Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Every year of homeschooling has gotten better. I attribute that to the fact that they are getting older. When we started we had an infant.....then there was the toddler.....those days were real fun. Barney was our best friend (I don't care what you say- I like Barney). Now we have a preschooler who can sit and "do school" with us. She will also sit and listen to our read aloud stories, participate in Science, and listen to the History lesson.

What is nice about homeschool is that we all have our own styles. There is no right or wrong way- except to make sure you are within the guidelines of your state or province. I have felt very secure within my curriculum. Feeling that they know more than I do about scope and sequence and planning what year to teach what content.

But within the safety of the curriculum (we use BJPress) we have had a lot of fun taking some of our own rabbit trails and digging deeper into a topic. For example, we found Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea fascinating. We found lots of books at the library and spent a few weeks reading about them.

This post was very interesting and I decided that I have a definite interest in the Charlotte Mason method- especially when it comes to learning from real books.

I enjoyed reading about Charlotte Mason. What do you think? Do you follow her ideas?

Then I found this post on nature journals. I love this!!! Totally love it.

Teaching is totally different at home than when I taught kindergarten. To have 3 different students at different grade levels- to have to keep up with the laundry- to live with your students. This all adds some interesting moments- but what I am learning is that each year is closer to what I am striving for. The older the kids get the more we can do as far as creative teaching. But there is nothing wrong with - "sit and do your math worksheet, sit and practice your flashcards." As in everything, life included- it is all a balance and some of the schooling is just going to be downright hard work and self discipline!

So this turned into just a bunch of random thoughts about homeschool. Basically I just wanted to share those links that were inspiring to me. Maybe encourage you if you have just started homeschooling and it is not going so well. May you one of these days find yourself surrounded by your children, just as excited as them about the book or project you are working on. That kind of day is precious. Precious are the moments when we really connect and communicate with our kids (whether you homeschool or not).

Precious are the moments when you get to read scriptures together- to see God's Word in a new light. We read Psalm 119:105 today:
Your Word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Oh that our children would take God's Word and use it to guide their ways- to use it as the light so they do not have to stumble through life.

Any precious moments lately? How is homeschool going for you? How is traditional school going for you? I am not against traditional school and I would love to hear your thoughts as well. I know some parents who do a really good job at carving out that time to spend with their children after a day at school and/or before school.


Chrissie Grace said...

I used to homeschool my oldest but with the three little ones it got overwhelming for me. We are very happy with the older two in public school now, I am sure to stay very involved. I also try to encourage their interests that I know they don't have time for in school.
Now that the kids are getting older homeschooling might be easier, but they are happy where they are so for now it works!:)
The only thing that makes me sad is that at public school they cannot pray or talk about God at all:(

Shelly said...

Pre-K is going great! My son's social skills have become so much better. He has a best friend and it is so cute. He loves it and gets mad if a day is cancelled for snow or whatever. Right now they are doing the 5 senses. I love his teacher and can't wait for our school zoo trip in April!

Garth and Becky said...

I homeschool our two oldest using BJUP as well. Our 2 year old does "school" with us. She has a box filled with crayons, coloring books, etc. that she is only allowed to use during school time.

Jara said...

I am also a HUGE public school advocate, but I have MANY friends who homeschool. I read a book once that said being a christian, and sending your kids to public school is teaching them to stand up and defend their faith early and often. I also taught in public school and am fortunate enough to live in an area that is in the "bible belt" so it's termed. I welcome those times when my kids go through situations at school that question their morals/values/faith and pray that each time that happens it opens another door for us to talk about why we believe what we do!!!! Sometimes I secretly wish I homeschooled though, because I miss the "fun stuff" about teaching:) I taught kindergarten:)

Ruth said...

I love homeschooling, too. My kids are 16 and 12 and we have fun with school. There are tough moments, too but we work through it.

I love the Charlotte Mason style. The nature books you linked to are amazing. We keep nature journals, too. She has great ideas. I think we are due for another nature walk.


manda said...

This is our first year homeschooling (K and 3rd grade) and I am still trying to figure some things out. We are getting the work done but I feel like I don't have much time for the fun stuff. Part of it is learning how to prioritize our other commitments and dropping some things that aren't filling a real purpose. Thankfully we know that God called us to homeschool and He is giving us what we need when I don't feel like it is going well. I am looking forward to having one year under our belt. I have heard a million times that the first year is the hardest and it gets better and better the longer you do it. I am really looking forward to next year while still trying to make this year the best it can be.

Momma Rae and the Deputy said...

ive been attempting preschool with the oldest four and leaving the baby in the playpen...its been kinda cute to watch them!!

Jane said...

I was just thinking that I wish I could personally home school some of my special ed students. They are bright, but just so far behind due to their own personal limitations. If only I could truly give them the time and repetition that they need to really grasp a concept. Time is the gift of homeschooling. Time to repeat, go deeper or move on faster.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I remember my homeschooling days well, and we had to figure out what worked for us. I used BJ also, and Saxon Math(that was wonderful)I often used some variety, and tailored it for each child. Jackie

Staci Danford said...

I sent my "big" 2 kids to public school and I guess you could say they have done fine.. But with a different outlook a second time around with Brady....I can tell you that right now there isn't much of any place I could send him besides HOME that I feel is right for him... He's just too sweet to ruin. ha

ByHISgoodGrace said...

Hello! : )
I love My Father's World--it mixes Charlotte Mason, Classical, Literature and Unit Study all in one. The teacher's manual and entire program has been so helpful for me this year with the three boys, dealing with grief from deaths in the family and my pregnancy which hasn't been an easy one so far. Charlotte Mason short lessons have been an incredible blessing.

Julie Bagamary said...

OOO- your art with scripture is GREAT!

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

I love homeschooling. LOVE it. And, like you said, each year just gets better and better, as the youngest gets easier to deal with. ;-)
I'm also a big Charlotte Mason fan. If you enjoy what you've read so far, check out It has SOOOO much information, reading lists, and so forth. The focus on BOOKS is wonderful. Education is a lifelong process, and learning is more than getting through a book or a year... it's about gaining knowledge and understanding.
I believe God expects us to engage and develop our minds as much as we are able.

gypsy@Hebrews11:13 said...

Except for high school, I received a classical education growing up. So, I tend to lean that way in my homeschooling- I am HUGE fan of Charlotte Mason. Funny- I never would have pegged you as one who would like her style:) You get this glazed-over look when I mention something that is working for us- but I know you LOVE BJU- I have heard good things about it:)and I love their kindergarten math. And yes, I ADORE homeschooling, because I love to learn!!!!

Rachel said...

We homeschool and are loving it so far.
I also agree with lots that Charlotte Mason stands for and does. There are some things that I don't always think are applicable for today.
So for us, it's a combo of unit study + Charlotte Mason approach.
I have really enjoyed Ann Voskamp's A Child's Geography. It's just so nice how it starts out simple and easy but by the end, they've really learned some heavier stuff.
We are currently using FIAR and other unit studies from HSS. We have been blessed by both.

I loved both of the art pieces you shared during this post - about appreciating what you have and the verse in Galatians.

Miss G said...

Sara, I really enjoyed reading this post. I did not realize you homeschool. I am presently a public school teacher and I am expecting my first baby next month. We're seriously considering home schooling when we get to that age. We'll see. I appreciate getting your perspective. Have a great day today! Kelly