We start our journey into the fun, scary land of Homeschooling

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I’m homeschooling Kirstyn this year.  We’ve been homeschooling all along, if you want to be technical!  But this year I’m scheduling, and documenting, and creating a portfolio to turn in at the end of our 180 days.  In Pennsylvania we don’t have to have our children in school until they’re eight years old.  Isn’t that crazy?  The lack of pressure is nice, though.  Of course I’d be teaching Kirstyn anyway, but I don’t have to.  I’m choosing to!  (The rebel in me likes that.)  I have two years to conquer this homeschool thing, with all its subject requirements, field trips, documentation, schedules, lack of schedules, testing, and portfolios (which I’m dreading).  By the time Kirstyn’s eight and I have no choice anymore, I’ll have this whole official homeschool thing down pat!  Rriiight…

I get comments about my choice. People say, “Wow!”  And, “You’re brave — with all those other children?”  Stuff like that.  And it’s true — it will be hard!  Those comments don’t encourage me.  They make it worse!  I’m already totally nervous and freaking out.  To be honest, I would love to send my children to public school.  (Yikes!  I just admitted that in public!)  I’m not afraid of the hard work.  I’m afraid of failing.  I want my children to have the best education possible, and sometimes I don’t feel like I can provide that!  Part of me feels like if I stick them on a bus they’ll be safe.  Better off than at home with me.  They’ll learn more.  I know, in my head, that I’m thinking nonsense!  I know, in my head, that I can do it!  I know I’m the best choice for a life-long influence on my children.  I know I’m doing this so my children can have a better education, if we’re diligent, and so we can have fun while we learn.  I know I’m doing this so I can incorporate God into everything we learn.  When my kids leave home, I want them to remember God when they remember science or history or anything else they learned.

And so, my journey as a homeshool mom begins.  Has begun.  I thought I’d be really sad, thinking about lazy days with my four small children… days that will never come again.  (Sounds like ages ago, huh?)  And I am sad, a little.  But then I realized that I already have nine school days to document!  We’re already in the swing of things!  I didn’t have to deal with that “first” day of school.  It’s gone!  On Saturday we found ten monarch caterpillars to bring back home.  We’ll feed them milkweed, give them a safe place to spin their cocoons, and watch them turn into butterflies.  That counts!  Kirstyn is reading independently now, and I’m digging out all the old Dick and Jane books for her.  She reads almost every day.  Those days count!  Clipping the chickens’ wings, reading about the Great Horned Owl,  studying about the moon, the seasons, hibernation and migration, learning new words like “predator” and using them correctly, drawing pictures of what I read to her… it all counts!  It’s kind of exciting, when I realize how fun and easy this can be.  This whole school-at-home thing can be a blast if I can stick to my guns, relax at the same time, and develop my creative teaching skills.  I mean, wow!  We’re studying life! And the whole wide world!  That’s awesome stuff.

P.S.  Our official, every day, stick-to-a-schedule type of school will be the second week of September.  Canning takes precedence right now!  Then we’re visiting my family in Massachusetts for a week.  We’ll be spending a day in New York City while we’re up north, and that goes in the portfolio!  By the time we get home and officially start school, we’ll be halfway through the school year!  Well, not quite. =)

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4 responses »

  1. Love it! You sound like such a fun teacher! My first day of school started and went well, but I was already struggling with doubts — wondering if my boys would learn a lot more with someone else. Anyway, the boys seem to be enjoying themselves, and I hope it stays that way. Can’t wait to hear how it all goes for you.

  2. I am so excited for you! You can do this! You are already WAY ahead of me. We did a caterpillar but that was it. Although they are learning a lot about horses, that counts right? lol
    I meant to give this to you before..but I forgot. This is the best site I have found for lapbooks and I think Kirstyn would love them.
    http://www.homeschoolshare.com/Lapbooks_at_HSS.php
    Just remember that I sent my kids to school and they REFUSE to go back every year. I always ask them and they always scream “NOOOOOO!”

    Melanie

  3. Mel, that’s funny! Thanks for the site. A mom at our church does lapbooks, and they’re so creative! I’d need a site though — not so creative on my own. =)
    Caterpillars are fun memories. I remember walking around Indian Hollow looking for caterpillars to bring home. We did it almost every year when we were young!

  4. Hey, haven’t been on the internet for a week or so….what great posts! Made me smile lots….good job! Can’t wait to see all of you real soon. Love, Mom
    P.S.
    Out here in the boonies, we can’t even get dial-up hooked up yet, thus no email account. We’re really not in that far out, but I think we’re in this little pocket of land that has poor reception. Good night out here on the deck though, someone’s wireless that we’re receiving on Dad’s computer is working well. The deck is not covered and because of the weather, our time to try to find a signal is limited!

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