Homeschool is not easy but it can be enjoyable. At first we were using a website called Time4Learning. It has a full curriculum for elementary and high school. It is not accredited but we decided that wasn’t important to us. Accreditation means that the school has been evaluated for quality assurance and that the school meets the governments standards for education. Now seriously, this means nothing in this crazy world. All you have to do is know or pay the right person and you can get a stamp of approval. Do your research as a parent and you can find the right school with the right education for your child. Plus many accredited schools charge high rates for an education. More then we can afford with four kids and more then I want to dish out even if we could afford it.
There is also the misconception that after attending an accredited school you will be more likely to be accepted into college or get a good job. Honestly we don’t care if our kids attend college. We want them to be intelligent, responsible, loving, and spiritual human beings. College won’t give them this. Parents who love them, train them, and help them learn Bible principles can. If our kids are responsible and hard working then they will find a means to support themselves and their families just like their father and I do. So far we have lived a full life and neither of us went to college or ever even had to pull out our diploma. Now on the other hand if our kids want to attend college that is okay. As long as they know what is truly important in life, we will support them as much as possible. If they don’t have a diploma from an accredited school they can take and pass their GED, with flying colors, I am sure. And if they need to have test scores the college they chose can test them appropriately. This is how we made our decision that accreditation was not important. Some may not agree but each to their own.
So now back to Time4Learning. It is a great site with lots of information and lessons and after a while my kids just got bored. Just like me and their dad in public school. We liked a few subjects and a few teachers and the rest was dull. So here we are as parents. We want them to enjoy learning. What do we do? They have only been homeschooling for a few months and they need an education!
There are so many kinds of homeschooling. Homeschool.com has the best explanation I have found for the different approaches a parent can take. Our style is Eclectic because we incorporate Unit Studies, Unschooling, The Charlotte Mason Method, Multiple Intelligences, DVD/Video Schooling, Internet Schooling, and even Carschooling into our homeschool. So the last few weeks I have been researching my brain out trying to determine how to proceed with our girls. I think we have a plan and we definitely have lots of great resources, most of them free.
Their first Unit Studies were on Giant Pandas and Horses. They spent hours researching and putting their material together into a folder-like lapbook. A field trip to a horse ranch is in the works and last year they saw the Giant Pandas at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. Subjects like math and language arts need to be taught principle by principle so we have Spectrum workbooks for these. I really like Spectrum thus far.
The girls also started Spanish class this week. First class was a hour and a half and they loved it. Of course they also loved Claudia, their teacher. We plan on continuing this once a week. Brad and I are also trying to teach them Spanish at home and online and they hear it every time we leave the house.
I don’t know what we will do in the future but this is what we are trying to do right now. We are still new to homeschool. I feel like I am back in school myself. Raising children is the hardest thing we have ever done and homeschooling is just more responsibility. We can’t send the kids away for eight hours a day for someone else to care for. Less mommy and daddy time to ourselves. Sometimes it’s stressful and overwhelming and I want to pull my hair out but most of the time, I like it. Because I really love my little people. They are funny and smart and individuals. And in 8 years when Alexis is 18, I want to look back and smile and be happy I was her mom and her teacher :-) Signing off, Tina