Saturday, August 23, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs

I just saw this over at another blog I really enjoy reading. I haven't done a lot of memes but this looked like it was interesting so I thought I'd jump in.

I just posted not to long ago about where I live - which I think is pretty unique. We live with four generations on the family homestead and it's a great place to raise our boys.

I'm a mom of three boys. My oldest son, B, turns 12 next Wednesday & is extremely excited about that! He loves Legos and reading. In fact, this summer he has gone through the entire Narnia series (loving every minute of it) as well as a Star Wars Hans Solo trilogy book that is his Daddy's. I really love that the size of a book isn't holding him back anymore. He is certainly soaring there.

My middle boy, N, is 7-1/2 years old & has a sweet & sensitive heart. But don't let that fool you. He is ALL boy. He taught himself to ride a bike just a couple years ago & is now doing spin outs & riding pell-mell all over the place. He is now in his second full year of homeschooling and loves to learn. His passion is trains & if you need to anything answered about trains, just let him know. He probably can tell you.
The youngest boy, J, is 4-1/2. Whatever his brothers don't think up to do, he does. He is a precocious little boy but still very much a mama's boy - which I love. He will sit & cuddle with me still but run off to play with his brothers at the drop of a hat. He follows in his brother's footsteps whenever possible and loves trains as much as N does.

My hubby & I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last month. It seems amazing to me that we've been together that long. We met as juniors in college & married that same summer. Yup, a whirlwind romance!

My oldest son attended a state run preschool for two years due to developmental delays. He had a speech delay (he still only had about 10 words at age three). While he was there they also diagnosed a "sensory disorder" and he attended occupational therapy once a week as well as speech. The preschool was great. I loved his therapist & I thought they did a wonderful job with B. He made great progress while there. However, he was (and still is) "young" for his age. With an end of August birthday they really recommended not starting kindergarten until he was almost six. I readily agreed with them.

While all of that was happening, I was pregnant with my second child. My hubby & I talked about the possibility of me starting to stay home with the children. However, we had just bought our "dream house" a mere 18 months prior to this. But God was working on our hearts separately. While I was sort of sad to see it happen, we decided to sell the house. We signed papers on a Monday in April & our second son joined the family that Friday.

I continued having B receive therapy but he now had to do it at the local elementary school since he was of school age. I also started hearing about something called "homeschooling." God put us in a town with a woman I knew mildly who was an long time homeschooler. Her hubby & my hubby worked together so I had seen her at various company outings. She began to mentor me & I decided to try homeschooling B. I called it our "bonus years." I figured if it didn't work out, I could still send him to kindergarten the following year as I had planned anyway. We wouldn't loose anything.

Over the course of that year, I tried various things with B. Some worked. Some didn't. My friend heard from me a lot! I still remember calling her in a panic. I was trying to teach B how to read using How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (a book we did not like by the way). I was frustrated because B was not doing the writing portions "correctly." I was pulling my hair out - almost literally! She reassured me that I did NOT have to do it all. I could skip those sections (really?!?!) and just do what worked. We did eventually try another book (Alpha-Phonics) which worked much better for us.

By the end of our "bonus year" I had done more research & finally decided that we were going to homeschool. The final decision was really very simple. I had quit my job and sold my home to stay home in and raise my sons. When I started to figure out how many hours a week B would be at the local elementary school with someone else having influence over him, it was a no-brainer for me. He was staying home - with me - where he belonged.

It has now been six years since I started homeschooling. There have definitely been days when I rethought that decision. I'm sure my hubby remembers the calls to work when I would say stuff like, "I'm enrolling them tomorrow!!!" ::grin:: But overall it's been a great & satisfying ride. This year B will be in sixth grade, N in 2nd grade & J will start preschool. And I get to be their teacher. What could be better than that?

1 comment:

Oh thank goodness! I'm not here all alone. Thanks for leaving me a comment. It helps that I'm not always talking to myself. Right? Hello?