my crazy homeschooling ideas

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I recently found a blog I loved. It was called “weird, unsocialized homeschoolers.” I actually don’t even remember much that was on the blog, but I just thought that was a brilliant title.

Because it’s just better to get it all out on the table.

I’m considering homeschooling. AKA: I’m weird/unnaturally attached to my kids/scared of the real world/just plain nutso.

Maybe one day I’ll get better at saying, “Actually, I’m thinking I’d maybe like to try homeschooling,” without looking sheepish and scared and like I’ve killed someone and hidden them under my couch cushions.

The truth is, I’d like to homeschool. (Always have, since Sam was the size of a cantaloupe in my belly and I was trying to get my husband to help me decide on a curriculum. He wanted to wait…weirdo.) But at the same time, I am tentative about these plans.

None of my close friends currently homeschool. Very few are considering it. It scares me that so many people I respect choose private, or public, or charter school. I don’t want to be the dumb one, to do the wrong thing.

I don’t want my kids to be awkward, or disrespectful, or…behind?

I don’t want to homeschool out of weakness, but out of strengthNot because I’m scared of residual peanut butter (although I am, to death) or because I can’t bear to imagine eight hours in a row without my boys (although I can’t) or because I just want my kids to be my kids forever (although I do).

I’m sort of rambling. Underneath all these (bad) reasons, there are good ones.

  • I was a teacher, and I know how much wasted time there was in school.
  • It excites me to think of all the fun things I could do with my kids.
  • I know that boys need to move, to build, to run, to take breaks…I’m excited about being in charge of our days and meshing schoolwork and life.

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There is this vision in my head of our days – building things, doing experiments, reading, making friends, exercising, discussing, traveling…I see how it might be and I’m so curious to try it.

But just so you know, I do realize that there’s a good change on day three I’ll be back here, bemoaning how I’m sick of my kids and I’ve made a terrible mistake.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m slowly formulating a plan for Sam’s kindergarten year. Here it is so far:

  • Math: Math U See curriculum. Each day is a 10-minute video explaining the day’s concepts, in ways that, apparently, enlighten most moms for the first time. What’s not to like about that??
  • Utilize Classical Conversations to help Sam memorize facts in history, Latin, English grammar, geography, math, science, and history timeline.
  • Reading: Teach Sam to read using Rod and Staff Grade 1 Reading Booklets. (It says “grade 1,” but Sam will do the 4-5 kindergarten next year, for his pre-K year.) I also plan to use the “Bob” books, which you can purchase on Amazon, or check out at the library. Or borrow from your sister when she buys them. 🙂
  • Writing: Use Handwriting Without Tears for Letter Practice.
  • Bible: I don’t know. I think we’ll do some Bible memory work. I don’t know what else. Suggestions anyone?
  • Science: If Sam attends a local Classical Conversations class, he will do a science experiment each week. In addition, I think I’ll just make up a list of interesting science topics and we’ll get books from the library and watch youtube videos on that subject. Does that sound horrible? 🙂
  • History: In addition to the history facts he’ll memorize in Classical Conversations, we’ll read “The Story of the World” book one. I just love reading those. They are great!
  • Geography: I’ve heard good things about “Legends and Leagues” curriculum.
  • Music. Todd is going to teach Sam guitar. I think it will require more patience than either of them has ever needed in his life.

And now, for the most important question: How am I going to get my kid socialized?

I loved this article I recently read (“Why My Kids Will Never Be Socialized” – but it’s not what you think) on socialization and homeschooling.

In all seriousness, though, it is a concern of mine. I think it’s the biggest obstacle I see so far. Not insurmountable, but definitely an issue to address. Here are my plans to provide social activities for Sam:

  • Have him playing at least two, maybe three, community sports each year.
  • Make attending Sunday School and Children’s Church a priority, and to participate as much as he can in church kids’ stuff.
  • Do Boy Scouts as soon as he can.
  • Attend a co-op with kids that he likes. If not Classical Conversations, then I’ll find another one. If I can’t find another one, I’ll start one. 🙂
  • Together, interact with those we meet in our daily lives. Chat with the librarian, the guy fixing the fence, our neighbors, the lady at the store, blah blah blah.

So there you have it. I’m sure if you’ve homeschooled for millions of years you are laughing at my perfectly laid plans and thinking I’m in for quite the shock. 🙂 And you’re probably right.

Have you ever tried or considered homeschooling?

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24 thoughts on “my crazy homeschooling ideas

  1. I consider homeschooling, but as a single mom, I don’t see how it is plausible. Currently, I really really want my DD in Montessori or Waldorf education. Montana lacks the Waldorf, so I am thinking about moving out of state. Yes, simply just for education. Don’t worry, you are not crazy – you want the best for your kids. I know people who were homeschooled, and they are two the most tolerant, amazing people I know.

    • My kids were in Montessori and we really enjoyed it. I considered moving to make it more feasible. In the end we are homeschooling using an ecclectic curriculum including Montessori and Waldorf. I never knew about Waldorf education until homeschooling and I LOVE it! If we did not have things keeping us here, I would probably move to Chapel Hill or Asheville to go to a Waldorf School (we are in NC).

  2. Who decided that surrounding your six year old with other six year olds was the best way to help them become likeable adults? “Socialization” is overrated.

  3. Go for it! Iv been for 2 yrs now. there’s always something to learn. Socialization comes naturally..through all the things you said. you’ll find your nitch in it.Homeschooling is wonderful and frustrating and more. As for boy scouts id look up Royal Rangers near you.. LIke boy scouts only more focus on character with all the boy stuff. lol Enjoy!

  4. It sounds like you have a plan and that is half the battle. I am horrible at time management and can barely clean the kitchen up after breakfast so there is no way that I could HS. I was a teacher but still could not it. I am a BIG supporter and think you would do great! Good Luck with your decision.

  5. I would definitely look at some Bible curriculums! I taught K & 1st Bible and the kids LOVED bible time. Mainly just stories and applying it to life. I believe they can’t hear the Bible stories enough, they need to get it in their heads! Also you’d be amazed by how kids can memorize scripture. Way more than you think! I know that Christian book stores have several curriculum options Sometimes “gently used” at a discount! Good luck! You make me want to fast forward 4 years to homeschool co-op with you!

  6. Jess, I too am deciding whether to homeschool or not. Silas just turned 5 and will start the big “K” this fall. As a former teacher I know all about wasted time, but I also know how much FUN they had too. Public school has pros and cons and so does homeschooling. I am so torn but my husband keeps reminding me that ‘just because you decide to homeschool for one year doesn’t mean you have to do it until they graduate.’ That helps a little because it’s not like you’re deciding on the next 12 years, right? I still don’t know. One day I say I’m definitely, 100% homeschooling…. and then the next day I’m like, “I’m sending them off!” haha… I think either way, they will be FINE. I am considering HS because I want to be in charge for what they learn and how. I want their learning to be tailored to them… not what the state says they should learn. I think they need to be taught differently because they are boys with shorter attention spans and more energy and just different from girls. I hear you on that! There is also something endearing about going to PE and going to art and music class that I know I can’t duplicate here at home. Silas already told me that wants to go to school because ‘he wants to make friends.’ I would need to get him involved with Awana, sports, and extra curricular activities to fill that need in him to socialize with kids his age. It really is important to them. My sister homeschools her 5 kids and one of the girls whats to go back to public school because she wants to be involved in the social aspect of school. I know everyone jokes about it and makes it seem like it’s not a big deal but It’s a illegitimate concern. I have curriculum chosen too! A lot are the same as yours. I don’t know… it’s a big decision. I wish I could send them half the week and HS them the other half and have the best of both worlds! Good luck chica. I’m right there with ya.

    • Priscilla you make me laugh! Have you read about Hope Academy in Concord? It is a three-day school, two day homeschool…kind of a good mix!

  7. I wondered if I could homeschool my kids, too. I’ve wondered about it every year for the past seven years that I’ve homeschooled. 🙂 I felt like I pushed too hard to teach my oldest when he started kindergarten. When I taught kindergarten the next time, I was way more laid-back. After all, most of the things they are learning in kindergarten are life skills that are easy to imitate while watching mom and dad but more challenging to practice in a classroom environment. Character building is one of the most pressing needs lacking in our kids today. Look for Bible lesson plans that build character and teach your child the importance of truth and doing what’s right, and I think you will find the socialization skills will develop more concretely. Your child won’t be concerned about being cool, maybe, but honesty, integrity and sincerity will draw friends to him. And pray about it. Write down why homeschooling your child is important to you in essentials and hold on to that purpose statement for the rough days! And pray about it. Did I mention praying about it? 🙂

  8. We’ve been homeschooling for 10 years now. Yes, ten. I’m not going to lie and say I’m the most amazing Mama ever. I’m still afraid of the things I will find in the bathroom or stuck underneath of the counters. My children rarely ever leave without myself or my husband accompanying them. I have to use “cheats” to teach and also to correct their work. Even though I was an amazing student when I was in school, I have forgotten so much! If I ever meet any of the amazing people who wrote the curriculum or teachers books that we have purchased I am going to squeeze them to death in the biggest, tightest bear hugs they have ever had to endure <3Homeschooling isn't a decision that you make once and then just dive into. It's a decision that you have to make 365 times every single year. It's tough, it's lovely, it's horrid, it's fun, it's all of this, and so much more. It's reading books in bed or on the couch when you are sick or the children are sick. It's puddle stomping and hiking through the woods with buckets, collecting samples and researching them, teaching the children how to write the same letters and numbers that you have taught them a hundred gazillion times, and temper tantrums that can last all day even though they knew the night before that today was going to be a school day.I do not regret for a moment that I have homeschooled my children. They test proficient or advanced every time they have been state tested. Even though I refuse to force them through a book if they are not retaining the information. We have been known to take 2 years to finish a subject before. We've also been known to finish a year's worth of curriculum in just half a year. It ebbs and flows. I have also been known to call my best friend and tell her how bad I suck. That the kids aren't learning anything and are going to be complete and total screw ups because I'm some kind of fanatic, overprotective, public school phobic freak. She loves me and laughs.But seriously, I have freaked out, more than once, and decided the kids would be better off in public school. The overwhelming thought that "I can't do this!" has taken over many a time over the years. It usually fades after a night off, a walk on the beach, a good nap, or a cup of coffee with other homeschool Mamas. When I started out I was on my own, but now I have a tight group of other women to turn to and in return offer help to. I'm not going to lie, it's never going to be easy. For me though, it's easier than having my heart ripped out every day as I watch my children drive away on the school bus. Praying for you! Don't beat yourself up either way, God knows exactly where your beautiful children are supposed to be <3Have you checked out The Well Trained Mind by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise Bauer? I would suggest checking it out. Blessings!!!!Amy Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 02:16:51 +0000 To: gordonamyc@msn.com

    • Amy, Thank you for your thoughtful response. I laughed, I cried … 🙂 And I have heard excellent things about “The Well-Trained Mind.” I need to get it asap!

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