Thoughts on how I started this homeschool journey….

I started this journey thinking I needed a better opportunity for my kids to grow and learn. We had some problems in a school setting and didn’t want that in the future. I thought a new move, and new chance. My oldest didn’t take well to homeschooling. We argued, she missed her friends and seemed depressed. My youngest one thrived on it. We made the decision  to send my oldest to middle school for her to try for just a quarter….that turned into the whole year. While my youngest thrives in homeschool, my oldest seems to thrive (for now) in public school. I know and trust this school. We will have another move coming up and I am not sure about the schools once again. We shall see.

This time of year I get so excited about all the new curriculum there is I haven’t explored. My youngest daughter always laughs when I say I already have your 5th and 6th grade science and history all figured out and bought. Half the time I just want to dive right into the books!  We started last week….kind of…. with her big sister still one we do things here and there. I actually got her school area all organized. We are ready for full time in about a month.

I have started becoming more active on Facebook groups having to do with homeschooling in our state and very local ones. I am amazed by the people who come asking questions not knowing how to start, where to start and even the laws of where they live. So happy that these Facebook groups exist. My oldest is going in the 7th grade this coming school year. The idea of homeschooling crept into my head the beginning of 4th grade for my oldest. I didn’t know where to turn. We lived overseas at the time and I volunteered as  caregiver for a local Bible study group.  One time a group of the kids was from a local homeschool family. I met them and asked if I could come over sometime to talk to her and see how her day was and get some information. A friend and I got that opportunity. I was so thankful to her for taking the time out of her busy day to answer our questions, and just sit and talk with us. That planted the seed and I started doing more and more research.

I am only on my 2nd full year. I am not an expert. I do however try and help anyone that has questions about any part of homeschooling. If I can’t answer the questions, we try and find out together. I absolutely love this season of my life.  Will I always homeschool? I don’t know. My sweet youngest says she wants to experience middle school. So time can only tell. I think it will depend whee we are and how the local schools are at that time and place.

What are some of the things you wished you would have known or asked when you began your journey? What is some advice you wold give to a new homeschooling family?

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WOW! I loved the Homeschooling Convention!

For me it was like a kid in a candy store! I went to my first convention last year, but forgot how exciting it was! From the moment I paid for my registration in February, I could feel the excitement build!

This year I could not spend as much time as I had hoped and I went armed with my list so that I would not overspend! It worked. It was about an hour and 15 minute drive from our home to where the convention took place.

My oldest is doing public school. Convention days were June 11-13th. The day we could go was the 12th, which just happened to be the day after her last day of school. Surprisingly enough, she was excited to go as well. I did not have to fight with them to get up and go!

At first I wasn’t sure it was going to work out. We had just left and traffic was terrible. passed two accidents only about 20 minutes from leaving our home. Then when we got to the city where is was being held, the parking lot was full. So we had to park on the street and walk to where the shuttle would pick us up.

Anticipation was building…so excited. Love being around other Christian homeschoolers! We got off the shuttle and headed into the convention hall….the rest was history!

I found all the places I needed to visit almost immediately….then came the fun….the walking around, flipping through books, seeing what was new…..

We could not stay for the used curriculum part and that was just as well…..did not need much more.

I am now prepared for another school year for my upcoming 4th grader!

Now to start planning an overnight stay so I can access the convention a little easier next year!

Have you been to any great homeschooling conventions this year?

 

 

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Almost a year…..

I guess we got really busy….such is the life of a homeschooling family. It has been almost a year since I have posted anything.

I can say our first full year of homeschooling has been a success. My oldest chose to go to middle school and has thrived there. She is finishing up with all A’s. My youngest is finishing up 3rd grade here at home.

Heart of Dakota has been a great choice for us. Although, as with many things, I have found subjects I wanted to change. I love the homeschooling life, the ability to pick and choose what you want to use. We are taking a year off of HOD (Heart of Dakota.) I found I mostly used it for history and the Language arts.

My oldest is going to continue with middle school of now. My youngest is choosing to stay home.

I am looking to use Abeka for U.S. history 4th grade and do the Virginia state study. We will continue to use Rod and Staff for English, although I will be looking closely at Christian Light Publications for English. We used CLE (Christian Light Publications) for math this last year after trying Teaching Textbooks. She is thriving, and we were able to complete all of grade 3 from January to June. She has really picked up on all her multiplication facts, division and adding and subtracting fractions. I am very pleased and just ordered grade 4. We will continue math twice a week through our break and in July doing more.

I am also considering it for Bible and Reading. It is affordable and very thorough.

I have been so head over heels in love with homeschooling this past year. Never thought it would be for me!

Maybe this year, I can keep up with letting everyone know about our adventures!

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GPS for life….

I was sitting in traffic today, wondering why I missed my turn.  I have been here for 6 months now and should know my way to the post office (I needed to mail some curriculum I sold). But, sure enough, I missed my turn.  Up until recently I have been relying on my GPS on my phone to get me all over the place.  A couple weeks ago I realized I need to learn and pay attention.

 

Sitting there at the light, I started thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to have a GPS for life?  We could follow it and it would tell us what we needed to do and how to get there?  Well, the good news is we do have a GPS for life!  GOD!  When we make decisions they may not always be good ones.  But if you pray about it and ask our Lord to guide you, you are using your GPS!  Trying to make it in this world without Him is near impossible!  He will help you make good decisions, if you listen!  When you try to do things all on your own is when you can get into trouble! Have Faith!

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Pool day!

When I got up this morning I knew it was going to be a hot day. So I decided to take the girls to the pool.  I told them we would go early to beat the crowd and the heat!  Living in military housing, I should have know that everyone would have the same idea.  We had to wait for someone to unlock the gate. We got in and got our table in the shade!

Looking around at all the kids, I felt blessed that my girls have grown up in a very culturally diverse community. They were all having such a good time splashing and playing. I started to read when I heard the all too familiar sound of fighter jets practicing.  I love it!  I looked up into the sky and was watching as the pilot was doing all sorts of fancy maneuvers! 

Home now, going to let the girls play today. Staying out of the heat….Then going to take our crazy 6 month old Standard Poodle puppy to his obedience class.  

Right now….on to look at more curriculum ideas. Even though I have made my choice, I love, love to keep researching about homeschooling!

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Drumroll please……Our curriculum for this coming school year will be…….

When I started out on this adventure we call homeschooling I had no idea how much was out there. As I dove into it and started researching things, I could not believe what I was seeing and how I was going to choose anything!  There are so many suggestions, and Facebook pages on everything yo can imagine!  It can be overwhelming.  I read something in a book that said Homeschooling is not meant to be school at home….it is life at home.  So I need to try and get away from schedules, and textbooks and use our world around us to learn!

Last year was just a half year and I will admit, I did not care for some of the choices I made. Add that to a huge move and a pre teen daughter missing her friends. I think we only did 12 weeks of school after we got here.  Don’t worry though!  They passed their standardized tests they took that is required here in Virginia!

Since we were moving to the Hampton, Virginia area I picked Trail Guide to Learning.  It had such fun history books to read. We actually skipped the first unit and dove right into the Jamestown Unit.  At the end we went to the actual Historic Jamestown and Jamestown settlement museums.  My youngest liked it, but oh my, there was copying and dictation and all sorts of little other things.  Remember, I was new to this….

I also used Teaching Textbooks for math. While most kids love this style of learning, my girls weren’t on board. That is something I am still trying to figure out for our upcoming year what we will be using.

I felt there was not enough of learning about God, I wanted a Bible study to go with it.  I had already done research on it, but our location made me choose Trail Guide. While I loved the idea of it and my little one would have done fine continuing with it, I have decided to go with……Heart of Dakota.  I should have from the beginning. She used a mixture of some text type books and living books! I love it and can’t wait to start!

If everything works out I will be putting my oldest going into 6th grade into Resurrection to Reformation and for my daughter going into 3rd grade we will be working on Preparing Hearts for His Glory.

This curriculum is very God centered. This is what I have been looking for.  It is open and go. The author has made the day to day plan and time for everything. However, I think I will be using BJU for science for both girls, still trying to figure out math, Rod and Staff for English. Drawn into the Heart of Reading for reading.  Everything else is built in!  So excited to get started!

We will also be joining a co op or at least homeschool group on outings, so we can see plenty of kids their age!  Love taking them to the stores with me on errands, they learn so much!

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Here we are…..Virginia….

I have been absent here as I have been learning to homeschool my daughters. We have had many adventures here.  We have also learned a lot. 

 

We have learned we don’t really like living in crowded areas, miss our family and like to stay home a bit too much!

 

One of the first places we have visited was Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown.

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I absolutely love the historic area here. My girls can see how this country was born. Not always good things, but they will learn.

 We have been to at the air and space center here in Hampton, Virginia.

 

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We have been on a river cruise…..we got to stop at historic Ft. Wool…

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Spent some time at Buckroe Beach…..

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We have so many more places to go.  Join us as our adventure continues, Learning through Life!  

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