Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Last Lazy Days Of Summer…

A few weeks ago I was in panic mode because I felt like the summer was slipping away.  I really didn’t have a plan for school, we’ve had many concerns of late as a family, and my stress level was through the roof.

My son is starting high school this fall, and I was concerned about being able to continue to teach him at home.  I was worried about transcripts, grading, keeping track of credits, etc.  I have never done that.  From the start, we have never graded the kids on their work.  We usually just work on a concept or lesson until it is grasped.  Some take us longer, others we breeze through.

I had gotten the advice from some women at church to speak to another woman in our church who had homeschooled through high school.  I could get some pointers, possibly a road map, and maybe feel more at ease about the whole thing.  I do not have women in my life right now that I get together with to chat or have coffee.  We’re all busy, and I never seem to be able to find the time to do that.  So I love the input that I am able to get from online friends, right here in the comfort of my home.  I was never able to work out a meeting with that woman from church.  I got busy, and time just got away from me.  It wasn’t that she wasn’t willing…

The other day on Facebook (my link to any friends/family in my life right now), I was talking about browsing through curriculum, and the fact that I was going into this coming year with a great deal of trepidation.  A high school friend of mine sent me a private message that started a back and forth conversation between us about high school, curriculum choices, etc.  She has home schooled four children. One just graduated from college, one is still in college, one will graduate from high school this year, and another is a freshman in high school.  I don’t know why I didn’t speak up on Facebook sooner! She was an IMMENSE help to me.  She gave me a list of required high school courses and number of credits in our state, explained how she home schooled, gave me great suggestions for curriculum, and a “pep talk” on how to just relax, enjoy the time with my kids, don’t grade every little thing, and have fun!  I nearly cried when the conversation was over, because I had been so overwhelmed and stressed out about the coming school year. Now I’m not.

We made the difficult decision to drop out of our co-op group this year.  The day had changed to the same day that I work at the church, and it would have made for a REALLY long day for us.  It already has been the past couple years.  The classes offered were mostly electives, and the last two times my kids have taken a science class with this group we have fallen behind because our schedules didn’t match.  I couldn’t afford the lab costs, wasn’t comfortable teaching what they wanted me to teach, I’m not particularly close with any of the other women there….so there were a number of reasons why it was just good to bow out.  I was stressed about giving that up, but God confirmed the decision in my mind just a few days after we made it.   I’ve got to focus at home more.  Home needs my undivided attention right now for many reasons.  I need to make sure that school is accomplished every day before my husband gets home, so there is no added stress to him at this time.  He is under a great deal of it without that added burden.

My idea all along has been to try to make school at home different than it would be in a classroom.  I haven’t done that for a couple years, and I want to get back to that.  I want the kids to enjoy home schooling, and not have it be boring and drudgery.  I have found some new curriculum that I think will work for us much better, and I’m excited to stock up and get going.  I’ll share those choices with you in another post.  Right now dinner is calling…

So here’s to our 7th year homeschooling! I pray it is a good one, and that the kids and I learn a lot together.  How I love these little darlings (not so little anymore…my youngest is about to become a teenager :/)


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