Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our Homeschooling Journey

   9 years ago I had never heard of homeschooling, didn't even fathom that I could or ever would teach my kids at home and why I would even want to. I was working at Hancock Fabrics at the time when a co-worker mentioned she homeschooled her 7 kids. Talking with her I learned all about homeschooling and what it entails. I went home and told my husband about this awesome possibility I had found out about. We were going thru a hard time with my fifth grader's teacher at the time and we were not happy with the school system at all. My oldest son who was going to be a senior at the time thought he might homeschool his senior year, but when I asked him if he wanted to stay home with a toddler and a baby(our youngest) all day he changed his mind. Good thing to because I think that is the year he met the cute girl who later became his wife. I also didn't think starting homeschooling with a senior would be something I could do. Not long after this we moved back to Fayetteville Ar. where my husband and I had grown up. My son was now in the 6th grade and every teacher he had that year told me he was ADD. We had him tested and he was not ADD, just very smart and bored. Again I brought up the idea of homeschooling and we all decided to try it. At the time there were several curriculum's out there that you could buy, but they were expensive and all christain based. There wasn't very much online then like there is now so I went down to the local teachers store and found books on  subjects we could start with.
 My son homeschooled for 2 yrs. before going to a local charter high school that he graduated from. During this time Zoe had started kindergarten and first grade. At the beginning of second grade we decided to homeschool her and Piper, this turned out to be a good thing as that was the year Zoe was diagnosed with diabetes and would have missed a lot of school.  The next year Piper wanted to try school, we went to register her as a 1st grader and the school said no she had to come in as a kindergartner( I didn't know then that I could have fought them on that). So Piper ended up doing K-1st, Zoe went back to try third which didn't work because she caught every cold/flu and everything else that came thru school and even though she had a 504 we still got the letter saying they would report us for truancy if she missed any more. We tried having a home bound teacher for her but that didn't work very well either. I finally became so fed up with the school that I pulled them both out completely and went back to straight homeschooling and it has been wonderful! We have tried virtual schools but I think eclectic learning is best for us. There is soooo much free stuff online now that building a free curriculum is no problem what so ever.
 These are just a few of the free curriculum's that I have found.

 Pathways : K-6th
http://www.lessonpathways.com/Home

Ambleside Online: Charlotte Mason's method of homeschooling.
http://www.amblesideonline.org/

Khan Academy:
http://www.khanacademy.org/                                                    

Live Binder: This one looks awesome!
http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=9506#

CK12 Flexbooks:
http://www.ck12.org/flexbook/

Thinkfinity:
http://www.thinkfinity.org/lesson-plans

Free Unit studies:
http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/schoolroom/unitstudies.php

There is so much out online now that it can be overwhelming but the flip side to that is there is so much to mix and match. So if you are thinking about homeschooling, google it and start your adventure!



Blessed Be,

2 comments:

Nellie said...

The thinkfinity stuff looks fab - so fab I wish we had more hours in the day :D Thanks for the links!

Carolyn Renee said...

Thanks for the links! DD is only two & a half, but we have already decided we are going to homeschool (and do some sort of "school" work every day already!).

I also found it difficult to find much homeschooling curriculum that didn't have a Christian theme. It's great that people love Jesus and all, but it was getting a bit annoying to have Jesus, Joseph and Mary teaching the Ten Comandments or have psalms quoted in the middle of basic addition or subtraction. I want MATH, not religion! (Ok, done with rant).

Going to look up some of the links right now. Thanks for the info, and glad you've found what works for the family.