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Friday, January 5, 2007

One Year After Making the Decision

My goodness, is this a homeschooling parent's struggle or what? Looking at lists, catalogs, book recommendations, manipulatives, multimedia and feeling dizzy all the while! It might just be the custom homeschooler's plight. When I first started considering homeschooling (a year ago!) a prepared curriculum was all that I wanted. I didn't "trust" myself to provide wise curriculum choices for Camille.

What a difference a year makes! Now I'm cruising catalogs and book lists, pulling from this source and that source. I feel like with all that I've chosen, Camille will have a very thorough education, the best of all the classical curriculum available!

Last year, I was being told that Abeka was the best homeschooling curriculum and I was anxiously awaiting their catalog's arrival. This year, I have three bookcases filled with "living" books we've bought in the last year.

Last year, after realizing Abeka wasn't for us I discovered Sonlight. What a love affair I had with Sonlight, it seemed to be the best among prepared curriculums! A wonderful literature approach, worldly Christian focus and it even had P.E. classes! We were going to use Sonlight forever. What more could a new homeschooling parent want! This year, I'm using anything that fits Camille's learning style and my teaching style, most of it fits into a classical approach. This year, I know what a classical education is.

I have more confidence in our homeschooling selections this year than I did in my pinky finger last year! And I owe a lot of that confidence to my online friends, the wonderful homeschooling publishing community and most of all God. Without His answers to my prayers for discernment and guidance, I would feel alone in making such vital choices for our children. I've been involved in various conversations with homeschoolers from different perspectives, religious affiliations and educational philosophies in the past year. While at first it made my head spin, it has produced a lot of growth and maturity. After being tested quite a few times, I have a stronger faith, a clearer sense of what I believe and why and the strength and confidence necessary to fully apprecitation other's opinions without entertaining self-doubt. This is a continous work in progress.

Learning about yourself is just part of the process of homeschooling. Homeschooling highlights the parents' strengths and weaknesses as well as the childrens'. I know more about my children in this past year than in the collective eight years I've been blessed to take care of them. I am not the same person I was a year ago and my children aren't either, life is good. God is good.

 

7 comments:

Judy Aron said...

All I can say is a hearty congratulations!
You jumped off the cliff and found that you had wings to fly!
This is my 11th year of homeschooling and have had one go on and complete college, another currently attending college full time, and one currently attending college part time (she is still doing homeschool studies at home too)

It truly works, and it's liberating, and our kids flourish like the green grass. As an added bonus parents get to see how truly competent they are as teachers and learners and as parents.

We prove it every day.
Your incredible website/blog is an amazing testament to that as well.

Jessica said...

Wow, I'm so glad to have come across your site! It's such a rich & wonderful resource on homeschooling... I'd like to link to your site from mine if I may... And will share about your site with friends and others so they may benefit from it. May God continue to bless you and your family with His wonderful grace.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Jessica

Amelia said...

I found you (again) through ThoughfulMom. I know you both classically educate - and right now - we're doing Abeka and KONOS when I can.

You said something in this post about learning and teaching styles. How do you know what your child's learning style IS?? I've been pondering that and can't seem to find an answer that makes sense.

I love your blog!! You've done a lot of work on it.

Bleach Free Blessings!

Trivium Academy said...

The one source I used at first was Cathy Duffy's The Top 100 Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

Check these books out at your library:
1. Discover Your Child's Learning Style
2. The Way They Learn
3. So Each May Learn: Integrating Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences

If you have any homeschooling books already, they should mention learning styles, and your library may have some on the shelf.

I thought my daughter was an auditory learner but she's actually visual. I would try several books to determine which fits your children the best.

Here's link to helpful articles
http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/assets.htm

: )
Jessica

What is bleach free blessings?

Andie said...

Hi Jessica - have you seen this? http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm

Lynn said...

Congratulations!!!! I'm glad your first year went so well. I was ready to quit after my first year!!! LOL! I had a good excuse, though, I also had a brand new, very demanding baby. :) I gave birth to him two weeks after we started 1st grade.

Barb said...

It only gets better as the years go along and you can see something and *know* that it is perfect for one of your child. This year is the fourth time I am teaching 7th grade and it is a great experience!

I look at homeschooling as a path with a meandering journey...you may veer off the beaten path a bit and it never goes in a straight line but you get there and it is a sweet journey.

Glad I figured out how to comment finally.

Barb
Harmony Art Mom