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Monday, February 2, 2009

My Homeschooling Story

My daughter was going into 3rd grade that year. I believe it was Labor Day weekend and my friend and were having another discussion about home schooling. I thought she was nuts. I had tons of reasons why it was NOT for me. Then something happened.
Some legislation was going to be passed that would force schools to add into their curriculum, teaching the children to accept and tolerate a certain lifestyle. I did not agree with that. I am a firm believer in LOVE the sinner and HATE the sin. I am a firm believer in what the Bible teaches about this subject. There were other reasons, but none that were as deciding as this one.
Now, I needed to find a curriculum. I researched as many as I could stand to. I was overwhelmed. I like choices, just not 800 choices! I had heard of Abeka and I knew that it was based on God and His Word. There was also Sonlight, which is again, based on God and His Word; the same with Alpha and Omega, Bob Jones, and Konos.
I decided on Abeka for only one reason, there were other people in my community that used Abeka and talked to me about it. So, with a smile on my face, I went to their website to order books. My smile soon turned into a frown when I saw how expensive it was. Now what to do?
I found two resources to be very useful VegSource
and Ebay. I found all the books I needed. I bought 90% of them used. My mom and I spent sometime erasing the penciled in answers. Some of the books were not the current edition, either. But seriously, how much does math change? Especially in 3rd grade? I saved a lot of money.
As the books started coming in, I was so excited. I turned my bedroom into a makeshift schoolroom. I bought a white board and some markers and erasers. The school even let me have an old desk! I decorated the walls as best I could to make it look like a schoolroom. I had a blast. I also started looking through the books and was delighted in the fact that not only did the curriculum tell you what to do every day, it also told you what to say, when to say it and what questions to ask. This was so awesome as I was very nervous about how to "teach".
The first "year’ was definitely a learning experience. As the years went by, I found more places to get books, or made sure to save enough money to just get the Parent-Child Kit from Abeka. I began to tweak the schedule, asked my own questions and do my own projects.
I, personally, would have probably given up if it had not been for all the structure of Abeka. I needed that to get set the example about what IS needed daily, what IS NOT needed daily, and my own teaching style. I even used the Abeka DVD program when my daughter was in 7th and 8th grade. I chose to do that because I was now I was now teaching my son as well. I didn’t know exactly HOW to do this. The DVD program was great, in that she had a different teacher for each subject, had a bit of interaction, as in shouting out answers to the TV screen, and a more structured day. I could then concentrate on my son, who I knew would NOT be able to do the DVD program; it would have been a punishment.
This year we are not doing Abeka. I am doing Christian Cottage. It is a more structured unit study curriculum. I am able to teach BOTH children. The vocabulary words are broken down according to primary, elementary, intermediate and advance levels. My son is in elementary and my daughter in intermediate. The activities each day are also broken down according to these levels. That is what makes this perfect for us. NOW. In the beginning, I would have felt like I was drowning. With a couple of years under my belt, I feel like, at least, I have some "floaties" around my arms so I won’t sink.
I wouldn’t trade this experience with my kids for anything. Don’t let fear keep you from doing this. Pray about it. Fear = a lot of "what if"’s and "could have"’s. Don’t let that word ruin a great adventure that you and your family could have.

If you are looking for a Christian curriculum start here first:

"Christian Home Educator’s Curriculum Manual" by Cathy Duffy. There is an elementary book and a junior/senior high book.

These books are great reading and have an abundance of information and resources to help you to be the best homeschooling momma ever!

"Reaping the Harvest" by Diana Waring The Bounty of Abundant-life Homeschooling

"Things We Wish We’d Known" by Bill and Diana Waring. 50 veteran homeschooling families share their experiences. This one helped me move from Abeka to Christian Cottage.

"How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and on to Learning" by Carol Barnier. (one my favorite authors, check out my post on her) Homeschooling Highly Distractible, ADHD, or Just Plain Fidgety Kids

"If I am Diapering A Watermelon Where’d I Leave the Baby?" By Carol Barnier. For the highly distractible, or ‘Gloriously Regimented Mom".

"Homeschooling The Teen Years" by Cafi Cohen A guide to successfully homeschooling the 13-to 18-year old.


Apostolic Wedding said...

Great resources. I am a blessed sub teacher who is proud to say that I love the fact I can send my kids to a school that is lead by solid Christian teachers and principals.

Tonya said...

I wish I had a Christian school to send them to, I would...unfortunately, there is none close enough. But God is good and provides well. Thanks for the comment.

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