Tuesday, July 1, 2008

First Entry in My New Blog

I've been thinking about this for a while. Starting a new blog. Just what I need to fill in all my free time, right? But I've realized lately that I have a lot of information that would be really useful to moms just starting out on their homeschooling adventures. Ours is over now... although you really never stop learning at home!

For those of you who don't know me, let me tell you about our homeschooling adventure.

We have 2 girls and my dh has been a pastor or church staff member for most of his adult life. We're both in our early 40s (no exact ages... lol). When my oldest was a baby I started reading The Beginner's Bible to her every night. When she was about 2 1/2 years old she suddenly started recognizing words in the book and reading along with me. I was amazed. I didn't know that was possible! When she was around 3 I had a couple of friends that homeschooled and I thought that would be a great thing for our dd.

DH didn't think so. Not until he met a family in one of our churches while we lived in Illinois. They were the most respectful children we had ever met. They greeted us at the door when we came to their home, helped their parents serve us, were excited to share their latest piece of art or book they'd been reading, and wanted us to sing along to the Veggie Tales with them. They were so fun and so smart. He (dh) started to think that maybe we should try it too.

So I started the research. LOTS of research. If you're currently thinking about homeschooling, you know what I mean. There's sooooooo much out there! There wasn't quite as much 15 years ago but it still kept me busy for several months. (And I still have notebooks full of notes that I took and will be sharing those on this blog as I come across them.)

We began the adventure with The Weaver Curriculum in Kindergarten. We moved on to the Sonlight Curricululm after that. I can't tell you how much fun we had those first few years. Or how much they both learned -- even though the younger dd wasn't officially 'schooling.'

We continued a rather eclectic homeschool method through elementary -- no textbooks, lots of real LIVING books (I'll explain that later, too.), hands on activities, experiments, field trips, gardening, housework, travel, etc. Math was the only subject we had a textbook for.

We started adding more textbooks in 5th grade -- Abeka, Bob Jones, Saxon, etc. (We really like Bob Jones!) And we joined a couple of co-ops during those years.

High school brought about some BIG changes. A move to California, where laws were different so we joined an umbrella school where all the students were homeschooled. Took some classes taught by other moms in the group -- incredible. Worked on the yearbook, talent nights, band at a local private school who allowed homeschool kids, and classes at the local community college.

Last year was our first ever to NOT have anyone at home for school during the day. It was very different. I have to say *easier* for mom! lol... But I wouldn't trade those homeschool years for anything!

I assumed that chapter of my life was over. But I still have people asking me about homeschooling. And now my younger sister is just starting out with her two little ones. It feels like that was soooo long ago for me. But since I've been through it and have the notes to prove it I thought I should have a place to share them. I do have a website for some of the curriculum that I wrote and sell, but blogging is so much easier than keeping up with the website! I may just give up the website and blog everyday for the rest of my life.. lol!

So, if you're reading this please let me know. And feel free to ask me questions. I'll answer if I can or point you to someone who can. Hopefully not every post will be this long. And I want to share photos, too, so you'll have something interesting to look at. The blog looks pretty boring right now, huh?
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