Hey there, it's been a while. I started homeschooling the kids this year and needless to say it's been a struggle to find time to myself! Well, the school year ended for us; our last day was on Tuesday! It was quite a struggle at the very beginning; trying to find out what worked best for all of us and adjusting to being around each other 24/7. But, all of our efforts were worth our struggles!
Natalie skipped third grade math all together and went right into fourth grade math with no issues what-so-ever! She has her days where she is really frustrated and can't seem to figure something out but we are able to sit down and work on it one on one until it finally clicks. Sometimes, that takes more than a day but at least we are able to have that option. Whereas, she would never have that opportunity in a classroom setting and may risk being left behind.
Luke started a writing book for ages 14 and up and it became his favorite subject! He is currently working on a story and is on chapter 4! He is continuing to work on his story even though we are finished with the school year. This would never have happened in the past when they were in public school.
I took these little people out of a system that had them so frustrated and bored. When the word "learning" was even mentioned in this house, they would run away. It was really sad considering when they were toddlers, they were both little sponges and always wanted to learn more and more. What happened to our public schools? Where did they go wrong? Even when I think back on my personal experience in school, I still shudder and get a belly ache. Is that what we want for our children? I didn't! It took several months to get them excited about learning again. In the homeschooling world, they call it "unschooling".
Today, typically when I wake up in the morning, they are both already working on their school work. It takes an hour or so and then we have the rest of the day to do what we want. When the weather is nice, we go on bike rides to the park and have picnics and play ball and have races. When the weather is bad, we go to the Rec Plex and they go swimming. We go to Lake View farms and pick strawberries and raspberries and we come home and make yummy pies and other desserts with them taking the opportunity to sneak some math in there. Natalie and I have met a homeschooling family through my grandma and we go over to their house once a week and Natalie learns how to sew. We are currently sewing an apron. Luke is going to go next time and meet her sons that are near his age and play some baseball with them. We go on field trips to the Science Center, Botanical Gardens, the Zoo, etc. There are so many opportunities that we get to experience together that we would never get to experience with them in school. They are both in the Scouts programs. Luke goes camping once a month and has a meeting every week. He keeps very busy. On Mothers Day weekend we all went on the family camp-out with the Scouts. He is going on a 10-mile hike tomorrow. Natalie takes violin lessons and Luke is on his third year of piano. When people express concern over socialization, it makes me LOL! They get to experience all different types of people at all ages that they would never get to experience in a public school system. Our evenings are stress free with no homework. It would sometimes take hours for them to do homework after school. It was very frustrating. Not to mention the "homework" they send home for the parents. Needless to say, we are VERY happy with our decision to homeschool.
The middle school had a tour today so I took Luke. I don't want to be "that" parent that holds him back from opportunities that he may want to experience in life. This morning, I woke up and looked at the clock and realized that I had overslept. I jumped out of bed and said to myself, "Ugh, I hate school!" I went in Luke's room and woke him up and the first words out of his mouth were, "Ugh, I hate school!" I smiled quietly to myself and left him to get ready. We went to the tour and for the first time, they allowed the kids to eat lunch this year. After Luke finished lunch, he came up to me and said, "I'm ready to go now. I don't like it here." That was all he had to say. He bid farewell to his friends and thanked the sixth grade principal and we were out the door. I was so thankful to hear those words out of his mouth. It meant that I didn't do too bad this year and he was a pretty happy camper all in all!
This book was a life saver when it came time to choose a curriculum: The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Editition)
For Luke's fifth grade math we used:Math 6 / 5: Homeschool Set
And for Natalie's fourth grade math we used: Math 5 / 4: Homeschool Set