Friday, January 22, 2010

the favorite room

(prints from Sarah & Abraham)

I haven't really blogged about this yet.

I wanted to make sure that it was going to for real stick- that "IT" being homeschooling.

We heard very clearly from the Lord in October that were to homeschool. Kaylyn started Kindergarten this year at a WONDERFUL local Christian school. There were no "issues" with the school in the least. In my mind, it was near perfect.

We just felt a very strong impression from the Holy Spirit. Jason has felt strongly about the Lord leading us to homeschool for a while prior to October. But, he was so patient with me and wanted the Lord to change my heart about all of it since the majority of the homeschooling responsibilities would fall on my plate.

This gal didn't go down without a fight though. I'm not proud that I fought the Lord about this. But, I don't want to give the impression that it was the easy for me. I fought, I questioned, I bawled, I feared, and at the end of it all I said "let's do it".

I don't have any fancy words to describe the homeschooling experience thus far other than "it fits". Our lifestyle out on a farm is very conducive to homeschooling since a living and breathing schoolroom awaits us (I don't think you have to have a farm to homeschool though).

I think what I've learned the most through this process is that there isn't an exact formula to homeschooling. That is sort of the beauty of it, but also hard for a brain like mine who likes to stick labels on things.

If you asked 10 homeschool moms how they "do school", you would get probably 12 different answers. Those numbers don't even go together. But, what I found is that some moms have schedules they follow to a "T". Other moms throw schedules out the window. And some moms have different schedules depending upon what day it is and what the weather is like.

For me, the balance is somewhere in the middle knowing that have small babies at home but we also need structure and routines. I love to embrace the flexibility of homeschooling, but I personally know that I do need structure in my life or chaos takes a toll on me and our home.

I most definitely don't have everything figured out. And that is okay. All of this is to say, there isn't a "method" to homeschooling- just lots and lots of prayer involved. If the Lord has called you to homeschool, He will equip you.

One of the things I beat myself up about the most is the fact that I don't have a college degree. I didn't even make it half way through college.

But, something was off in my brain to think that because I don't have a teaching certification I'm not qualified to teach my children. That is a bogus thought. If you are a mother, you ARE a teacher regardless if you homeschool or not.

Finding the right curriculum can be overwhelming in and of itself. I asked several wise women who homeschool in my life and narrowed it down to a few to really dig deep into. It helped me to write down goals I wanted my girls to walk away from their schooling experience.

Wow, this post is a lot longer than what I intended it to be.

So far, I've LOVED homeschooling. There are challenges most definitely (i.e. time management on my part). Kaylyn has really loved homeschooling too so that makes me happy that she looks forward to it everyday. We try to incorporate things she loves to do in to our learning- cooking, sewing, crafting, whatever. I've seen her grow so much and I've seen our relationship grow so much.

I made our little office/computer room into more of our schoolroom. I don't think that you need a schoolroom to homeschool. I've seen families do just fine without one. We had the space already.

This little area has became my favorite spot in the house. These photos were taken after I had everything all cleaned up. If you were to come over to my house on any given normal day, you would find pipe cleaners everywhere, beads on the table, legos on the floor, and books piled a mile high next to the couch.

One thing I do KNOW for sure.....we are NOT a pinto bean playin' kind of family. Those are for eatin' in this house.

I decided to take a rubbermaid storage container and fill it with beans and funnels and cups and lots of other fun things. I even put a sheet under the box for the girls to play on. Somebody just slap me upside the head. What was I thinking??? I'm still finding beans all over the house.

Messes are fun- if they are easy to clean up. The bean box has officially been retired.


Nicole Friedel said...

Hey girl!! You are so amazing! I am in awe of you. Glad to hear that you are all enjoying your time together; it sounds fun! BTW: We use lima beans at our house. I still find them all over, but they are bigger and more contrast to our wood floors, so easier to deal with. :)

carahinojosa said...

Just a note of of the best teachers my kids ever had (at a small private school) never went to college. They learned so much! Some of the worst teachers I've seen have their Masters in Education. A college degree does not necessarily a good teacher make! :)

mandi said...

can i say that i love that you are homeschooling too? i love that we can come over and watch the kids do some learning together- learning about compromise, kindness, and team work- the most important kind of learning, in my book.

love you!

larissa said...

We are a Brenham family who just began homeschooling this year as well, but my boys are in 5th and 1st.

I love it. I love the flexibility and that I can cater to each child's needs. I don't follow a set curriculum, but take from several different ones and customize.

It's working very well for us. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Tanda said...

I am a fellow homeschool mom and I follow your blog. Love your room. Wondering if you know what paint color you used? I am terrible with picking colors and wanted something neutral like the one you chose for our office/classroom.

Kristi said...

I can't do glitter, girl!
If you ever wonder how to teach (fill in the blank) and want help with hands-on, you know I'm here for you!

Gail said...

I respect how you and your husband went about the decision to home school...lots & lots of prayer! I was home schooled my entire schooling years and I'm confident that I wouldn't be who I am today had it not been so. I agree....not everybody does it the same way...but that's the beauty of it. For me, it allowed me to blossom in my creativity...further the interests that I had, and it teaches you self-discipline. But the greatest gift is the closeness I now have with all of my siblings & parents. Treasure these Mom offically "retired" after 25 years of home schooling and now that my last sister is out, she's a bit sad. :( It goes fast...

Many blessings to you!


Kimberly said...

I have read your blog on and off over time, I have seen the Lord do wonderful transforming things in your family. The River of Living Water is ALWAYS rushing and always moving. You have basically said "Oh throw me in." It warms my heart and brings a smile to my face when I see people that are in love with our Jesus , lean forward risking everything to choose the straight and narrow. What a blessing. The Lords favor will only continue to be upon you and your family. By the way, tell your husband thanks for giving this farmin' mama Mr.Engelings number...we love our baby pigs!

Cha Cha said...

So glad to find another homeschooling momma. I love this post and can't wait to find out more about your family. Love it.

God has a way of moving our hearts doesn't He, even when we are stubborn.

God Bless
Cha Cha

Anonymous said...

I was home-schooled from 4th grade 'til 11th grade.