Sunday, April 7, 2013
Spring Homeschooling Part One
I've been away for awhile because we have had a BIG life change around here! We decided to pull our daughter Haley out of the public school that she had been attending and homeschool her for the rest of the school year. It was a decision not taken lightly, but we felt like it would be the best thing for her.
We had already been accepted into a Christian university model school for the following school year where the kids will go to school three days and homeschool two days a week. You may remember my post where I told you that we had been called to the public school that we were at. I still have no doubt that was the case, but God had revealed to us that it was time for a change.
I thought I would share with you a little of our experience so far homeschooling. One thing that I did not think too much about was the huge change this would be for Haley. She was used to being with a lot of kids for eight hours everyday and she does love her friends. This was hard for her. I did make an effort to schedule some playdates and that was helpful. She has settled in now, but I still make an effort to schedule playdates for her. Thankfully, her and her brother play great together!
We took a little bit of a "practice week" the first week that I pulled her out, then we took a spring break as she would have if she'd stay in school. That was so important for us both. It gave me an opportunity to reevaluate and plan some more. It gave her an opportunity to unwind and have some fun.
The next week, I instituted a schedule (this printable schedule is working great for us) and we began our work. Haley had really started to relax and I was getting my footing as her teacher. Things started to click for us both. I really just started with the basics: a devotional, math, language arts, reading comprehension, cursive and we were reading lots of great books together. One of the huge resources that I've discovered is a book of wonderful book suggestions called Honey for a Child's Heart. Every book that we have read is so rich and nourishing for a child's heart. Some of the books we've read also cover history lessons.
This last week was our third full week and we began doing science experiments and more fun challenging things. Haley surprised me and conducted the science experiments on her own following the directions. She also saw how one of the experiments related to God and she just shared her experiment with my Sunday school class today, it was awesome! Also, who knew that you could blow bubbles just using your hand?!?
Now, that I am feeling more comfortable, I am starting to think beyond the workbooks and find things that really "speak" to Haley. We started brainstorming about a book that she will be writing this coming week. She was so excited about this project and has already made her main character and title, The Adventures of an Owl Called Hoot.
We are also enjoying and planning many field trips! Last week, we enjoyed an art museum and this week we will be going on a wildlife adventure. We are also enjoying many trips to the library and the outdoors.
I'm finding many real life teaching opportunities. Like, one of Haley's assignments last week was writing thank you notes to her grandparents (still need to get those in the mail).
Another source of encouragement to me has been a blog called I Take Joy, along with a book written by the same author, Sally Clarkson, Seasons of a Mother's Heart (thanks Angie)!
I am already seeing such a change in Haley, which just proves that we made the right decision. I think that I am learning more than her through this process as well! Of course, the flexibility is amazing! I also really feel like I am getting to know Haley all over again and remembering the wonderful gift that she is to us!
This is a journey that I really never thought I would be taking, but I'm reminded that if God calls you to do something, He will provide everything you need!
To read Part Two click here, to read Part Three click here.