Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why I Started Homeschooling, Part 2

As it got closer and closer to the time Tyler would start K5 Mark and I talked more and more about what we should do. I had lots of encouragement from friends that were already homeschooling so we decided to jump in. We figured if we were going to give it a try K5 was the time to do it. I didn't think I could mess up K5 too much.

I ordered my materials from ABEKA , with Rebekah's help, because I honestly did not know what I was doing. I had the materials sent to her house so we could split the shipping. She brought them to me at my friend Corla's house as we were having a playdate. Ya'll, I opened that box and saw the Phonics book and just broke down crying. I looked at them and said, "I don't even know what a phonics is!!!!" (And that just shows you how much I learned in Teachers Ed at college. I knew how to laminate anything and cut out cute letters for bulletin boards, but learned nothing about teaching a child how to read.~This was just my experience. I will be the first to say I did not complete my Secondary Ed degree so those kind of things may have been stressed later on.)

After some hugs from Rebekah and Corla and lots of reassurance that I could indeed teach Tyler to read, I went home and poured over the material. We started that fall and have been schooling at home ever since. I know it is the right choice for our family and Mark and I say we will keep doing it as long as it is working. Here we are starting on our 8th year. I hope it will keep working until all of them graduate.

The highs and lows-honestly, there are too many wonderful things to list. Most of all, I love having them here at home. I like knowing they can finish their work and then go and play. They have time to imagine and build and create.

We aren't saddled to certain school days and hours. We can be flexible. If Mark is home it is no problem for the kids to take off with him to do something fun. We get to see great friends on a regular basis. Everyone in my school earns an A every time. We don't go on to the next thing until a subject/topic is mastered. That is one of the main reasons I homeschool-no one ever gets left behind. There is no "behind".

One of my greatest highs was teaching Tyler how to read. I was just as surprised as he was when he started reading words. It worked, it really worked! And then Matt learning how to read. He had some speech issues and it delayed his reading a lot. We went to speech for two years before he really started reading. It was frustrating for him and for me. Now he reads like there was never a problem. I had cried tears over my sweet Matt and the way he struggled and now he "had it."

In the next year or so I will embark on teaching James to read and I am looking forward to it. It really is a special thing.

I like being able to teach the things Mark and I think are important. There is no disconnect between our beliefs and what the kids are learning.

The lows-I had a hard time thinking of something.

I guess the long days. Always having the feeling that something else needs to be done. If we are having a great school day then the house is not getting picked up. If the house looks terrific it is because we took time off from school to work on it. When five people live in a house all day long and then a sixth comes home to a very lived-in house the house gets really lived in! I have a hard time balancing it all. I guess I don't balance it all, but it all works out in the end. Like I have said before, "My kids don't need a Super-Mom, they need a Super-Jesus, and part of my job is pointing the way to Him."

I don't do this too much, but everyone once in a while I get a little jealous when I hear moms talking about going on retreats or playing tennis or going out to lunch together. But, then I start thinking about sitting in my swing and watching my kiddos play and I know I am right where I need to be. And where I want to be.


  1. Mama Hen,
    You said it, girl!
    When the house is clean, it is because we took time off school. When school gets done well, the house is a wreck.
    Glad I am not the only one!
    Thanks for sharing your story with us!


  2. Dear Home To Roost,
    Wow, sisters in the "hen-dom" and in homeshooling! I'm homeschooling for many reasons... one major reason is that I crave that "I get it - light in their eyes" moment.

    A Major Book-worm in NE

  3. Your children are very blessed! Such a great attitude and wondering homeschooling has "been working" for so many years!! Hope it is the start of another fantastic year!

  4. You are so blessed to have had friends to help you get started. I knew one homeschool family when we started and we only recieved critisism from the pastor of church we were was a rough time. And I'd get these random phone calls from Hubby's Grma, yelling at me {'cause for going the homeschool route- more roughness. That was 15 years ago, I really can't believe that it's been that long!

  5. Love this post! I love when you said "there is no disconnect." True, true!

    And, yes, it is school or the house, around here anyway. But that's ok b/c one day there will be no one left at home to teach. That day seems to be coming faster and faster. . . .

  6. Great quote, "don't need a Supermom, they need a Super Jesus." LOVE that.

    Glad to know it's not just me that can do either school or cleaning, but not both.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your heart for homeschooling!

  8. Love these two posts, Mama Hen. I can relate to the house vs. school issue. I can cook meals and school and keep laundry going but the house will not be clean or the laundry won't get folded.

    I was a Secondary Ed major, too, and honestly the Elementary Ed classes would be the ones which would cover phonics and/or whole language reading approaches. Not the Secondary Ed ones. :)

  9. Thanks for sharing! I've always been interested in homeschooling and the ways and reasons people do it. I have so much admiration for people who homeschool - I think I would be terrible at it. However, we do make very conscious decisions about how we can teach our children the things WE think they should know (academic and spiritual), in addition to what they learn at school. Our school experiences have been vastly positive, but we have also been able to use some school "incidents" as teachable moments for our kids (ie this is how our family does such and such). And Michelle's right, no phonics in Secondary Ed, at least not in the Master's program I just finished. Sorry my comment is so long! I've thought of you everyday this week as I've driven past your exit on 459 on my way to Tuscaloosa (and back).