Wednesday, August 18, 2010

my 3

School is starting for us on Monday here at the Franklin School of Arts and Academics (our homeschool). I am getting really excited. The kids are pretending not to be excited- except for our 4 year old {miss giggle pants}. She is very excited to start school just like her brothers!!!! The boys {magic ears, the 9 year old, and the middle child, who is 7} like to pretend that they don't like school- but they love it and adore their teacher :)

Was that all as clear as mud when I was trying to tell you their ages and nicknames? I figure it is about time I give them nicknames on the blog since I am stingy and don't like to share their identities.

Magic Ears (our 9 year old boy) - because he can hear anything. Dave and I have to go out in the woods and whisper if we want to keep something from him.

The Middle Child (our 7 year old boy)- simply because we have so many nicknames for him but they all include his real name.

Miss Giggle Pants (our 4 year old girl)- if you knew her in real life you would know- she can giggle on command.

I love homeschooling the kids. There are days of course. But everyone has days- and mostly there are bad days because we get worn out and need a break. But mostly, homeschooling is the best thing that has happened to the kids and I. Homeschooling has caused me to spend more time with the kids. It has helped me to stop doing all the other things a mom does all day (cooking, cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, etc) and read to the kids, listen to the kids, mentor the kids, do projects with them, learn with them.

There are some people who give the advice to people interested in homeschooling that say, "don't do it if you don't really enjoy being with your kids all day". I just don't like that advice. Homeschooling has given me the opportunity to enjoy my kids. Summer is when I don't enjoy the kids as much. Summer is when everyone gets bored and in trouble and on every one's nerves. But when you are engaged with your children, learning, doing object lessons, going on field trips- reading to them and listening to them- these kids are as good as gold. (for the most part :)

It is when you don't have time for the kids, that is when the trouble starts- they will do anything to get their parents attention! Not just my kids, but really any kids. Take the biggest trouble maker in your class and give him one-on-one loving attention from an adult = different kid.

So the only problem is when you have more than one kid, right? Well we can't give each kid our attention all the time. They need to learn to work independently. To discover and learn on their own as well. But when their little hearts are full of time enough with mom and dad- these things get worked out.

I was reading this today:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This is what we get to do! We get to teach the about our great God every day! We get to read the Bible with them and talk to them about what it means! We get to teach them about real, every day life. How to manage money, how to cook and clean, how to be kind to your neighbors, how to find a book at the library. How to shop for things you need. How to read and write and add and subtract. We get to teach them what a huge, great world this is, about God's great creation and the amazing animals and plants that we live with! We get to teach them that the greatest joy comes from knowing and loving and following God!

I never lose this excitement at the beginning of a new school year. There are so many possibilities. So many things to discover. So many moments in each day that I can spend with my kids. I can get to know them and try to find out what makes their little brains tick. What are their hopes and goals? How can we achieve those goals?

My prayer is that God will give me the wisdom to be the teacher and example that I need to be. My prayer for this new school year is that I will not get sidetracked with things that don't matter. ((I think this is one of the biggest obstacles for a homeschooling mom!!!))

Who is homeschooling this year? How long have you done it? What is the best/worst thing about it for you? Who has already started school?

**a disclaimer**
I do not feel that homeschooling is right for everyone- and I do not look down on you if you do not homeschool. I am using this post to tell why I like homeschooling and why it works for us right now. I understand that God has a different plan for everyone's life.

I am linking to Heart of the Matter


Nichole said...

What a great post! We begin homeschooling on Monday. It's our first year. God has definitely lead us to begin this journey and we can't wait to see his plan unfold!

Montgomery Family said...

Wow, Sara! I love that verse and your heart for your kids!!! I am sending my oldest to 1st grade--his first all-day, real school experience. It starts Monday, and I'm a little tender about it. But God is leading us to do public school, so here we go!!! And I hope I get to seize those moments every chance I get with him!!!

Dana D said...

Your words are so true and well spoken! I taught public school for several years before I was able to homeschool our boys. And without fail, the worst behaved child always found his/her way into my heart before the year was over. It was beautiful to see the transformation in them when you nurtured them with love, time, understanding, and even sometimes food.
I've homeschooled for 4 1/2 years now. By the end of the year, I'm ready to be finished with the schoolwork, but I still realize that I'm blessed beyond measure to be at home loving and nurturing them myself. It's a hard, cruel world out there, and they have plenty of years to live in that world. I'm going to cherish each day that I get to keep them in this loving environment!

Jane said...

You are so right about time and attention and the trouble maker is a different kid. You are inspiring. Let's see, this year I want to remember that my trouble maker needs more attention. And, I want my public school classroom to feel more like home. To teach my students to be family to each other-one huge family.

hsing3kinder said...

Great post! We have homeschooled from day one with our three. We start Monday & this year we have a freshman in high school, 4th grader & 3rd grader.
That verse is always on a note card on our kitchen cabinet. What a wonderfully clear guideline God! A favorite for sure.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. Great job. A suggestion for summer, have you thought of doing a subject then? I know everyone needs some break, but my kids have found that they don't enjoy days without anything to do. So, in the summer, we do a small amount, enough to have a job that makes us feel like we accomplished something, and not too much to make us feel like we're really still in school. We plan for about an hour per day, but sometimes we're just enjoying it, and we do more. After all, God created us to work and feel worth in it. When my kids were in elementary school, we did history in June and science in July. We did these together. History was like storytime on the couch snuggled together reading the text and talking about it. Go on internet field trips to "visit" the places/people you read about. It's fun! We've watched Old Faithful shoot into the air, been to the Eiffel tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Panama Canal and Antarctica - all through computer webcams. Science is fun, too, altogether mixing baking soda and vinegar, using magnifying glasses or magnets, etc.

My kids are in jr/sr. high now, so we do the literature books during the summer. They're only one semester, and we're usually participating in a library reading program anyway, so the reading gets counted toward that. We all like reading, so the Literature is just fun. Most of the time, we do this independently, but it could be group, too.

Another PLUS to this is that it frees up your "real" school year of an hour or two, so that during the real school year, we rarely have more than half a day of school. Especially in elementary school. We always finished before noon.

So, brainstorm. What can you do to improve your summer? :)

gypsy@Hebrews11:13 said...

I was never the person who was gonna homeschool. But God gave me reasons to try it and I have never regretted it- I LOVE IT!!! We are on our fifth year and still going strong. I love researching different curriculums, planning the year, going on field trips and just spending all that time teaching AND LEARNING WITH my kids. I learn just as much as they do! Homeschooling four kids is SO MUCH easier than I ever imagined!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am SO glad I visited your blog today. This will be my first year homeschooling and although I'm excited, I'm mostly scared. I don't want us to hate it. I want to enjoy my kids like you said. You're so right...the times I get totally annoyed and frustrated are the times when I'm busy doing stupid stuff. We are starting one week from Monday and one week prior to the public schools in my area. I can't wait to get my kids on a productive schedule. They need it! too. :-)

Thanks for the encouragement today. I feel better about starting our year now.

Sparklee said...

I was planning to start next Monday, but the kids begged to start early (wow!) so we have already begun our school year. When they were in public school, they NEVER wanted to go back early!

I love all the fun colors and patterns in your home!

Heidi said...

We have some decisions to make at our house. The new principal came in and put my identical twin boys in separate classes. They are in second grade and the outgoing principal had them scheduled to be in the same class. The new one arbitarily decided that siblings couldn't be in the same class. I've got a knot in my stomach that just won't go away worrying about my boys today. How nice that homeschooling has put you in charge of such matters. In my book you are in an enviable position.

Jeanne Lobsinger said...

We have been homeschooling since the beginning. My 9yo boy and 8yo girl love it. They have never been in any school so they don't know if they are missing anything. We do start back to our co-op tomorrow which is a parent taught co-op and we love it! We sit down every year and go over our schedule and talk about attitude and patience and why we are doing this. A couple of years ago the whining was so bad I loaded the kids up in the van and drove them to the school while all of us were crying. People say "I don't have the patience to do that" well, I don't either (sometimes) but just like you, I LOVE being with my kids and knowing that I am the reason they can read and write and are good little humans.

Have a great homeschooling year!

Tracey said...

Your post was so wonderful to read.
After five children, I only have one left to homeschool. He will be in the seventh grade. I am watching my two year old granddaughter while my daughter works [as a culinary arts teacher in the public school system], so I will be having preschool too. We do not start here until after Labor Day. I love all aspects of homeschooling except math. I am blessed to have a son who likes math and "get's it" despite having me as a math teacher. Hope your year is fantastic.

Stephanie said...

I hope you have a fantastic school year! Sounds like it's going to be a great one :)

Donette said...

I agree with you 100%! We are ready to start year 2 of homeschooling, and I'm as ready as the kids to be back on a schedule with an agenda for each day. You are right - too much free time for all of us means each of us getting on one another's nerves. School starts on Monday!!!

heather said...

thanks for all the great reminders! i don't homeschool, but needed to hear that! hope you guys have an awesome year! i'm gonna send a link to your post to my sis-in-law...she is starting to homeschool her 4 year old & i think this will be a blessing to her! :)

Morgan said...

Thank you for this post! This is my second year homeschooling and while I am very excited, I'm also a little anxious. My oldest son is going into first grade and I, also, have a 4 yr old, 2 yr old, and 7 month old. I'm definitely trying to figure out all the logistics. Have you always homeschooled? I'm following your blog and look forward to reading more about your family! :)

PS Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Sara @ The Football Wife said...

I'm technically "homeschooling" Ellie this year (and three other small children), but desperately want to homeschool her when she's "school-age". We'll see how I feel three years from now!

Pam said...

I loved this post, Sara, even though I tried homeschooling and it did not work for me. This morning, I dropped my kids off at our Christian school with the utmost confidence that we were doing what was right for our family, and I am so glad to have that peace.

As someone who has seen you in action in the classroom, I just know that your kids are absolutely blessed to have you as their teacher!