You Might be a Homeschool Mom if…

Derek and I attended our first Homeschool Convention this weekend.  We went to the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Spartanburg.  The decision to go was kind of last minute but we’re so thankful we chose to go.  Rather than staying there everyday, all day, we picked a handful of sessions we wanted to attend and went at those times.  None of the sessions we chose were school topics.  Not one.  The majority of the sessions we attended were about parenting which naturally spills over into our schooling.  We were drenched by the Gospel through Jessica Thompson {co-author of Give Them Grace} and R.C. Sproul Jr.  The boys joined us for our last session which was taught by Ken Ham.  We learned all about dinosaurs, which just happen to be one of our favorite things around here!  The weekend was refreshingly busy.  We perused isle after isle of curriculum and books and thankfully refrained from spending hundreds of dollars.

Right now my life includes lesson planning & preparing, curriculum research, and lots of reading and phonics.  When I’m out shopping I’m constantly looking out for books, maps, or anything that will fit into next year’s curriculum.  And I’m way more excited about it than I think I should!  Right now as I’m planning for next year I find myself speaking “school-ese” more often than I mean to.  I was talking with a friend over the phone Friday night about nothing school related.  In fact, we were having a serious conversation about church and life.  I was rambling on about something and said “…teaching vowels.”  Wait.  Not vowels, values.  My sweet friend, who is a homeschool graduate, replied, “You might be a homeschool mom if…” .  {We laughed both knowing there are one hundred other ways to end this sentence.}

There was a time when I used the word “never” in the same sentence as “homeschool”.  I never imagined I’d be a Homeschool Mom.  Oh, how the the Lord has changed my heart!  At this point in our lives I can’t imagine not homeschooling.  But I have to fight in my love for homeschooling.  Fight against the sin of self-righteousness.  Fight against the sin of allowing Homeschool Mom to become my identity rather than Child of God.  I have to fight against investing more time in school itself than the boys I’m schooling.  And I have to fight against bitterness in those times when I just need a break!

God led our family to homeschool not just for our boys but for this mother’s heart as well.

 

Kindergarten: Done?!

We have completed – formally at least – our first year of homeschooling.

This year has definitely been our “guinea pig year”.  Our first school year has gone smoothly.  At least for the most part.  We have certainly had our rough patches.  But the year went well enough for us to homeschool next year with anticipation.  For our first year we joined a Classical Conversations Community.  This was a financially costly choice but it proved to be what our family needed this first year.  Connor was in a class full of boys!  There was never a dull moment in those 3 hours.  We used the CC curriculum as our spine.  We supplemented phonics and math.  The way we started doing school in September is not the way we ended the school year doing school.  Much of homeschooling for me as been trial and error.  Honestly, I began the year not really knowing what I was doing.  I’m learning along the way.  I still don’t have it all figured out, far from it, but I’ve learned some things this past year that I know will help us out  next year as we venture into 1st grade and pre-K.

We wrapped up our year this past week at CC.  As CC came to a close our “formal” schooling did too.  Meaning we’re continuing with some math, our phonics program, and lots of reading but not following a set curriculum {other than phonics}.  This past week we had our Closing Program for CC.

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He marched right onto the stage and squinted his eyes at the bright lights.  Connor was so proud of himself!  Graham cheered him on from the audience wishing he too could go on stage.  He never attempted to, but I was certain he would.

Each class had an art project on display.  Connor’s class’ art displayed was egg yolk and chalk paintings.  {Who knew you could paint with egg yolk?!}  He was proud of that too.

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And he should be.  He worked hard this past year.  He’s learned and grown a whole lot!  I’m proud of all that he’s accomplished.  I wasn’t sure how homeschooling would go for us but it seems to be working.  I’m so thankful for that.  It has truly been a blessing to act as mom and teacher.  Looking forward with anticipation, and apprehension, to next year.