This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Why We Homeschool the Way We Do

Journey and Curriculum Choices
A Four Part Meandering & Musing

Part Two—Research and Beginning
(Part One)

Reading everything I could get my hands on.

About the time Roo was one I knew I must get moving on this homeschooling thing. I was certain my child was a genius and needed to be reading by three. I knew that unless I produced nothing short of a 14 year-old Ph.D. I would be a laughing stock and “they” would take my children away. You know “they” & “them,” the people we worry about for most often no reason.

So I went online, requested every catalog I found and read every article online. Eight years ago the web was not what it is today and I was even more lame with techno stuff than I am now. Hard to fathom.

This is where Sonlight came in. I got their catalog and I was hooked. It is a very different catalog than they have today. I still have it and what hooked me was their mission statement. My sister was so impressed she took it to our church and presented it to the board (of which she was a member.) She also became convicted to homeschool her children.

I planned our Sonlight journey. I planned us all the way to high school. Money was tight and I was trying to figure how I was going to buy a “Core” from them. When Roo was four I found their forum and gleaned wisdom from these goddesses of homeschool, these mothers who had gone before me and were willing to share. I learned to lurk.

I bought my first Sonlight Core. It was the Kindergarten Core. And while it was beautiful and slick and organized—I was overwhelmed. But I pressed on. I knew my darling children (by then Boo was a little more than one) would need MORE than the basics. So I added to the load. I pushed forward and I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I think, no I know, I pushed to hard with Roo. Thankfully he was eager to please. We were all about drowning. Sonlight, while a great company with great product and it meets the needs of so many was not a good fit for our family. I really didn’t know what to do.

Then I met Elijah Company—oddly enough from a post a mom made on the SL forum (the old days forum, for those familiar with the new). I got their catalog. I devoured everything Chris and Ellen Davis put into that catalog. They ministered to me and I soaked up all that they had to offer.

I learned about Classical learning, unschooling, text book learning unit studies, delight led learning, many different personal learning styles, . I learned there were so many curriculums out there and if I bought them, they shouldn’t dictate to me, they should be a tool to make my life easier. And easy was the only way it was going to work.

I became more confident and developed "my own curriculum" based on our needs, which was mostly picking and choosing from several sources, and which included a severly limited budget. I learned about writing Mission Statements for our personal homeschool. I’d recommend that everyone should have one as a work in progress, not so much to haul out and show everyone, but more to have as a working guide to think about and measure your family’s goals. It should be flexible and grow with your family. I spent time reading and trying to pick anyone's mind that I could to gain wisdom and knowledge. The boys were still small and I am so thankful we started early because it has been a constant work in progress and still is.

Little Roo was still trying to please Mommy, who hadn't learned to relax or back off at all. Baby Boo was coming into his own very unique and strong personality.

With many job changes, moves and thin times we never quit homeschooling, although many times it would have been much easier. We kept marching on.

Part Three

Part Four

2 comments:

DebD said...

This is very encouraging. I'm glad you're taking the time to write it down. I've never done that and now my brain is mush- I don't think I can remember back that far anymore. :)

Debbi (from the Library)

Donna At My Home School Journey said...

Ok you have me sitting on the edge of my seat! I came for WW and can't leave. I have been HS before birth as well and our journeys up to this page seem so much the same. My daughter is now 4 1/2. We just started pre-k I too love the mission of Sonlight but could'nt see spending that kind of money...so I am gleaning from others like you and developing my own style thus far...I can't wait to read more. Off I go. Thanks for posting your journey!