Saturday, September 26, 2009


Okay, okay, I will finally admit that I have been in total denial about homeschooling. I have a friend who has been researching, reading, and contemplating all things homeschooling for years. I now see the wisdom in some forethought about a subject so important to my children. Yes, I have thought about it and knew the day would come when I would have to get really serious about it. I have been homeschooling Bennett for over a year now and have come to the place where I can admit that I need a plan. I am a planner by nature. I love schedules, lists, spreadsheets and the like, but I have been putting off figuring out homeschooling until I HAD to do something about it. I think the enormity of the task and knowing how much of my life it would take up has caused me to put off any real decisions until I had to make them.

Bennett is really smart. He always has been ahead of the game which forced me to get into the game before I thought I would need to. I taught him to read, write, and do basic arithmetic without any formal programs or specific curriculum. I used some fun workbooks in there too that he really enjoyed doing. (That boy likes workbooks so much that once he finished half of one in a day!) The kid is easy to teach. He likes to learn and do worksheets. He is a perfect firstborn and first student for mom. He is ready for more. Uh oh. I don't have a plan.

Enter internet research and lots of book reading (probably the years worth I should have already read in a matter of 2 months). Charlotte Mason, The Well-Trained Mind, the Bluedorns and their Trivium, Beechick's books, loads of blogging mommies, dozens of curriculum websites, countless phone calls to homeschooling friends asking, "What do you do for.......?" What did I conclude? Nothing yet, but I need to jump in and do SOMETHING anyway. The fear was paralyzing. Curriculum is expensive, what if I don't like it? I can't just keep buying more until I find something I like can I? A wise friend told me to just buy something and try it. I will make mistakes, but that is okay. I might not have figured everything out, but I have come to some conclusions about the different philosophies. Some are completely not for me, some are a bit too secular, some I like part of but not the whole thing, some won't work with having a large family. Because I am only teaching one child right now, unit studies are too much work, but I can see how that will help when I am teaching 4 or more at the same time. That marked off My Father's World for now, but I think I will revisit it later.

What did I end up buying? Rod and Staff curriculum- reading, phonics, worksheets, math, and art. Since Bennett was 3/4 of the way through first grade, I just bought the second half. I just looked through it all and I love it. I wanted a Bible based curriculum that emphasized our family values, and I am so pleased with it all. I would still like to purchase curriculum for history, geography, music and art, but I am going to hold off for now and finish first grade, hopefully by Christmas.

So, I did it. I made a decision that looks like it was the right one (at least for now). Bennett is excited to get started, and so am I. I will still read alot to the kids along with Scripture memory, hymn singing and Bible reading. It feels like a weight taken off my shoulders. I am sure I will have to reinvent the wheel when Rachel starts homeschooling because she is absolutely opposite of her brother, but hopefully I have learned my lesson that denial doesn't make anything go away. (Maybe it hides for a while, but it eventually finds you and forces an answer.)


Mystie said...

Good for you on just picking something and going for it. :) The problem with all that thinking and reading for years is that no pre-packaged anything will work for me. But, really, consistency in something good (and there is so much out there that is good) is more than half of the fight! :)