

Well, we decided to go with a "box curriculum" which everybody I talked to suggested for the first year. We went with Bob Jones University with the DVD set. Her lessons were on DVD. All she had to do was watch the DVD and do her workbooks. How hard could this be? Wow, was I wrong. After I ordered the kit, I received 5 boxes at my front door within 2 weeks. How much stuff did I need? I have an OCD of organization. Yes, my family makes fun of me all the time for it. Everything must be planned and organized. Everything should be written in my big calendar! Being organized gives me such a high. I told you I am crazy! When those boxes came, my OCD went into overdrive. I had to have everything in a perfect format. I went out and bought organized shelves for Ashton's room. I had everything color coded, folders matched books, spiral notebooks also matched. I had my labeler ready to go to label everything in sight. You would have thought she was actually leaving the house to go to school thinking someone was out to steal all her school supplies. Oh, I forgot to tell you this was in the middle of June. School didn't start till August. Again, I told you I am crazy!

Well, tomorrow I will continue my blog to tell how our first month of homeschooling to get Brayden in the bath tub and off to bed.