Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Education is not about filling the pail it is about lighting the fire...

(don't forget to turn down my volume on the playlist on the bottom)

Yes, you may think I am crazy... I know, sometimes I think I'm crazy! Someone once said to me, "Your conscious is God's way of talking to you". We have felt this pull for over a year and feel we need to try out this avenue for the time being. I still live by that verse Jeremiah 29:11, "For I have plans for you"...

One of the things I have been praying about for the last year is something I can't believe I am going to be doing (most likely) with Taylor in fall. Homeschooling... something I have been learning so much about in the last year. I know a lot of people feel that kids that are home schooled are not socialized and are missing out. I may have been one of those people once upon a time. I was so ignorant as to what homeschooling is really about.

I have been learning about this exciting way of education for the last year and a half. 1.5 million kids are doing homeschooling now. So why am I choosing this option? Well, my daughter Taylor has been begging me to do this for the last year. What do you do with a kid that everything is way to easy? She goes to private school and I spoke with the principal several times about how the curriculum was to easy for her what could they do? She told me, "We can't teach to one student" and that eventually Taylor will just drop back with the rest of the kids. Why would I want her to "drop back" ? I don't want her to lose her love for learning. Obviously, I know that they can't teach to one student but why not give extra work for her on the side? Well, long story short I kept her there this year (I looked at other schools as well) and we have been supplementing her at home this whole year. I have had to hear everyday how easy school is and how she is "hating" it now. I can't blame her, when I have looked at her Math it is what she was doing last year in Kindergarten!

Taylor has always had a love of learning and slowly has been losing it this year. I feel like I dropped the ball and should have done something earlier. We looked at several other schools but felt she would be in the same boat. I wish I would have had that "gifted" problem in school, I was on the other end of the spectrum in those early years. I struggled. I guess that is what drew me into special education, so I could help others... not knowing it would be my own kids!

Chad and I attended a meeting with other home schoolers and the dads spoke about why homeschooling is working for them. Mostly said, being able to create an education that was tailored for their kids needs and flexibility being a military family was also very big. It was such a positive experience that Chad has been on me to homeschool, I have been the one dragging my feet. I would have never thought in a million years Chad would be pushing me to do it. I guess when you see your kid so unhappy with school after she loved it last year, it made us think.

Going to school for teaching other kids was great - but why am I afraid to teach my own? I guess the thought of having so much influence on my children has scared me to death. Then I heard a speaker talk about she said, "No one cares about your kids more then you, so why not do all you can for them"... and I thought that was so true.

I went to the St. Louis Homeschool Expo for three days. Let me tell you, even if you aren't into homeschooling the seminars I attended where just so uplifting. I heard Steve Demme (MATH U SEE) and Jeannie Fulbright (APOLOGIA) speak - they were wonderful. Great advice on parenting and all different subjects. I can't wait to go to another expo, it was just so informative. It was really neat to see what type of people homeschool. So many professional people just wanting the best education for their kids. It was great to hear what was working for them and what wasn't.

Do I think I will homeschool forever? No, I will take one day at a time - hopefully a year at a time but I am not going to put anything in a box and throw away the key. Would I feel like a failure if it doesn't work? I don't think of life as failing, I think I would be failing if I didn't try something she really wanted me to do and is so passionate about learning. If something isn't working I won't be afraid to change it. That is the great thing with homeschooling there is no right or wrong way. I have been looking at all the curriculum and probably could give a speech on that as well! So this will be our new adventure this year.

It is interesting hearing from people or seeing their reaction when we say we are going to do this. Like are we crazy? Trust me, we didn't go into this not understanding or researching it. On Fridays, there is a coop that meets and Taylor will be able to take classes. They have anything from language, history , Math to robotics. There is a school where she could go one day a week for Fine Arts, she will have piano, swimming and soccer and of course church. So I think she will be just fine. My big thing is will I be fine? ha ha. It will be a change having her at home all the time. She is my "Type A" daughter, but I love her to death. I am going to be working with Aiden as well but let him continue where he is so he gets the help he needs right now. Then in November Sun Fen hopefully will be joining our family and Taylor will have a partner in crime.

So anyways, now that you all probably think I have lost my mind... that is what is new with us. Keep us in your prayers as it has not been an easy decision at all. I do thank God for all the people he has put in my way that I have been able to see and learn from them. So please keep us in your prayers as we journey out into this new thing. I would appreciate positive thoughts and not the negative as well. Trust me we are quite aware of what those negative thoughts are and just don't want to go down that road. One thing I have done this year, is really try to open myself up to new things and it is amazing how great I feel! Life is hard enough and we are about living the best life for our family. I will be starting another blog for our journey we are about to begin.

I thought this was a funny video..


Beach Mama said...

Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! We made the decidsion this past year to homeschool our Kindergarten age daughter. A few months later, my 5th grade son is begging for me to homeschool him! There are many ups and downs with it, but in spite of that we love it. My kids are happy. We belong to a great Homeschool Co-op that has been such a blessing. Let m know if there is anything I can do to help you or encourage you in any way! I think it is awesome that you are willing to make such a sacrifice for your family. You will be blessed!

Blessed Family said...

Thanks for your comment! What were your growing pains with homeschooling? I am trying to prepare myself for whatever may come our way. Any advice?

autumnesf said...

One of the HARDEST yet most rewarding things I ever did. My son graduated homeschooled and is in college now.

Songbird was homeschooled for awhile but she does so much better in public school that she decided to go back. And that is what is right for her.

Each kid is so different.

Have fun....its a experience. And coops RULE! Take advantage of the museums homeschool programs also...they usually have some good ones.

Blessed Family said...

Hi Autumn... are you glad you did it? You are right each kid is different. Right now for Aiden he needs to be in a school setting. It should be interesting with Taylor, I am praying it goes well. She is the one who has begged to homeschool and she has a desire to learn.. I just hope it continues. What was the hardest thing? What curriculum did you use?

ghomeschool said...

Congratulations on your decision. It will be an awesome journey. There will be lots of great times. You will love seeing your daughter learn and knowing what is in her head. It is a bit scary, but that is ok. Every new step of faith we take is scary, that is why is is called faith. I worried for years about leaving out something. Then I figured out that, yes, I am going to leave out things. It is impossible to teach (or learn, for that matter), everything. I know things my friends don't and vice versa. The thing we are striving for is to teach them how to learn and to love doing it. I know you daughter will flourish at home. Don't be scared to move her ahead if she can handle it. My 2nd grade son is 2/3 done with his 3rd grade curriculum already and will start 5th grade math in 4th grade just because he can. Reading is another story.LOL Good luck in your adventures.

Jessica S. said...

Funny video!! I had to share on FB!! :)