Let's talk about homeschooling...

As the school year is coming to an end I am becoming increasingly excited about planning for homeschool next year. 

I know that we are supposed to do this next year... it's been on my heart for years and I have finally felt God's push to let me know 'It's time!'

I do however have many many questions floating around in my head.

So I thought I'd ask YOU! 

I know there are lots of homeschool mamas out there... tell me all about it!

What curriculum do you use?

Tips or suggestions that really work well for you?

What does your daily routine look like?

How do you organize all of the books and things that go along with it?

Do you do one on one or all of your children together?

Do you supplement with outside classes... art, music, science, ect?

Do you participate in a local homeschool group?

Does your husband participate with the teaching?

Do you do lots of outings?

Has it been expensive for you?

anything else I should know?

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now please... do not comment just to tell me homeschool is bad, ect. ect. ect. UNLESS you have direct experience. Were you homeschooled and have bad memories of it?
Did you try to homeschool your kids and it didn't work out?

I'm all for being real... let's just not turn this into a bashing session. {grin}

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I can not wait to hear all that you have to say! I am so excited to start this journey and look forward to it's rewards and challenges! I have so much hope that this will be a positive step for our family.

Depending on what you all have to say I might put together a post like I did with laundry tips??

Come on now homeschool mamas! Let's hear it!

195 comments:

  1. I have a bit of prejudice against homeschooling, but would not take it out on anyone. My cousin, who was/is homeschooled is 14 and cannot even read. He is fairly smart, but he was never taught, and was never encouraged to learn anything on his own. I will watch your comments with curiosity.

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  2. I don't really have any advice from experience, since my kiddos are still quite little, but we do plan on homeschooling and I am so excited about it!

    I was homeschooled all the way and I am so thankful for that.

    One thing I think is so neat about homeschooling is that you can cater to each individual learning style, and each child's specific interests/talents.

    I am excited for you as your family prepares for this new journey! I hope that it all goes well!!

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  3. Have been reading your blog for a while but have never commented. But since homeschooling is a passion of mine I thought I would speak up.

    This is my 8th year of homeschooling. We have 4 kids (age 15, 13, 10 & 7).

    First thing I think is important to say is you need to check out HSLDA.org. It will tell you everything you need to know about rulings in your state, what paperwork or notifications are required, links to area support groups, etc. You probably already know that all you have to do is google 'homeschooling' and there are PLENTY of resources out there.

    I use different curriculums for most subjects, but you don't have to. I buy most of our curr. from RainbowResource.com They have the best deals. Their catalog (printed and online) gives a very good description of curriculums, etc that they sell so you're not forking out alot of bucks on something you don't like once you get it.

    God bless you. I promise you, your kids WILL benefit.

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  4. i *loved* being homeschooled. i was only homeschooled during the junior high years but it was one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me!

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  5. I'm planning to homeschool this fall also. We are going to try My Father's World. I really like how it incorporates the Bible into world history. And it is all planned out for you, so you just add in your choice of Math and Language Arts (although they have recommendations, you don't have to use them.) I will be using Horizons Math for my 3rd and 4th graders. I haven't decided between Horizons and MathUSee for my 1st grader yet. (She has a hard time understanding the concept of math) I will also be using Explode the Code for my 1st grader. The other great thing about My Father's World is that I can use the same history, science, art, and music for all 3 of my girls. Saves a lot of time!

    We plan to hs in the morning and afternoons would be free (aside from maybe an hour of reading aloud.) Also I haven't decided on a 4 or 5 day week. One of the bonuses is that we can work around my husband's schedule. We can take off a day during the week when he is home, and make it up on a Sat when he is working. The kids will get to see much more of their dad - we are all excited about that!

    I have a 16 mo. old and am planning a "school box" for him also. This is a box that only comes out during school and filled with things that he can do while I work with the girls. Also I am hoping to rotate personal time with each girl. As I work with one, another will be working on her own, and the other will be "teaching" little brother. I will have blocks, books, and toys that teach colors, shapes, the alphabet, etc. This way he will not feel left out or neglected and the girls will enjoy their time with him!

    Looking forward to reading everyone's comments!

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  6. brittney,

    By no means is this an attack just some food for thought and I would like to know more as to WHY??? As a school teacher I am very hesitant to say that homeschooling is an god idea, first thing you plan on starting in the next school year, but I would have hoped that you would already have a curriculum to follow...I am curious to know and understand your reasons for wanting to? I am a mum and I do get it, but you know I trained for 4 years to become a teacher, and that made me a beginning teacher upon graduation, I have then spent 12 subsequent years learning and training to become an excellent teacher, guided by curriculum, teachers and education experts help to design and implement. While I believe that life lessons able to be taught from home with suplementation private lessons (surely that will be very costly), but can you do that whilst your kids attend regular school? also when you choose to homeschool, are there specific guidelines and people(teachers/supervisors) that oversea your programs, best practice should so you should keep an eye out for that. I believe that you and your husband are intelligent people, you will make decisions concerning programming and implementation with the utmost thought however this close to beginning such a huge chapter in your families lives I would think more research of the less 'fluffy' parts of homeschooling need to be done.. Which I get that is what you are doing in this forum, but keep searching, you need to get prepared and make sure esp with those 2 gorgeous baby girls are 2-5 steps ahead of the big boys in regards to programming.

    I am very interested to see what other comments are left and will be checking in over the next few days, good luck, I hope people with differing opinions still say their bit (Like I am) but are polite and respectful.

    Hope I have been helpful to some extent, you can email me at blondieripp@hotmail.com if you would like to chat further.

    good luck
    Leonie

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  7. I have always had a heart for homeschooling, too! I am so glad to hear you're doing it next year.

    I am sending Adam to preschool, next year. I feel like I need some alone time with Matty. But that doesn't mean he will always "Go to school." Right now, we have lessons everyday, that I kind of just make up (pre-school is much easier! haha), but maybe someday I will come to YOU for advice!! :)

    Also- the Stratford Center has wonderful homeschooling projects, I've heard! Check out their website!

    (PS hope you all had fun the other day! It was nice to see you!!)

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  8. In regards to the first commenter there is a philosophy of home schooling called "unschooling" where you let the child direct (not control) the learning. Done well it can work amazingly well. Letting your child choose to not learn to read even at age 14 in my opinion, is not doing it well.

    Having said that...I wanted to home school for years but God led us elsewhere and it was so hard for me to accept. I can really see his hand on the decisions we have made so that has helped me to be at peace. So, I am totally NOT against homeschooling. Please understand my concern in that light. :-)

    I come from a family of 10 children. We were home schooled for much of our school years. Academically it was superior to public school in many ways. Once we hit high school though my parents couldn't keep up with the upper maths and sciences. But I'm sure there are resources now to help with that. Anyway, the problem I had with it is that we were completely cocooned within our family. I honestly could not relate to others in the world very well. There is a fine line to walk between letting your children be 'socialized' by other children more than you and letting them socialize with other children with your guidance. As an older teen and adult it took me years before I could relate to others at college, in the work place or elsewhere. So, I think it's very important to expose your children to others. Not just others that are identical to you in beliefs but others that may be totally different than you so they can learn from you how to relate to them.

    I hope that makes sense. :-) I'm super excited for you and your home schooling journey...especially since I don't get to take one myself. God Bless!!

    Angela

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  9. Thanks for bringing up this post......I also would love to hear what people have to say....

    I am a musician, and also have a masters in early education. I am very much hoping to homeschool TigerBoy (and any other children I have) at least for the early years.

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  10. I just want to also mention that it's great to hear all of the different experiences and thoughts.....and I certainly hope the comments can stay appropriate! :-)

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  11. I have a different experience with homeschooling. Both my husband and I struggled being homeschooled. I never received an education. When I finally went back to school I have to struggle to catch up and had to fight my way through college because I was missing so much basic information.

    However, even though our experience was not great we feel called to homeschool our daughter.

    We have signed our daughter up through a homeschool co-op. It has been in opporation for over 25 years. You are required to turn in grades each month. They have programs or classes you can put your child in for the social interaction they will need.

    We like the accountability, social interaction and the fact that she will still be receiving her education from someone who has her best interest as a top priority.

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  12. I was home schooled all the way through high school and I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am for that. It wasn't something I particularly enjoyed in the midst of it (though I didn't particularly hate it either), but now that I am in college and see the failures of the public school system in many of my peers, I am so glad my mom invested that time into my education.

    My mom used SonLight curriculum for our reading/English and added some other things along the way.

    We used Saxon for math. It is very thorough and explains things well. They have math books all the way from Kindergarten to Advanced Math and and Calculus.

    My mom did some one on one and some all together teaching. Every morning we would start out by doing a devotion together. One thing I remember about our devotions is that we learned to say all the books of the Bible. After we got good at doing them forward, we would say them backwards to switch it up a little bit. After the devotion, she would read aloud to all of us. After that, she would make sure my oldest two brothers knew what they needed to do and then work more individually with my other brother and me.

    I think I started going to a co-op in 1st grade or so. It was mostly extra stuff until 8th grade like art lessons, choir, dance etc. I also took violin and piano lessons for a while and participated in the choir at my church

    As I got into middle and high school, the classes I took at the co-op I attended were more core classes than extras. This enabled me to take classes that my mom did not feel comfortable teaching (like English) from teachers who (usually) had a degree in that area.

    My dad did not help a whole lot with home schooling until we got to high school. He helped me with both chemistry and physics and did the same for my brothers.

    We didn't have an excessive number of outings but we did get together with other home school families to plays, art museums, aquariums, and zoos a few times a year.

    P.S. According to my childhood human development textbook, the average percentile on standardized college entry tests (SAT, ACT) for a child who spent just one year home schooling is 59, and the average percentile for a child who completed all of their schooling at home is the 92nd percentile. Pretty amazing, huh?

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  13. Hi there,

    I was schooled in both traditional and homeschooling arenas. I have experienced the pros and cons of both (and other!) options.

    I do have a comment for you that I hope you will take as constructive criticism and not as "bashing". I BEG you to reconsider your choice in this decision. I have been reading your blog for over a year (and I know you socially) and I have to point out that there are spelling, syntax, grammatical, and usage errors in 99% of your posts. Quite frankly, you are not a good speller and don't seem to have a strong grip on grammar. I know this is *just* a blog, and I REALLY don't mean it in a hurtful way, but I just wanted to mention it for your consideration.

    Please, if you choose to homeschool, consider your own strengths and weaknesses when choosing to teach your own children. I am assuming since you got married at 19 (right?) that you never went to college. Of course, that doesn't disqualify you from teaching, but you might want to strongly consider your abilities with a critical eye.

    Now I know I will get slammed for my observations, but I mean them kindly. Yes, I make typos. Yes, I make mistakes sometimes. Yes, I expect others to do so as well. But I'm not talking about typos here. I'm talking about a YEAR of reading your blog and seeing thousands of errors in every level of spelling, grammar, usage, and syntax. I would want someone more qualified than that to be teaching my own children.

    I've never seen you write about a book you love, using teachable moments, music, science, or history. Are these things you are comfortable bringing your kids to your level of knowledge?

    I will say that math might be something you could do effectively through cooking! I'm sure they would enjoy that and learn a bit on the journey as well.

    I truly understand your passion to be home with your children, and that is admirable. However, loving them and educating them must be something that you are truly, in your heart of hearts, willing to stretch yourself to do.

    The last time you posted about this (if I remember correctly) you mentioned that your husband wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of you homeschooling. I'm assuming he has changed his mind. If not, well then, your decision is made. If he has: why don't you go to the Lord together and ask for wisdom?

    If you choose to do it, I suggest a very child-oriented curriculum rather than a parent-directed one. There are lots. Good luck.

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  14. I have thought about homeschooling my kids before but have never taken that leap. I really don't think I could handle it right now with a two year old and 11 month old at home during the same time. I know there are people that are able to handle it but honestly I'm not sure my nerves could. I applaud you for wanting to do it with all that you have going on...I can't imagine doing it with two babies in the house. I can't wait to hear what advice you get!

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  15. Brittany - awesome to hear that you're planning to homeschool the boys next year. I am a homeschool graduate - 13 years of homeschooling under my belt. :) Matt had said he didn't want to homeschool as he thought homeschoolers were "weird" (I guess he needed to be reminded he married one of those weirdos...). But since we've had Oceana we've decided that barring some unforseen event, we'll be homeschooling our children. I loved being homeschooled. It was perfect for my personality.
    As for advice:
    Sonlight Curriculum is great if your boys love to read or be read to. My mom used it from the time I was about 12 on, but my younger siblings did it through most of elementary school.
    Math-U-See is a fantastic program! I cried nearly every day doing math(and failed Pre-Algebra) until I started MUS, and eventually finished Trigonometry with a low 90s average.
    I credit my other activities (Sunday School, Youth Group, Homeschool Group, organized sports, dance lessons) with my "social skills". That seems to be a lot of people's problem with homeschooling - :How will they socialize?:. I'm just fine - in fact, I'm a Communications Coordinator now. :)

    All the best to you! Hope you find a system that works for you.

    Oh, and my mom did things like history and reading together. The more age-specific things were done one-on-one until we were to an age we could do a lot of it ourselves (12 or so).

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  16. i'm so excited you plan on homeschooling. and i know the answer to the ladies question as to why? you feel led by the LORD!! he directs our steps and paths. and you must be obedient to his calling. i'm so excited. i also plan on homeschooling. my oldest will be four and a half and *gasp* i'm not sure which curriculum to use yet for pre-k. i think now is the time of year ppl start buying them, my husband's aunt who homeschools is starting to look for next year. so i do not think it's out of the ordinary. i really dislike the negative conotations put towards homeschooling. but i know that is what god is calling me to do and that's what i'll do. i rest in the fact HE is in control. my husband's aunt gave me some advice:: do not structure too much. she didn't have a structured school time until first grade. before that they learn more by 'example' and life. and to me that is the most important. i don't care if my first grader can't add like a 'public schooled' kid. i don't want to push too much too soon. i feel that i will let them set the pace, another advantage I see to homeschooling. i didn't go to college, well i lie, i dropped out after a year. i do not think college degree or not qualifies you to homeschool. a number of hsing moms i know do a fantastic job without the degree. in fact my husbands aunt just graduated her oldest daughter last year. sorry to ramble. i have a passion for hsing and get all crazy about ppl who don't 'get it' or choose to find reasons you shouldn't do it. we also do not celebrate santa, the easter bunny, halloween etc. so i'd have to pull my kids out of their classes when dealing with some of those things. and my kids will tell others santa isn't real and then i'd have deal with parents who are upset because my kids didn't lie to them. oh dear. i could go on and on. and thanks for letting me so far. :0) i'm excited to see which curriculum you go with and your experiences with them.

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  17. Hey, Brittany!

    I don't usually de-lurk for much, but I certainly will for homeschooling!

    We homeschooled our boys for two years. Some of my best friends are homeschooling families. We had really great experiences with it and would still be homeschooling if it weren't for me going to school myself and having an awesome charter school that perfectly fits our needs nearby for the boys.

    Our boys were 5th and 6th grades the years we homeschooled. They are step brothers and both in 7th this year.

    We started our day at 7 a.m. and I kept a separate planner for each so they could highlight or check off the things they had done and see how each day looked for themselves. They were usually assigned the same work, it just helped to be able to keep up with it that they each had planners.

    I gave them an order that they were to go through their studies because they had to share textbooks, but not a rigid time-schedule.

    Our curriculum was rather hodge-podge. I found I'd like some things with some publishers and some with others, so I just took what I liked from each. My absolute favorite Science curriculum is Bob Jones. It kept the kids' interest so well. Abeka is good, but hard and sometimes confusing. I picked up some grammar, reading comprehension and spelling workbooks at Sam's (I was surprised they had things like that). Saxon was our favorite Math. It is hard and a bit dry, but the textbooks teach really well. For teaching to read, my good friend with 5 homeschoolers loves Explode the Code (as does my niece). One thing you should think about when purchasing curriculum is getting something that you can build on and pass down through your kids. We only had the two at the same level, so we didn't have to consider passing it on.

    When I brought my kids home from public school, their hugest struggle was in writing. I discovered "Writing Strands" that taught them how to organize their thoughts and write really well. We loved it and now my kids have the highest grades in writing in their classes.

    Be sure (like somebody said before) to check your state's laws and make sure you're in compliance. Also, just remember that each family is very different and you guys will have to figure out a groove for yourselves. Organize, organize, organize, but be flexible when you're dealing with the boys. It's a learning experience for everybody and I bet you'll absolutely love it!

    A lot of homeschooling groups will have book-swaps and sales at the end of the year, so it'd be a gread idea to start checking locally for your curriculum. I don't know where you're at, but here we have a homeschool book fair once a year that is really awesome.

    Phew! How's that for de-lurking? :-)

    Katie

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  18. Hi Brittany! I just wanted to share a little of my experience with you about homeschool. I have not homeschooled as I don't have any children, but I was homeschooled for 6 years. went to public thru 2nd grade, homeschooled 3-8 and then private school 9-12.

    I loved my homeschooling years and remember a lot of great memories. But there are a couple things that were hard. We were part of a homeschool group the entire time being homeschooled, but by way of the fact that families came from all over the place, none of my friends ever lived near me. It was very hard for me to keep friends and relationships with others and I often felt like a loner. Obviously that has nothing to do with the actual education, which I can say was an ideal learning environment for me... but socially, it was difficult.

    By the time I reached 8th grade, my mom had gotten about as far as she could teaching us, so my parents opted to put us back in school...

    I loved the flexibility of being homeschooled. We had freedom to finish when we wanted, put a subject down if it was too frustrating, and work at it until it was all the way understood. I have no doubt that you will be a fabulous homeschooling mama!

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  19. I would suggest reading Echo in Celebration by Leigh Bortinis it is a wonderful read for a homeschool mom. i have four children 6,5,and 2 and 1/2 year old twins and we homeschool. We love it. We also use My Father's World and will be joining a Classical Conversstions group this fall. All I can say is that if God has lead you down this path then he will provide what you need. Bear ion mind that the most important thing that you can give your children is a love for the Lord. and yes they do need to learn to read and write and all of the other wonderful things in this world,but in a lot of today's public school settings they teach your child to do the latter but completely remove God from the equation. We try to run our school like a one room school house. Yes my kids are young, but for instance we hatched butterflies as part of our letter B study. So we were able to include the younger ones in watching them grow and eventually releasing them. There are some things that I do only with the older kids while the younger ones play outside, but when it comes down to it we just love being together as a family.
    As far as cost you can get by with little money invested if you use your resources. The public library can supply a lot of the books, so there is no cost to you. God knows your heart and there are so many things out there to help you with whatever challenge you may have to face. Math was not my subject and I will need additional things to help me educate my children in Algebra etc., but that does not mean that in a public classroom with 40 kids they would be any better equipped to understand the subject. I encourage you to find your state's home educator group because they will give you a lot of info. (I live in FL so we have the FPEA) also see if there are any homeschool conventions in your state also very helpful. Trust in the Lord and he will make your path straight.

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  20. I don't have any experience with homeschooling but I wanted to tell you that I wish you the best of luck with it.

    Ree from The Pioneer Woman has a section on her blog about homeschooling. Here is the link you might find some useful information.

    http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/

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  21. Thank you for this post! We have struggled with the decision to homeschool but decided on a very small Christian school. There are 45 kids k-12! Our daughter will be in 2nd grade next year and our son won't be starting for 2 years. I have bought some A Beka curriculum books off of ebay to start using with our 3 year old and also to help our daughter in math this summer. This is what the school uses and we are really happy with it, although I don't have anything to compare it to! I know many homeschool families! Most do it SO WELL, and a few do it very poorly. My friend who does it poorly is just plain lazy about it and if she doesn't feel like doing it that day she wont't. She has 7 children. I wish you the best of luck! I know that this is something that the Lord must call you to do so don't let anyone bring you down about it!

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  22. I grew up being homeschooled along with my brother and sister. My mom never went to college and does y have a "higher degree" or learning but she did a fabulous job. We were all reading very well by a young age and often doing schoolwork much past our ages. All three of us ended up going to a private high school where we found out we were actually far ahead of the game. All that to say that I learned firsthand you don't need a college degree to teach your children well.

    Some of my best memories are when my dad would do some teaching (often Bible and Spanish). So if your husband is willing to teach I think you will find your kids to be very receptive.

    We also did a lot of "field trips". So many things are a great learning experimce, it doesn't have to be a museum or something so formal. Go down to the beach an learn about tide pools, visit a small farm to see where food comes from, or even go to an amusement park to observe architectural design. You may have to ride all the rides to do this accurately :)

    I am so thankful that I was homeschooled for most of my school years. It gave me a big leg up. Now my sister is teaching her son, he's 6 and doing 2nd grade curriculum with ease! He also takes a couple extra classes at a church that offers things for homeschoolers. I believe he is taking drama and art. He's by far the yiunhest in his classes, but is doing so great and loves it! I'm looking forward to teaching my girls when they are old enough, and I have no college degree either.

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  23. Haha, I typed that on my I phone, sorry for the typos :)

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  24. I don't even have children, so no advice from me. I just wanted to say that it is an aweome idea. I know there is a group that meets wkly by my house at a park so the children do exprience "socialization." We know a family that does homeschool, and it works great for them... hope the same for your family.

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  25. I started doing a ton of research on this a couple months back since Ella will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I read a lot about the curriculum "Sonlight", www.sonlight.com, I know many moms that use it, and they absolutely love it!

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  26. Hello,

    this is my second time reading your blog (very nice blog, btw). I got the address from Susan.

    Now, since you asked for comments on homeschooling, I thought I would respond.

    I have homeschooled my children since birth. My oldest is now 9yo, can read in both French and English (we are French Canadian) since I thought it was so important to teach her both languages at once. It has worked out great. I used arts to spark her interest in reading. My 7yo son is getting better at reading too but has taken more time. Reading is NOT a priority for him, math & science are. The idea is to let the child decide when he is ready to start and I did not start before they were 7yo. I think before that, they are children and have to enjoy that short period of their lives. The freedom of being children.

    As far as curriculum, we use Sonlight (www.sonlight.com) minus the religion stuff, which I take out and mail to a friend. I then add French, Latin, Spanish, Story of the World, Geography (Galopping Throught the Globe ??), Sign Language, ARTistic Pursuits then put together units, as the kids interests develop. Right now, I am working on units on Russia, chocolate, asteroids, ... I share all those on my hmeschool blog, if you are interested.

    What works for us? A routine! I have a book of routine for the house cleaning, I have a chorse charts for the kids, I have a homeschool chart for homeschooling (just the subjects written down) and a schedule for the specifics (lesson 34 of Bled, p. 23-25 in ...). Without my books of routine, I would not get much done, I am sure.

    One thing that helps is to plan our meals ahead of time. Get all the ingredients at hand and prepare as much as possible early in the morning. IE: I want to prepare a beef stew for dinner? I am going to roast the meat and put it in a pot, cut and cube the vegetable and prepare the bouillon. Get everything together and put in the fridge until it is time to get in the oven. That way, I do not have to worry about preparing dinner later that day, when I have less energy. Using the crock pot helps a lot too. Last night, I put a roast beef in it, let it simmer all night. Today for lunch, we will have roast beef sandwiches and will have the broth for dinner tonight, to make onion soup.

    My daily routine? Right now, it is a bit messed up. I am 8+ weeks pg and after spending most of the night walking around because of the intense nausea, I do not feel like getting up much. Our day start later. Breakfast, clean up, start laundry,exercise then get ready for the day. Then, we watch a Signing Time dvd. We homeschool after that. The kids get some free time around 10h30 and go play outside (when it is not too cold), come back in for lunch. I then get the baby down for his nap and we finish homeschooling. After that, they can do whatever they want to, until dinner. They do have to set the table though.

    We got an area that we use to homeschool. I could post pictures of it on my blog, if you want to.

    Homeschooling can get expensive, when you do it my way, lol. I want the best and the most so I do spend quite a lot of money but since we have soon to be six kids (and not sure if we are done), I consider it an investment. Some books I used for my oldest and now, my 4th child is using them.

    I can teach one on one for math, French and English. Most of the rest is all together. The oldest three do SOTW1 together, all the same activities. They love that time together.

    My oldest daughter takes painting classes that we offered her for xmas. She is an artist and is very talented. I could not teach her what she wanted to learn so I got her someone who could. My husband teaches the kids to play guitar and violin. A neighbor will teach them piano starting next Fall. The girls also take ballet and the boys take karate. The oldest four will all start taking gymnastics again next Fall. That is supposed to be a gift from their grandparents though.

    We do have a very small homeschool support group but since this is a big region, I find myself far away from everyone. We do try and do some activities together a few times a year but I do not feel like the kids nor I need them as much. Since we get out a lot with our own activities (visiting the zoo, museums, taking walks in the forest, boating, fishing, ...), I think we get our social fill.

    My husband does not do much with homeschooling right now. He will when the kids get older. He will teach them math, physics and chimestry. Right now, he takes them into the forest when he cuts down our firewood. He takes them fishing. He teaches them how to repair things on our van or truck, ... Both girls and boys.

    Be ready for criticism. Sorry I do not know how to spell that word. People can get very mean when someone takes a diffent path than they did. They will try and convince you that you are making the wrong decision, that you are causing harm to tour kids, you are runing their lives, ... So much they will say. Do not listen to them. They are YOUR kids and you know what is best for them. Homeschooling ha been such an amazing experience for us, I truly cannot imagine having sent my kids to school. It is si obvious that my kids are happier and more secure than any other child. They are free to be who they want to be. They are free to pursuit (??) their own interest, they are free to be children and to spend all day with their siblings. You can ask any of my children if they are happy and they will yell a big yes. They love homeschooling, they know how much freedom they get compared to their friends.

    I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Here is the homeschool blog address. It is not update often, I lack the time but my family blog is: http://joysofhomeschooling.blogspot.com/

    http://growinglifeandnovel.blogspot.com/

    I hope you have fun with your children and homeschooling.

    Julie from Canada

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  27. Brittany.... homeschooling is great!

    I wanted to homeschool since our oldest was 4 but hubby didn't want to. It kept nagging at me all throughout the years and this past summer as I casually mentioned it again in conversation hubby said "lets do it." - I was so excited I ordered the books that week.

    We use A Beka Book. There are many great homeschool books out there it just depends on what your family's style is. A Beka is old school.... traditional. I love everthing about them {expect quizes and tests... grin}. Here is a link to the few posts I have done about homeschool on my blog. http://momontheprairie.blogspot.com/search/label/homeschool
    to answer your questions:
    I find keeping a schedule is what works best for us.
    Our routine: I posted about it on the blog.
    Organized: our office has 2 book shelves full and table and several organizers {for crafts}.
    I do our 11+9 year old at the kitchen table and our kindergarten kido at the kitchen counter.
    We supplement with piano, violin, guitar, and we part take in soccor and baseball.
    We are not in a homeschool group because the ones in our area are MUCH more old school than A Beka {and I am not THAT old school... grin}.
    No... hubby is not home enough to participate in teaching but he is kind and always listens to our 6 year old read and the other two play their music.
    We try for one outing per month.
    Expens - I have bought all new so the first year was around 1500. This coming year it will only be 700. This is for all three.
    Anything else: it is great having the kids at home.

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  28. I was homeschooled all the way through, and then attended one of the most competitive colleges in the country. I enjoyed my experience for the most part, particularly the extra time that I had to pursue music and other hobbies.
    I plan to start homeschooling my three little ones in the next couple of years, but there are a few things from my past experience that I hope to guard against. I really struggled with having my mother as a teacher. I often felt like we were always in "school mode". Sometimes I just wanted my mom, not my teacher, and I have had to dealt with a lot of resentment and bitterness about that. And we were not of the unschooling, school is everything, everywhere bent. I struggled with this even though we had a separate school room, and a set start and end time.
    Entering an academically rigorous college with no prior classroom experience was an extremely difficult time in my life. I studied Biology, and up until my freshman year of college had never been in a lab. Even though I was at a disadvantage, I still had learned excellent study skills as a homeschooler and was able to catch up and do very well. It was much harder than it needed to have been, though. I wish that my parents had been more involved in local homeschool support groups and would have taken advantage of opportunities that they themselves could not provide.
    I have a lot of experience with different curriculum, and can tell you that we cannot wait to begin Sonlight with our children!
    Hope this helps as you think this big issue through!
    --Elizabeth

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  29. I am a homeschool graduate. I homeschooled all the way and graduated at 16. I wouldn't change it. One thing that new homeschool moms often think is that they have to pick one curriculum and use it for everything. :) Not every curriculum is strong in every subject. Its ok to use a different curriculum for every subject and most of the time it is better. As far as teaching all of them at once, I would start one of them on what they need to do for that day while you help another kid. Just go back and forth/ "Take turns" with them. :) If you try to do all at once you will go insane. Good luck!

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  30. I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before, but I'm a faithful reader.

    I've homeschooled my daughter for the last 4 years (She's a 5th grader.) and we love it! God absolutely led us to homeschool (I didn't want to and my husband did.) and I'm so glad we listened to Him.

    We are a very social family and we belong to a local group (not really a co-op) and we get together for a couple of hours a week so the kids can play together and sometimes we make it a learning experience as well. We attend church regularly and we're part of other functions that we pay for. My daughter has been part of an art class, writing class, taken ice skating lessons, played Upward Basketball, piano lessons, been active in our community's children's theater, among other things. We do a lot of field trips with other homeschooled families and sometimes alone.

    Our state (Illinois) doesn't require any follow up whatsoever. However, I choose to have her tested with a standardized test that is run by our local homeschooling group, but sent in to the state, just to make sure that we're doing a great job. (We ARE! *grin*)

    What curriculum do you use? We use Math-U-See, Easy Grammar, Answers In Genesis for Science, Tapestry of Grace for history and reading and writing.


    What does your daily routine look like? She is a great self-learner, so really I just make sure she's doing it and doing it right. We usually do school in the morning, first thing, but sometimes we do it in the afternoon or evening if something else needs to be done. It's always been fine this way.


    How do you organize all of the books and things that go along with it? Our homeschool stuff is all on one shelving unit together.

    Do you supplement with outside classes... art, music, science, ect? Yes. It depends on what's offered and if we need to. There are a lot of homeschool things locally that we can be involved in.


    Do you participate in a local homeschool group? Yes. I think it's really a must. It helps when you have questions, need support, want to look at and learn the way other people do it too. It's also a great way to find like-minded people and some of my very best friends have come from our group.


    Does your husband participate with the teaching? No. He's at work 99% of the time we're schooling.


    Do you do lots of outings? Yes. I think it's essential.


    Has it been expensive for you? It can be. I suppose it depends on what you view as expensive. Our science books are for 1-8 grade. I believe it cost me right at $200. Tapestry of Grace (History) is around $1,200 for all four years, but it's a 4 year program that you repeat. When you come back around to the 1st year, you teach it more indepth than you did 4 years ago. There are different levels and it's a wonderful program. Math and grammar run around $20-$50 a year, if you buy new, but I've gotten most of mine off of eBay or from our curriculum fairs. Also, once you buy the teacher's manuals, the consumables (workbooks) are a lot cheaper.


    anything else I should know? If God is leading you to do this, then HE'LL provide and your kids will grow up fabulous.

    By the way, my name is Brittany and my husband's name is Paul too. :)

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  31. I was homeschooled for three years (to 3rd grade), and I enjoyed it. It was my sister and I (because we're twins). My dad would teach us math and science, my mom would do the rest. I thought it worked out pretty well like that. I know it saved my family a lot of money, because the other option would've been a private school, which we did switch to later. I didn't think it was a difficult transition, contrary to what others might say. I also get a little annoyed when people say you grow up anti-social and such. That is completely false... I felt very social, I was involved in my church and other activities while being homeschooled. I think there is a lot more freedom in schooling when you can homeschool.. It's great. I loved it. We got up around 9 or 10, and would do 'classes' until around 2 or 3. It was structured, but didn't feel so controlling as it is in school. I specifically remember playing 'who wants to be a millionare' and other games, based on what we were studying.

    GOod luck, I'm sure you'll find it great too. :)

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  32. I'm a homeschooler. I was approached last week by someone who was surprised that my daughter is NORMAL! Yes, homeschooled kids can be very social and normal. I know there are some who aren't, but I'm determined to be sure mine are.

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  33. I do not homeschool, but I was homeschooled for a year and a half (half of fifth grade and all of sixth) and I enjoyed it. It was what worked best for me at that time. When 7th grade came I really wanted to go back to public with my friends and my mom agreed. I would probably homeschool my daughter (when the time comes) if my situation were different. I think the best part about my expierence was that my mom listened and respected me. When I was having a lot of issues with my teacher and not enjoying the public school expierence she pulled me out. When I wanted to go back she let me. I think this will be a great opportunity for you and your kids. I don't know if you have come across this blog before, but she has some good information for toddlers and older kids. http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/

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  34. Homeschooling is awesome because we got to go on a 2 week vacation in February to Disney World. It was a LOT cheaper that time of year (and nice to be in warm weather because we're from the midwest) and it's the only time of year Daddy can get vacation time.

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  35. Brittany
    I think it is wonderful that you have a desire to pursue homeschooling for your boys!

    I was homeschooled most of my elementary schooling & all of high school. I continued my education and recieved a bachlor of education in college. I then taught 4th grade in private Christian school & public school for 4 years. Currently I am a homeschool supervising teacher. Sooooo I could say A LOT on this topic!

    I have 2 main suggestions...
    First of all make sure you research the legal requirements in your state (you've already been given some GREAT resources for that). In addition make sure you keep good records of what you are doing and how your kids are progressing. I hate that it is this way, but the laws are getting tighter & tighter and you may someday need to be able to "prove" what your children have learned & the work they have done. A portfolio is a wonderful way to do this (lot of info on the web about this).
    Secondly, do give your children the opportunity to pursue the "extras" that they love (music, athletics, drama). I have seen many talented kids miss out on doing what they love because of homeschooling. I don't think it's a reason not to homeschool. Depending on where you live there are MANY resources available for giving your children these opportunities if you look for it!

    Finally... no matter how you choose to educate your children, YOU ARE THE PARENT. You know what your children need & what is best for them!

    I'm sorry this got so long! I would be happy to help you with more information if you would like.

    Debbi

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  36. I am not a homeschooling parent yet my twins are only 4 but I was home schooled myself. We used Calvert, then ICS as a teenager. I would wake up, eat and then do my school work till lunch. By then I was finished for the day. My parents had me in a homeschooling group and we went on field trips at least once a month not to mention going over to each others homes everyday. I don't know how happy I would have been without this group. They provided the social atmosphere I needed and missed from public school. I also took piano and voice lessons on the side, and worked with habitat for humanity on the weekends. I also needed a math tutor, because I am just not good at math =) I graduated high school at the age of 16 and it gave me the chance to travel to Europe and start college early, and work. I want to home school my children as well, I just do not know if i have the patience needed.

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  37. I was homeschooled for three years, from 4-6th grade. In 7th grade I wanted to go back to school, and my mom always said whenever I wanted to go back I could.

    I'm not sure if it was good or bad for me. I went back to school and fit in fine and picked right back up with academics. I was a little bit naiive and innocent, but don't we want our kids to be like this?

    I will not homeschool my kids, but I am considering private school.

    I think there are good points and bad points. I just don't know.

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  38. Good reads

    http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2008/5/26_John_Wesley_on_Education.html


    http://www.crosswalk.com/homeschool/11556629/


    Am I qualified to be my children's "teacher"? depends on who you ask.

    Do I have a clue what I am getting myself into? Nope, not really

    Will I love it? hopefully more days than not :)

    Will I make mistakes? absolutely

    BUT with the Lord's help not only will my children be "educated" (everyone has different definitions), but also our prayer is that in everyday life & circumstances we will teach them of what matters for ETERNITY.

    just a side note : please don't get me wrong - I am for education, I, myself, was the "nerd" graduating college at 19 as a Registered Nurse. I am not anti-education :)


    Of course, I am not currently home schooling my 3 year old and 14 month old, so you'll have to check back to see if I survive these rambunctious boys :) ha!

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  39. I am a first time homeschool mom. I'm starting kindergarten with my son this fall. We are moving to a new city so, it's a lot of new things all at once but, I am excited! I plan on using the My Father's World curriculum. I'm a little nervous about it but, I know he will do well.

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  40. No one who has been homeschooled by a diligent parent who cared can ever say that homeschooling is a bad idea.
    Just for the record - many states do not require public school teachers to have a college degree in order to begin teaching. I've lived in three states in which I was offered a PS teaching job...and I have never been anything resembling a degreed teacher.
    ~
    First, I'd like to say that I am a previously homeschooled kid. I started in a private school when I was four and since my parents had already taught me to read and write...I finished K & 1st grade before I turned 5.
    The next school year, I was starting second grade, my parents decided to homeschool. I was then homeschooled exclusively until I graduated at age 16. The college I wanted to attend wouldn't accept me at that age, so I stayed home and worked for the next two years. A real job, out in that real world that people claim homeschooled kids can't handle until they have been acclimated for a few years. :-) I went to college, graduated with a 4.0 (while working full time), and far outstripped my traditionally schooled peers in common sense, ability to study, knowledge retention, grades, writing, understanding, AND socialization.
    ~
    Socialization is the LIE that people use to bash homeschooling. There are very few real world situations in which a person is required to interact ONLY with people of the same age, academic level, intelligence, etc. as themselves. So "socializing" your children to the culture of a school situation, is merely something that will have to be "unsocialized" out of them when they hit the culture shock of the real world. We lived in the country, far from our best friends - who we met at church, or when our families got together because our parents were friends, etc. Did it stilt our friendship with them? No, because we were in an environment that valued quality over shallowness - our relationships with our far away friends was kept up through email, real old-fashioned snail mail, phone calls, and weekend visits. We had closer friends that we saw more often, but invariably, we all became more attached to the ones we saw less often.
    What DID we learn since we weren't "socialized" with a bevy of other children? We learned to converse intelligently in a conversation with an adult, a peer, OR a younger person. We learned transactional communication when we went to the bank or the store with our parents. We learned to "talk to strangers" by starting conversations with the proprietor of a hobby store or waiter at a restaurant. We were all far beyond our peers when we reached college, in that we were confident and comfortable in our interactions with ANYONE no matter their age, race, status, or relationship to us.
    ~
    My mother, who homeschooled us, did not have a college degree. She quit college her after her sophomore year when her second child was due.
    We turned out ok. :) Several years ago my mother went back to school and got her paramedics license.
    Last year my mother went back to school again and will soon graduate with a degree in medical management...Hmmm, too late to save any of her poor children from the horror of being educated by a non-degreed teacher.
    ~
    We used a combination of curricula for our schooling. Mom pretty consistently used the ACE program for learning to read because it emphasizes phonics and has audio/visual aids that can be played and displayed to ready your child for reading before they are ready to sit down and study. I have one brother who didn't read until he was almost 8 - but he had sat through the lessons and new how...and his first book was a jr. high level chapter book. Boys will be later than girls in reading (and a few other things) but will do fine if given the proper tools.
    We used Saxon math. Bob Jones Science. We chose our own literature and writing - our mother emphasized over and over that the entire world and all the education it contains is wrapped up in understanding the written word. We had thousands of books in our home. Old used things bought at the library sale mostly...but we read every single one of them. Mother directed our reading to give us a thorough and interactive grasp of reading and social studies and cultures. We took German and Spanish from family friends.
    ~~~
    I'm obviously FOR homeschooling. BUT there are cases that I'm against it. If the parents will not be involved and aware. If the family is not disciplined. If the parents are not committed.
    YES, homeschooling can fail. And I know people who personify all the bad things you hear about homeschooling. But if you look at their family you can see that the parents were not disciplined. They did not train the children to be self-disciplined. And they simply never cared enough to teach their child how to learn.

    I have lots more to say but I'll stop now to save you... :o)
    ~
    One last thing...How did we turn out?
    Jason - Married, 2 kids, college degree, teaches computer science at a university.
    Me - One college degree, working on my second, check out my blog if you doubt my intelligence.
    Vince - One college degree, married, deployed to Afghanistan with the Navy, will graduate in absentia with his second degree this May.
    Seth - College music degree, college ministerial degree, Dell tech consultant.
    Theresa - In college working on her first degree, with plans to move straight into her second.
    Tony - In college working on his first degree with plans to work on his second while in the Marines.
    Laurence - Hmmm, guess he's not doing so well. He's still in High School...oh wait, he's only 17. Works summers at a horse farm. Member of the Civil Air Patrol. Takes Tae Kwon Do. Teaches at church. Just built his own computer out of old parts...
    Lenoh - Silly child must be wasting time. Still in HS as well...at age 15. Works summers and Saturdays at two different horse ranches. Took childcare and first aid classes from the local university - offers certified childcare.

    I think we turned out ok.
    I applaud your choice and will pray for you. It's not always the easiest route, but it is (almost) always the best.

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  41. I am a homeschooling (we call it home-educating) mother or 11. They are 15 years and under. We look at education from the standpoint of anything from puzzles to Algebra. Everything we do with our children can be looked at with an "educational" view. An hour at the park can be used for education. Collecting leaves, flowers or a treasure hunt can all be used to teach our children something. Especially when our children are young, we do not have them sit for hours a day. That is why the public schools lose so many children a year to dropouts. Our goal is to teach our children to teach themselves and to crave learning. Some kids are hands on and some are more reading and searching. We make sure we allow them to "bend" towards their desires. That is where they thrive! Phonics is of the upmost important baseline. Once they learn how to read, they can do anything! I have 2 that learned to read fluently by the time they were five, and one is 8 and is just learning the basics. You will learn their cues when they are ready for certain things. My 13 year old has taught herself Spanish in 18 months because she has a desire to go to Mexico to become a missionary. She wanted something and went after it! That is our goal! One more piece of advice, ask God daily what you need to teach your children. He knows them better than anyone and He will guide your every step. When you get overwhelmed, and you will! Lean on Him. He will be ALL you need!
    Congratulations! You have made one of the best decisions in your life! It is not easy, but the rewards are GREAT!
    If you would like to chat, feel free to e-mail me at www.arrowsprings@q.com
    My blog is www.arrowsprings.blogspot.com
    Check it out!

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  42. I have a family memeber with 4 kids the same age as mine. She "home schools" and there is a huge difference. Her children are not even close to where they should be. When one of her children turned 6 he could not even read the birthday cards at his party. I feel really bad for him and his siblings. I do not believe in home schooling. I don't see the reason for it unless you live in a bad area and have poor schools. We live in Texas and our schools are high rated.
    My cousin's husband was home schooled too and never felt smart enough to go to college. Didn't even try due to lack of confidence.
    You can be very involved with your children by volunteering at school every day. There are many oppurtunities to help everyday and even all day long.
    I read your blog everyday and cooment sometimes but will remain anon today.

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  43. Brit--

    I'm in a rush this morning, and I don't have any personal experience with this, but I just wanted to thank you for posting on this topic. You have so many readers, and it will be nice hearing some discussion on this and hearing what others have to say.

    We are considering homeschooling next year for Colin--for K-5. I homeschooled him for preschool and when I went to register him for Kindergarten, I found that much of what they will be teaching him he already knows....so I may just keep up this plan we already have going! We'll see. I look forward to coming back here later tonight and reading all the (hopefully constructive :-)) comments!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dev

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  44. I homeschooled my 2 kids for 2 years - one during her 4th grade year and one during his sixth and seventh grade year.(they are adults now)I can truthfully say it was the best/worst experience. I think it depends on your children. If they are eager to learn and are somewhat self-motivated it will work. If you have to badger,bribe,yell,cry,etc to get them to do their schoolwork - don't attempt it!!! That was my experience! However, I enjoyed being with my children and would not trade the experience for anything. I cannot imagine attempting it with toddlers to care for, though. They went back to school until high school when they did a correspondence school from home.

    Would you consider letting your children each finish elementary school and begin homeschooling each one when they start their middle school years? I wouldn't send my kids to middle school or high school for a million dollars!!! Just a thought.

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  45. First of all, don't let anyone tell you that you are not qualified enough to teach your own children. You are. Don't doubt yourself. The public school system has many 'qualified' school teachers and frankly, (in my opinion) that system has proven to be somewhat of a failure.

    My biggest suggestion would be to find where and when your local homeschool convention/conference is and to attend. It could help you choose a cirriculum and would be a GREAT encouragement to you and your husband. Tim and I are going this first weekend in June. We are so excited about it!!!

    By the way, I did not go to college or receive any 'training' in education and my six year old son knows how to read and write very well. Oh, and I'm horrible at grammer/writing! Just not my strength. The cirriculum helps fill in my weaknesses. No worries. Plus, you can get videos, use satellite,ect. Seriously, don't let what some people say bum you out about this. Do what you think is best for your children. You'll do great!!!

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  46. I am so excited for you! Homeschooling is definitely the most challenging and stretching thing I've ever done, but by far the most rewarding and fun too! I have posted quite a bit on my blog about schedules, curriculum, outings, etc so if you have time, look at the posts labeled "homeschool" I think one of the biggest things is you have to be willing to not try to be a perfectionist. If some people can keep a perfect house and homeschool, great- I can't. Especially when the children are all so young. They are all learning to be very helpful (folding laundry, unloading the dishes, etc), but when you are busy nursing a baby and changing diapers, the laundry tends to pile up and clutter builds. I just figure they're only little once and I'm not going to say no to an aquarium trip or a park day because I haven't gotten all the clothes put away from the last two days of washing! We live here and life is messy!

    Yes to Rainbow Resource- you can request a catalog and order online- I get almost everything from them.

    I've recently been involved with a few families in starting a classical conversations group (classicalconversations.com) and I LOVE the Charlotte Mason companion by Karen Andreola- those two ways of education (Classical and Charlotte Mason are very different and yet can be combined).

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  47. So exited you posted this...we too are going to try homeschooling next year and with a move to Japan in the very near future, these same questions have been on my mind!!

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  48. Brittany-
    We move frequently, so our boys have gone to public and private school, and have been homeschooled.
    (It just depends on the area/school system/etc for us)
    I just wanted you to know that I loved homeschooling, and I sense you will too.
    We used Sonlight for our youngest.
    I would also recommend Saxon (for math), Story of the World, and Writing Strands.
    Just don't try to do too much, as tempting as it might be :)
    My boys have never been "behind" in any school setting...in fact they've been ahead of their peers.
    Enjoy your kids, and have fun!
    Erika

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  49. It's amazing what happens when you say the word "homeschooling". I think there are amazing teachers in public schools that do a great job. I have teacher friends that are amazing but they also work with some teachers that do not deserve to be teaching. Kids that barely made it through school. I also have teacher friends who have terrible grammar and handwriting. Their college degree didn't help. How much are kids actually learning in a school day? Teachers have to deal with misbehaving kids and kids that are behind. Homeschooling has come a long way. Parents are choosing to homeschool, not because they don't want to socialize their children, but because they want their children to actually learn. Every family and every child is different. We could find good and bad situations on both sides, but what matters is best for our own individual families.

    I thinks it's great that you want to take your own child's education into your own hands. We have four little girls who are not yet in school, so I'm very interested in the advice you asked for. Thank you.

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  50. We use curriculum from Heart of Dakota.com I love this curriculum.
    I highly recommend getting Cathy Duffy's Top 100 picks book and doing the evaluation in it and reading reviews before picking. Also, you don't want to jump curriculums too much or you will miss important concepts. Especially in Math.
    I have a wonderful book called Beyond Survival by Diana Waring that I loved reading when I first started. I will be glad to send it to you if you don't have one at your local library.
    Don't over-extend yourself for your first year. I created a schedule for us using Managers of their homes that helped tremendously. I really don't see how you could homeschool without a schedule when you have many children. We have a local homeschool group that we do field trips with and go to a Boys club once a month. They offer many different clubs. We don't do co-op because I have younger children and it's really for older children to teach subjects that are more easily taught in group settings. Homeschooling has not been expensive for us at all. I think the curriculum at Heart of Dakota is very affordable and will be reused with each child I have. Of course it would be more up front for you because you are buying more upfront since you have 3 school age children.
    I would also encourage you to start this summer, if possible, to give yourself time to adjust and extra time free for next year. I prefer to school when it's so hot and then take breaks in fall and spring and do lots of outdoor things and field trips. Just comment on my blog and I'll get in touch and send you the book Beyond Survival if you want it.
    I think you will love teaching your boys.

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  51. Hey there,

    I have never commented on your blog before but have been reading it for a while now and just LOVE it. Really, it is an awesome blog! Your family is amazing. Even more amazing is what you already do for them and are now willing to sacrifice!

    I just wanted to leave you with a few thoughts which crossed my mind upon reading about your decision. However, I do not intend to bash on you, to dissuade you, to make you feel bad about homeschooling. Hopefully, you can understand my words as constructive criticism because I truly feel strong about this topic and would love for you to make the right choice for you and your family!

    Since I am from Europe and homeschooling is illegal here I cannot provide any personal experience on homeschooling. Nevertheless, I did encounter people who were homeschooled and have had the possibility to form an opinion on this topic.
    I met a very nice guy from Portland at my university last year. He was homeschooled for I believe 10 years and had received a very good education. Unfortunately, this could not make up for his lack in social skills. He was shy to an extent I cannot describe and tremendously polite towards everyone. It was intimidating to most people around him. Most of my classmates just felt strange talking to him for he would compliment on everything and always ask about all things he wanted to do (“may I….” “could I ask you about…”).
    Comparing him to any other twenty-something guy it was just sad to see how hard his struggle with communication (especially with girls or women) was. It was clear to me that he had just not dealt with lots of people outside of his home, something he also told me he hadn’t.
    Yet, of course he will make his way in life and I am certain it will be successful as well. Just a little bit harder in some areas.

    Currently, I study for a degree in elementary school education. Although I will most likely receive my degree next year I feel not at all prepared to teach. There is SO MUCH to think about! There is SO MUCH one just cannot learn at university. Time will come and every teacher will learn how teaching works best for him or her.
    Homeschooling bears the problem that the learning style which would suit your child best might not be the one you feel most able to teach. Every child is different. Every parent knows what is best for his or her child. Yet, for most children the experience of school is utterly important. It makes them become independent human beings.

    My suggestion to you, if I may make one, is to seek help with other homeschooling groups in your area (which I guess you plan on doing). Before you start you could go and watch how they do it. How do they deal with discipline issues? How do they and their children feel about the relationship as teacher/parent? Do they meet other families regularly? What is taught outside of the home (foreign languages, math, science, music, theatre, English)?
    I can not and do not want to judge homeschooling in general for many comments implied that it can be a great experience.
    Please just bear in mind that homeschooling is not a one-way street. You can stop doing it for any subject, grade or child you do not feel capable of handling all that has to be done.

    Homeschooling being illegal in other countries does make me think tough.
    Why do we train teachers for years if everyone is able to home school their kids?
    It is not the academic standard that is worrying me for the early years but the contact with other children. Surely you are very well able to plan enough activities for your children with other families, make trips to museums, exhibits, concerts, theatre plays, the zoo, everything! The thing I would miss most if homeschooled though is the endless conversations with friends during boring lessons, the chatter about teachers, the ability to deal with very different teachers (which they surely will encounter at college level), the independence of planning my own days without my parents control on MY time.

    Spending one year in the USA and graduation from a local High school has given me a little insight on the American school system. Spending time in Finland enabled me to see their system, which is ranked to be the best there is right now. My conclusion is that a child will learn. It does not depend on the system. If there is curiosity, willingness and ability to learn every child WILL learn. It may take longer for some children but all eventually WILL be able to read, write and do a little math.
    This is what makes me think that “trying” homeschooling during elementary school is a good thing. You will find out if this is the path for your family. Only you might want to wait for a little longer and prepare a little bit more in advance. You seem to have the strength to pull through with it and win your battle but it will be a lot of work, stress and concern for you. Do you really feel well prepared to do this in the fall? Wouldn’t it be a loss to have so little time to play with your girls? Are you really willing and able to sacrifice the next, possibly 20 years, of your life for your children’s education? The question is not only if you “feel” ready but if you feel “prepared and equipped” to start this adventure!
    It might be an option for you to provide additional learning materials for your children which you feel the school cannot provide. Maybe you just have to fill in the gaps and not replace the complete part.
    I would like to leave you with a thought on parenting a pedagogue wrote long time ago:
    “Our task as parents is not to guard our things against all evil but to prepare them for the world they live in.”

    There is so much more I could add but this already is a LONG comment!
    If you decide to start homeschooling in the fall I would LOVE to hear about it. I LOVE your blog and do think your are a very good mother (as far as it is possible to judge this from around the globe  ), your children seem to be very lucky having you. Feel free to write to me and ask any questions you might have. (schokolade[at]webarkaden.de)
    There is GREAT material out there for teaching (at home or in school).

    English is not my mother tongue, please excuse any errors you might find :)
    Greetings from Germany

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  52. I homeschool my daughter and it's been an awesome experience to watch her learn. Next year, we will be starting Kindergarten.

    As far as curriculum goes, you need to figure out each child's learning style. Go to the library and check out Cathy Duffy's book 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.

    http://www.cathyduffyreviews.com/books-for-sale/100-top-picks-homeschool.htm

    She guides you in finding the best curriculum that suites your child's learning style. It will save you lots of money!

    We are not part of a homeschool co-op. There are lots of homeschool activities available near me that we can join once my daughter is 5.

    Good luck!

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  53. I have considered homeschooling my children, but we are planning to live in a very small community that has a very small school system. I trust them to educate my children properly to the best of their ability. If we were to live in a larger area where I felt my children would get "lost" in the crowd, we would for SURE homeschool them. As it is, we have decided to supplement their education with afternoon, evening and summer activities that will enhance what they learn at school and will also let them know where we stand on education and religion and such.
    I wanted to let you know that I have known homeschooled kids that were very antisocial and undereducated as well as those that were quite social and extremely talented in education, and many combinations of those attributes. As a 21 year old college student, one of the girls I got along best with in my French class was a 16 year old home schooled girl. She was graduated and would be done with college before me! And she was quite social and did not have a hard time interacting with all people!

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  54. As a credentialed teacher for over 10 years I am not supportive of home schooling. I feel it places the children at a HUGE disadvantage socially and in dealing with adults that are not direct relations.

    However, if you are set on doing it, I would recommend you use a program similar to the one my credentialed sister in law works for. She directly sees the disadvantages of home schooling but works for this program in california so that she can be home to raise her own children. Visit www.caliva.org This is a program that is used in California and has credentialed teachers who work DIRECTLY with the children and parents to insure that the kids are meeting state standards that they would be required to meet should they be enrolled in regular education.

    I would highly recommend that you not use a home schooling program through the public school system. This program is usually used by students who have been expelled from traditional school and it is not a social situation that I would want my own children in. If your state has a program like the one I mentioned above they often provide all the materials as well as a computer and printer free of charge!

    If I'm to be honest I think you are making a questionable decision (what are you trying to protect your children from that you don't want them in traditional school?) but we are all entitled to our own decisions and I hope yours works for both you and your children, because if anything I do know that you have their best interests at heart so I know you will make an informed decision!

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  55. I didn't read all through the comments...yet...but wanted to say I'm also giving homeschooling a try this fall with my twin 5 year old girls! We are doing My Father's World after a lot of people highly recommending it, both personally and at two state cirriculum fairs I've been to :)

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  56. Congratulations!! I think you will do a great job. Your kids are very lucky to have you to look out for them.
    Giggles

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  57. I just recently started following your blog and am so excited to hear you will be homeschooling! I for one have aloways said homeschooling was something I would NEVER do. Now as I face my oldest daughter starting school next year, my husband and I have felt very led to homeschool. I am nervous about the idea, but at the same time know that this is the way God is leading us. I look forward to following your journey and would love to see more homeschooling posts.
    There will always be people who disagree with how we choose to raise our children. We just have to remember God gave them to us, they are our responsibility and I know that I, and I am sure you as well will never do anything that would hurt our children.

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  58. Hey,

    I'm a momma of 4 little girls and I homeschool. My eldest is 8 and youngest is 4 months.
    Homeschooling is a journey. In my opinion it is the hardest most disciplined thing you will ever do- as well as the most rewarding. Now, as I have scrolled down through your comments- I would like to say that I have been to college and worked in the public school system as an Educational Assistant before having children. I also started a double degree in university which was Education and Psychology.
    I did not finish my degree because I became pregnant with my second child and due to some complications I couldn't continue my studies.
    Anyway, I want you to know you do not need college or university to homeschool your children and do a good job.
    I am presently homeschooling with a school board here in Canada that is for homeschoolers by homeschoolers. My facilitator is very supportive and he and his wife both are university educated teachers who have chosen to homeschool their children.
    I'm getting a bit long winded- so my best piece of advice is to make sure you give everything to God and listen to His still small voice in you for what you should do in regards to homeschooling or not. Homeschooling is definitely a rollercoaster ride- but it is a great one. The freedom is awesome. One thing I recommend is to pray and find some friends who also homeschool that you can get together with for yourself and your kids.
    Homeschooling is awesome for the fact that age barriers don't really exist. Your children will know and love each other and be able to be friends with older and younger children as well as respectful to adults.
    We are usually done our hsing day by noon, and yes I do put my kids in science, dance, swim etc. during the day. Not all the time, but at our leisure.

    I"m happy for you, you will do a great job and your blog posts are awesome. You are the most capable person to homeschool your children:)

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  59. So I don't homeschool and really do not have the patients for it. My son has ADHD and tring to do homework if a battle. Anyhow I always get idea's from Doni's site. She has a homeschool blog as well as a normal blog... Here is her site.
    http://www.jimanddoni.com/
    Jere'

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  60. Hey Brittany, I am so excited for you and your family as you start this journey!!!

    Homeschooling is WONDERFUL!!! I am finishing up my second year of homeschooling. I have three children, ages 6, 4, and 1. I have been working with my oldest since he was three, and he is an awesome reader at age 6! We have used Hooked on Phonics for reading, and I just ordered Learn to read Pre K from them, and I will use that with my 4 year old in the fall. For Math, we use Math U See, and I will continue to use this curriculum, we really like it.

    My Husbands Aunt has homeschooled all 5 of her children all the way through, and they are smart, articulate, and associate very well with all age groups. Her oldest is on the Deans list at the University she attends. And she is graduating number 2 next month, who will also be attending a prestigious university!

    Being a Christian Mom, I believe (for my family) homeschooling is the ONLY way to go! My calling in life is to raise my precious gifts from God, and to make sure they know their Lord and Savior, and have an intimate relationship with Him! They are definitely not going to grow in their relationship with God during the eight hours spent in a public school, where they will never even be able to pray or mention His name.

    You will be a wonderful teacher to your precious little ones! No one knows them better than you and your hubby! Be patient with yourself, as there will be days when you say...I cant't do this, or I do not want to do this! You CAN DO IT, and you will get through it with Gods help!

    God Bless you, and your family!
    I look forward to going through this adventure with you, and all of the things we can learn from one another!!!

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  61. yeah for you!! =)

    I have only homeschooled for one year (kindergarten) and this next year we are sending them to school (I will have two in school),. When I started I knew I would take it 1 year at a time and see how it went.

    I have LOVED it. Ella has LOVED it. However, with baby 5 coming this fall, me working a significant amount with my photography, I was very leary as to wether or not I would be able to do a GOOD job for them....
    After tons of praying I realized it wasn't what I should comitt to this fall.
    I feel very good about the decision, but am sad too, as I have REALLY loved it!

    Ok, I have babbled on enough...that being said, I have used sonlight and have LOVED it. tons of reading, which we both loved. My only suggestion is to go with the FULL curriculum (you can buy a cheaper version, which I did, but does not include alot of things that I wish it did)

    the biggest struggle we have had is when the younger kids change their schedules (causing me to have to change ours) or when me or a child is not feeling well. My plan is (was) to do it year round, causing us the ability to take several 2-3 week breakds during the year, which has been really good for us.

    I do school after lunch b.c mornings are just so crazy. This way all (or most) of the younger kids are in bed and we can have quiet, uninterupted time.

    If I were going to school both kids this fall, I would have done it at the same time.

    What I did do in the morning was craft or science projects so the other kids could be apart of it too

    We have school in the same place every day. She has a desk (was a school desk, but now is a long shelf attached to the wall, whichhas plenty of room for 4 kids to sit at....I put this up when Iwasn't sure if we were going to continue). No one can use her school stuff, even she can't when we aren't doing school

    Ok, I taked enough. HAVE FUN!!! =)

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  62. Congratulations on such a big decision!!

    The best advice I can offer is this. If you were applying for a teaching position somewhere, you would most certainly have to write out your philosophy of education. The curriculum you choose for home educating your children should reflect that philosophy.

    For example, my husband is a licensed elementary teacher, and I went to college (but didn't finish my last year) to teach high school math. We have a very traditional view of education. Our decision to go with A Beka homeschooling curriculum was a great decision for us because it matches our viewpoints so well. It fits our "idea" of what a school day should look like, plus we hold tightly to the confidence that our children are learning all the skills they need at an appropriate pace.

    Even with a packaged curriculum, it is not very expensive for us. We have bought used many times for 1/2 off the retail price. We take care of our books so that we can use them again. We will be buying school books for 4 children this next year, and our costs will be $600 or less total. I think that's pretty good!

    For me the hardest part about homeschool is giving up my time. I have to stay focused and help the children, even just to keep them on task. Independent work doesn't come easily for them. My husband does play a huge role in helping with this, especially because he is able to work from home. (Not to mention he's, you know, the one with the teaching license...ahem). :)

    Blessings on your journey!! I'm sure you're going to end up with a wealth of information and tips!

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  63. I'm a homeschool mama of 5! I love it, my kids love it and yes they are very social! I write a lot about it on my blog. www.blogginbridget.blogspot.com if you have time. Blessings to you!

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  64. I am sorry because this is not from homeschool, I just found this article and caught my attention
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30337386/?GT1=43001
    what do you think about this kind of things, I do not remember if you already explained your point of view about beauty products

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  65. This is my first year to homeschool... I have 5 kids - 4 boys ages 10, 7, 5 & 2 and a girl - 7 months. I am using the k12 curriculum because a real certified teacher oversees the boys work, calls and talks to them etc. I also like the curriculum because every single day is planned out... all I have to do is click on the day and see what work we need to do. My boys went to a private school before I started homeschooling, and I have seen much more learning this year than ever before. My only negative with the k12 curriculum is that it is a secular curriculum... BUT... because I am the one presenting it and teaching it I can explain how it either correlates with the Bible or doesn't.

    I NEVER thought I could homeschool - but it has actually been very successful, and I really don't think you have to worry about lack of socialization with many siblings!! I do take the boys to a homeschool gym class at our local Y, they are also very involved in church and play some organized sports.

    Good luck as you research, you'll do great!

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  66. This is so interesting. I've got a BA in elementary education and have several years classroom teaching experience. I've always said that I would not homeschool- only because I've seen such positive classroom experiences in the schools I've been a part of- I know they're out there. However, I also am very aware of the negative aspects of classroom learning, no matter what kind of teacher one has. Honestly? There are pros and cons to any educational decision you make for your children.

    All that to say....as our kids approach school age within the next couple of years, homeschooling has been tickling the back of my mind- to my surprise! We can't afford private education, and I don't like what I see of our local public options. I am really praying about it. My husband is very skeptical. I figure if this is the path God has for us, hubby and I will have to see it the same. God knows. I'm curious-- could you share some about your husband's thinking process- how he's moved from not being sure about this idea to being on board with it?

    Good luck! btw, check out www.makinghome.blogspot.com as she has some great hs posts.

    -Erin

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  67. Oh my! You're going to have A LOT to read today!

    Homeschooling can be as expensive as you make it.
    There are so many resources online, library, used materials and just daily living can teach them so much.

    There are so many ways to approach homeschooling. There isn't one right way or one RIGHT curriculum, it's what works for each individual child.
    You'll be able to see what works for each kid and how THEY learn best. It's really interesting, and so cool!
    I'm not that good at math (or grammar) so when we get into Jr. High age we'll be using our School Districts homeschooling program and take some math classes along with language & English or whatever else the kids are interested in. Two days a week. You can bring along younger siblings too! : )

    Right now with the ages of our kids we've got what they need! Learning from daily life and throwing in fun activities that help them learn, while centered around Christ. Awesome stuff!

    Are you going to start this summer as a trial run?!

    The curriculum/materials we've dipped into:
    Sonlight English
    BrainQuest Workbooks (good for car rides!)
    Miquon Math
    There are so many Math worksheets you can print out online!
    Sequential Spelling
    Handwriting Without Tears
    Biology Level 1 By Keller
    The book The Little Man In the Map really got them interested in learning about the US States
    The Story of the World (on CD)

    Just have a bunch of "learning" stuff around your home. Kits, puzzles, learning Books, Science Experiments and some days they'll teach themselves!

    Socially there is not a problem at all. That all depends on what type of parents you have. : )
    We seem more socially busy with the kids than when they were in school!

    Of course there will be good days and bad days with homeschooling. It's not going to go perfectly everyday, just like any other day right now!

    You'll have to try out different materials. Don't be afraid just to drop something that isn't working out. Pick and chose, trial and error. It's what will work best for you and your kids all while HAPPILY learning!!

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  68. I have homeschooled my daughter (age 6) for 1 year now. She is getting ready to start 2nd grade. I decided to homeschool when she was ready for Kindergarten as I tried to get her into school but several schools refused to acknowledge that she could read to 3rd grade level, write at 2nd grade level or that she already knew her multiplication tables or any of the many other things that she could already do (aswell as the basic kindergarten things that she needed to know).
    One school even said ' fantastic she can help the others until they can catch up to her!!" Seriously....We never pushed her, she loves learning and we did not want school to diminish that love. Being shoved in a box waiting for the others to catch up or the teacher to finish emailing the 35 parents on every development throughout the day (yes, my girl friend receives 3 emails a day from her daughters K- teacher, just letting them know that so and so ate their snack, played nice or whatever....how can you have time to teach with all that to do)?
    We supplement with piano (she is on level 2 of European style teaching) and Italian (the teacher is an old family friend and is Italian =). Sophia also does dance.
    It is a struggle sometimes (with the other children, my small biz and all the other household and wifey duties - which often get on a back burner), but she covers more in 2.5 hours than she would in a whole day of school.
    My son who is 4 and my daughter who is 2 both learn albeit subconcious (we all sit together even though only Sophia does school), they are good with numbers, my son knows his 2, 5 and 10 times tables, can spell and read basic words for example. The baby (2 in February) knows her alphabet (to say and to recognize), her numbers up to 15....
    I love that we can move at Sophia's pace, when she gets it we can move fast, when it is harder we go over it until it makes sense before moving on.
    We used http://www.core-curriculum.com last year, this year I looked at their curriculum and bought all the books off Amazon for $100.00 all used and in wonderful condition.
    I think you still have to be very serious with homeschool, but you can relax knowing that some idot will not spoil them with their opinions or that someone will have a crazy day and decide to take it out on anyone and everyone around.
    If someone had asked me years ago if I would homeschool my children I would have thought them insane. Now I could not imagine doing it any other way.
    Good Luck!

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  69. Oh my! My cousin sent me your way to help! So here I am. I have read some of your comments you have a lot! I am a mom of three girls: 6 years, 3 years, and 18 months. We live in rural Arizona. Not much around. We do have a school and my oldest attended Kindergarden there. I saw some red flags that made me think that the school was not the best after all and after careful consideration decided that we would homeschool her. I want my children to have the best education possible. I pulled her out and started homeschooling her in August through the Arizona Virtual Academy which was recommended by my daughters' preschool teacher. It is a public school online that uses the K12 curriculum. www.k12.com if your state does not have a virtual academy they offer a private school as well. The curriculum is awesome and she is exposed to so much. You are assigned an accredited teacher who checks in with you and tests your child. They walk you through every step, and the curriculum is online; You log in every day and you have a set lesson plan for the day. Math, Language Arts, Phonics everyday. Science, History, Music and Art are twice a week and PE is once a week. Totally organized! It is really easy to implement. The Public school is free but the private is very reasonable for all that you get. I received a computer and printer, all the workbooks, literature books galore, even stuff for science projects. More than you can imagine. They use a handwriting program called Handwriting Without Tears which is the same program that some schools in California use. I have a friend who is a First Grade Teacher in California and she is amazed at the things my daughter knows and supports me 100%. Since the school is a public school your local district still gets the money. There is a school in the next town that is considering converting the school to the k12 curriculum. I have had many many teachers tell me that that is the best out there and that I made the best choice and if they didn't have to work they would have their kids in the same program. Homeschooling takes some getting used to, is not easy at times and you WILL have some tough days but just like being a Mom it is worth it. We just finished first grade - we are early - and moving on to second grade. I would say that my daughter is probably close to a year ahead of her peers. Her test scores are awesome and her teacher is amazed. I don't push her she goes at her own pace - and it's fast. Now I don't know if I will do this with my three year old when it comes time - she is a different kid. That said, if we move to a place that has a good and by good I mean excellent school in the future I will put my oldest back in. Maybe. I have had a wonderful experience. I do make sure that she is involved in outside activities like dance, soccer and stuff like that. I would also recommend play dates with other mom's in your area so they can socialize on there own with friends. Unfortunately due to where we live my girl does not get much time away and I worry but we just have to deal and improvise for now until our situation changes. With today's public school system ( I have a lot of friends who are teachers and administrators) I think that homeschooling with a good program is the best policy. Unless you live in an area that excels in education but less face it there isn't many places like that at the moment. Plus school just isn't what it used to be - it is a scary place. So many more dangers than when I went to school. I know that my husband and I made the best choice. There is so much more I would like to tell you about the curriculum and our experience. I just know I have left a ton out. please feel free to email me. mamaswithdrama@gmal.com and I will send you my phone number if you want to talk more about it. I truly believe in the program, in the curriculum. I am glad that you are asking the questions. Oh and I don't know much about you but the k12 curriculum has an option that incorporates the bible into the lessons if you so choose. I hope I helped in some way. I am sure I have typos and grammatical errors in this comment . They happen. Also I forgot about the husband - he was hesitant but agreed due to the problems with the school. He is very impressed with the studies. I do have some opinion/ suggestions on whether to let your husband teach but I will wait for you to email me on that.

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  70. I was homeschooled for part of my elementary school years and don't have fond memories ... it was very socially isolating and didn't give me the chance to experience the joys and challenges of dealing with all sorts of people. However, with caution, I will say that I think homeschooling can be done well. My suggestions: 1) Commit to supporting your children in doing all sorts of activities outside the home (both with you and just with a peer group) ... I'm thinking of music classes, summer camps, volunteer work, etc. Trust that you've given your children the values and skills to reach out (with age-appropriate levels of independence) into the "real" world to test and grow those values and skills; 2) Make sure that you and your husband are 100% up to speed on the subjects that you are teaching them and, if not, be willing to reach out to tutors (could be older peers looking to volunteer their experience, paid professionals, a study group, etc.). You're never going to know it all, plus sometimes a lot of learning comes from working with someone coming from a different perspective. 3) Be a "learn all the time" family. By this I mean fill your house with books, make sure your children constantly see you reading and researching, encourage them to do their own projects and research to answer burning questions, etc. Cooking dinner or planting a garden can be a science project. A volunteer project can be a lesson in politics, history, etc. I think that homeschooling done well will be a very intense job, but also a great gift to give your children. Best wishes!

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  71. This is a comment to Mama to Three:

    Some of what you wrote is absolutely absurd. This was your quote:

    "They are definitely not going to grow in their relationship with God during the eight hours spent in a public school, where they will never even be able to pray or mention His name."

    Oh, please! That's ridiculous, uneducated, and totally absurd. Can't pray in school? Are you kidding me? Nonsense. Can't mention His name? Really? I'm thankful to have a wonderful public school in my community where there are loads of Christian teachers, staff members, and students who not only do pray, but "mention His name".

    As for not growing in their relationship with God, well, you may be speaking for your own children, but I'm thankful that my own are strong enough Christians to be able to grow confidently in their walk while attending public school. Please do not fearmonger. There are lots of wonderful public schools - I'm sorry you don't live near one.

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  72. Some reading material for you, and for anyone else that is considering homeschooling:

    *Better Late Than Early by Raymond & Dorothy Moore (they've also written some other good books about homeschooling)
    *The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto (if you google the title, you can read the entire thing online).
    *Discover Your Child's Learning Style by Willis and Hodson (has learning assessments that you can give you and your kids - INVALUABLE RESOURCE).
    *The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson

    Please start with "Better Late Than Early." Your kids are young, and burdening yourself and them with a stringent curriculum will burn you all out.

    I wish you lived in So Cal. The homeschool group we belong to is lead by homeschool pioneers here in California, and they are incredibly helpful for planning your homeschool. We also belong to a co-op, where my kids have taken book club, finance class, missions class, drama and public speaking.

    We also have a home"school" locally which meets on Thursdays, and the kids can take a large variety of classes, from foreign language to Math and English. My daughter will take Latin next year as her first year of a foreign language for high school. There's also a lady in a nearby town to teaches Biology I and II. My dd will take Bio I next year, as well.

    Get in touch with a local homeschool group ASAP. They can guide you to other resources, and provide field trips and play time.

    FYI, don't let anyone tell you homeschooled kids are less socialized. The hs kids I know are MORE engaged in the world, since they live in it every day. I find the majority of public schooled kids (including family members) avoid adult contact. My kids can carry on intelligent conversation with people of all ages, and aren't afraid to discuss tough topics with adults.

    I am so excited to see how your homeschool comes together. God is in the details. Make Him the center of your homeschool, and you will do great.

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  73. We started homeschooling officially last year, when my oldest turned 6. I am currently doing 1st grade, Kindergarten, and preschool. This year we started with Sonlight, but have since taken some things from there and picked up other things. My best advice is not to order a curriculum just because it works for someone else. Try to find a group in your area that has venders(usually in June sometime) and go, flip through things and see what works best for your family. We do a lot as a whole family and then I shoot off of those things what is age appropriate for each child. We are doing a unit study right now on our garden. They all helped to plant it, Josh(3) is coloring pictures of all the plants, Sam(5) has learned the process of caring for the plants and is doing a picture journal of each of the plants as they change, Michael(6) is doing a word journal of each plant and how we care for them. They are working on science words like chlorophyll, photosynthesis, etc. On top of actual garden work, we are talking in history about how planting has been done, how tools and techniques have changed. You can go on and on, tying each subject into the "unit" that is being studied. We also LOVE family reading time, where I read classic chapter books to all of them. It has become a favorite part of our day! This is what has worked best for us. That said, there is no one size fits all in homeschooling. The first year is tough at times trying to figure out how each child learns and how best to teach. It is SO rewarding though and wonderful to me that I get to share in this journey with all of my children! I wouldn't trade it for anything. Oh, and we are also part of a co-op in which the kids go to once a week as well as a support group and the state wide organization. HSLDA is also a wonderful resource to be a part of! Good luck, I wish you the best as you embark on your journey!
    Angel

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  74. Another thought after reading some of the comments:

    Something that you don't read about and people don't talk about much in relation to hsing is that your family becomes much closer. You have time to work on character issues that come up, because you are with them when they come up. You get to know your kids even better, and therefore, you learn to like them better. It hurts my heart when I hear parents say, "Oh, I'm so glad Summer is over, so the kids can go back to school!"

    I love my kids, the people they are becoming, and they like being around me, as well! Wow, what a concept; I have two teenagers, and they like their parents! They have lots of friends, and of course their friends are becoming more important as they get older, which is fine. But, these years we've spent together have been awesome, and I feel that we have been given such a gift with homeschooling. You will, too.

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  75. Hi Brittany,

    I was homeschooled for nine years of my education and am so thankful for that time at home with my family! I plan, Lord willing, on homeschooling our children and am already looking at curriculums for preschool (our twins just turned two). I love the Charlotte Mason philosophy and the literature based curriculums Five in a Row and Sonlight.
    My mom used a variety of curriculums with us and we also attended a homeschool co op in highschool so that we could use labs for science, etc. We started junior college during our junior year of high school and by the time I graduated I had 30 college credits:) I have such a love for learning and I really believe it was fueled by the freedom I had to flourish in the areas I loved. Anyway, God bless you in your homeschooling journey! Jen

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  76. If you're willing to share, I'd be really interested to hear more from you about why you're planning to homeschool. Please feel no need to justify it to readers --- since this is your family and you're fully within your rights to make the decision that you and your husband believe is best for your family --- just more a matter of curiousity on my part. I understand why families who live in school districts with very poor services choose to homeschool (especially if private schooling isn't an option), but I struggle more with understanding the position of homeschooling families who do it to keep their family together daily or to teach just a curriculum that supports their political or religious beliefs. I will admit a bit of a bias toward believing children should be passionately nutured and taught within the family, but also given wings to practice what they learn at home out among the wonderful and maddening people, circumstances, events, etc. that we all encounter in schools, jobs, churches, etc.

    I appreciate your willingness to let readers share your experiences and family's journey -

    Camille

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  77. I absolutely love homeschooling my boys. First, I agree with another commentor about checking out your states regulations so that you can be sure to go with the guidelines. I live in Texas and it is the model for homeschooling-no guidelines, whatsoever. Don't be hatin' :)

    Anyways, I use My Fathers World curriculum for bible, science, art, history. I like it because it is God-centered, classical and unit study all rolled into one. We use Math-U-See for math it is an awesome program. I like Rod and Staff for English and Spelling.

    We start our day with breakfast and then it is pick up their room and make beds. They get dressed, brush teeth. Then it is school time. I teach my oldest two together. I found it was better to do that instead of individual. Unless there is a subject that I see needs one on one then I move that to a later part of the day. We are usually done with all of school by lunch.
    I schedule the school day so that certain subjects that can be done without a lot of instruction from me during the time when I need to instruct and work with the other. I hope that makes sense. In other words while my oldest is working independently on math then I work with my middle one on his phonics. I don't know what grade levels you have, but some of MFW uses multiple grade levels on certain subjects together. I have a two-year-old who has his own desk. Yes, they all have a desk. For me it was better than at the table, but to each his own on that. My two-year-old has some coloring books and his own crayons and some activity bags to keep him busy when he wants to sit with us, otherwise he plays on his own. One thing I wished I would have done early on when my youngest was not crawling yet. Was put him in the play pen with a box of toys that he only saw during that time to keep him occupied and where I could see him. I didn't, so he was crawling on the other children and me, getting into things he shouldn't when I tried to use the play pen after he started crawling it was not a good thing. Might be helpful with the girlies.

    I do not do any subjects outside of our home, yet. I might in the future. I don't use a co-op group for the learning part, but I have for all the social things and field trips. My husband does not participate with teaching only because of the weird hours he works. But our children do talk with him and let him know what they are learning and show him what they do. I don't do a whole lot of outings, but when I see something locally that can expound on a topic we are learning and if it does not cost a lot then I jump on it. It has not been really expensive for us. But we started out homeschooling and I just have to buy workbooks for the children after my oldest because we have everything else. I don't know how many grades you will be purchasing so it might be an expensive start up for you. Also, go on-line and see if you have a local place that re-sales curriculum. Sometimes you can find what you are looking for at half the price.

    I hope that helped some, if there is anything you me to explain further just drop me a comment.

    Homeschooling for me is a blast. I love teaching my children. I love that they are with me and that I can go further with their teaching and lessons because I am a part of it. My boys are way above where they would have been had they been put into school. I challenge them when needed and know when they need to do something again because they haven't grasped it yet. Homeschooling is wonderful for tailoring the learning to the child. Happy Homeschooling!!

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  78. I am currently about a month away from finishing highschool, and I've been homeschooled since I was seven. We've always used a mixture of curriculums... Sonlight, Horizon math, Saxon math, Wile Science, etc. My parents have a leaning towards a more Classical-based curriculum, although we never were really hard-core Classical Education people. My dad has been a huge part of our homeschool journey and I love that! Also, my parents were pretty relaxed too-- we lived in England for a year when I was 10, and I really only remember doing math and english/literature while we were there (I think our history lessons were taught during field trips!). I think for high schoolers homeschooling becomes tougher... I would really look into online classes or taking classes at your local college or private school. :)

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  79. I was homeschooled in the first and second grade. I had been to private school during preschool and kindergarten, and returned again in the third grade. I found it to be a wonderful experience as a child. The only problem that I see now looking back is that being a shy, quiet kid, the isolation from social interaction only helped me retreat even more. I socialized perfectly well when I went back to a 'regular' school, but still had trouble in some social situations, i.e. interacting in class, raising my hand, etc.
    I actuallly was able to study at my own pace, and this proved helpful. When I returned to school, I found that the curriculum was too easy.So, I would say from a child's perspective to go for it.

    We did p.e., and took field trips to local museums, parks, did science, and all of the other trappings of school, but we worked at our own pace. I think it's a wonderful thing, but make sure to have some sort of outside socialization for the kids, it'll help them succeed even more in the long run.

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  80. You'll do great. Education is something that starts the moment our kids are born and regardless of where they go to school the responsibility for what they learn falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents. It can all work. Homeschool, public school, private school. IF the parents are involved.

    We have homeschooled our kids all the way through and they have done extremely well. It's no secret that kids taught at home score significantly higher on standardized tests. I believe the reason is because they are out in the real world learning many more diverse things and have more opportunities than they would in the same classroom everyday. We went everywhere and saw everything. Our oldest child is in college and has had vastly more experiences than most of his public school peers.

    I can say this from experience because I taught in a public school for 10 years before I decided to stay home. It's a decision I've never regretted even in the tough times, (and there are tough times). Nothing is easy or perfect when it comes to kids!

    About socialization, I always laugh when I hear people talk about that! I don't think they have a clue when they make those statements. I suspect that the homeschooled kids who are having trouble in that area (and I have seen very few) would also exhibit those same tendencies at what ever school they attended. I saw far more kids with problems, angst, bullying behavior, and poor grades when I taught school than I have ever seen in all these years of homeschooling.

    The main thing to remember, and it's worth repeating to yourself over and over is this:

    "It's my school. It's my school. I am free to do what I feel is best for my kids."

    You'll do great!!!

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  81. May I make a suggestion? Would you consider looking up and reading about Classical Education? In fact google it. There is a book called For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay and also a six volume set by Charolette Mason who even in the 1800s thought there must be a better education process than public schools. Basically she realized the need for preparing our children for life, to live instead of to take tests and memorize things.
    As my children are nearing "school age" many people ask if they have started school yet and I answer that we plan to homeschool. However secretly (because I don't like explaining over and over to people who condem) I consider our family unschooled. That's unschooled not uneducated mind you. You should google that phrase. :)
    I would love to correspond via e-mail and go a little more in depth about how this works and share ideas I have with you. But before you go buying expensive text books invest (or borrow) these wonderfull books I have suggested and see what you think. Not for me of course but for Your Childrens Sake.

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  82. In my area preschool is the norm so from two years on when people learned my daughter wasn't in school they would say "hmmmm so you homeschool". (this made me laugh, still does) She is in ballet and that has provided the socialization she needs. She will be starting school this year but she isn't farther behind than the other children her age. I think the biggest battle you will fight is the stigma and not lesson plans or expense. But by your post you seem ready and aware. BEST OF LUCK!!! Jen

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  83. I homeschool through K12.com. We are actually enrolled in a virtual school, with teachers who contact us periodically to see how we're doing. I love the curriculum. My girls take the same history class, and participate in each other's music and art classes (I enrolled one in each).

    Best of all--IT'S FREE! Since we're enrolled through a public, online school, my tax dollars pay for it. We also have monthly field trips, planned by the school, where we can get out and meet other homeschooling families.

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  84. Can I just say you should ignore Miss Critical Anonymous. Sheesh! If you were to raise beautifully mannered children who at times misplaced a comma or so then kuddos to you!

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  85. WOW - there's a lot to read here. I'm thankful so far the "negative" comments have been respectful (by that I mean comments from people who are against homeschooling). Isn't great that we can agree to disagree?! =)
    Anyway, we're entering our 2nd official year of homeschooling. My kids are 7, 4, 2, 11mo. We "do school" for about 20-30 minutes in the afternoons while the little ones are napping. There are less distractions that way.

    What curriculum do you use?
    We are using Winter Promise (www.winterpromise.com) which is very similar to Sonlight. We were using Saxon Math but have migrated to Singapore this past year and will either use it or Math Mammoth next year.

    Tips or suggestions that really work well for you?
    ~ Be flexible
    ~ Don't push your child
    ~ Feel free to take days off
    ~ Don't do structured school til 1st or 2nd grade
    ~ Have a set area for books, supplies.

    What does your daily routine look like?
    Well, since we school year round we're starting in July with 2nd grade and Pre-K/K (depending where the 4yo is). We'll have mornings free to run errands, go to the library, go to the park, etc. After lunch the girls (the younger 2) take naps so the boys (the older 2) and I will sit in the living room for "school". We'll read books, do math worksheets, while I read they can draw a picture showing me what I'm reading about or copy sentences or write their letters. That should take about 30-45 minutes, maybe an hour on a hyper day. They're free to fidget, walk around the room. But no talking and no touching each other.

    How do you organize all of the books and things that go along with it?
    I have this years books on the book shelf and last years books in a box.

    Do you do one on one or all of your children together?
    All together with 1 on 1 as needed for math and phonics.

    Do you supplement with outside classes... art, music, science, ect?
    Not right now. I feel we're busy enough with Bible Study 2 days a week, and library 1 day a week. We may add in a sport if the boys are interested.

    Do you participate in a local homeschool group?
    No, our church is 95% homeschoolers so I get LOTS of support from them.

    Does your husband participate with the teaching?
    Right now, he just asks them questions to reinforce what they're learning.

    Do you do lots of outings?
    We go to the park or to the library for story time. With the other kids being so little it's hard to do much else.

    Has it been expensive for you?
    Winter Promise is expensive initially (about $500) but it's all inclusive except math. And I'll only have to spend about $30-50/year for what's consumable. Because it's mostly me reading to them (once again, it's a lot like Sonlight) from Story of the World, Usborne books, etc. there's a lot of couch/cuddling done.

    If you have any questions please email me - JLarsonRN@gmail.com

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  86. Hey Brittany! I am enjoying your blog! I was not homeschooled but I am interested in it for my chilren. My husband WAS homeschooled and has a bad taste for it so we will see where the Lord leads us on this matter!! I appreciate this post of yours and all the (mostly) valuable information that I will hang onto!

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  87. I'm homeschooling ( 12,9,and 7yr olds) this year for the first time. This decision is one I prayed about for several years before I felt God tell me it was time. I'm so glad God has taken us down this path. It has been such a joy to be with my children everyday. Don't get me wrong, there have been days when I start to doubt myself and the decision to homeschool. God has been faithful to remind me of why I wanted to do this in the first place. (Deut 11:19)

    I have loved My father's World for my first grader. We use Saxon Math and First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind. I am looking at Switched on Schoolhouse for next year-although I will stay with Saxon Math.

    Jesus will not lead you wrong-He already has the plan for your children- just listen.

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  88. I have home schooled my kids from the start. They are 3,4,6,8,10. I use Alpha Omega Lifepacs which I love for me. It is 10 workbooks in each subject a year. It is easy for me to divide the year up this way. It costs $150-$200 a year per child. You can find them on Ebay the cheapest.

    We have school in the kitchen. There aren't textbooks with this curriculum so there isn't need for much storage.

    My husband helps with flashcards, listening to reading, etc. in the evenings with them. I do most of the book work with them.

    We are done by noon or early afternoon almost every day. I alternate breaks with the older kids and they play with the toddlers during that time. That way I can give the other child undivided attention with their school work.

    I love the freedom it brings for our family. We take spring and fall trips when everyone else is in school. We go to gramma's whenever we want and take our school work with us.

    Our kids are very social. They are involved in church, Awana, piano, soccer. Our church also has a home school group that meets once a month and has field trips once a month for the kids.

    I think it is an awesome decision you have made. It can be hard sometimes, but I am so thankful for all of the time I get to spend with my kids.

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  89. A lot of the experience I have had with people who have home-schooled is that they do not seem to struggle on the academic side, but more on the social side of things. (I worked in Student Ministry at a church with lots of homeschoolers-- Mainly because the public schools in the area were just not up to par and private schools were so expensive-Definitely a reason to consider homeschooling).
    I think a lot of people have already mentioned that though.
    I understand that every child learns differently, and I do think it is great that the kids that go through the homeschool program seem to be able to be more flexible in their learning. However, I think you have to realize that you will not always be the one that will be teaching them.
    At some point, whether it be college or work, they will have to learn at the pace of the people who are teaching them. I would just want to make sure they are ready for that.
    If they have always been catered to in the way they learn, do you think they will be ready for the "real world" one day.
    I think it's awesome that you are researching it though.

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  90. Wow! I think you got enough advise, but I just wanted to add that I have never regretted my choice to HS my kids. God gave me these kids, and told me to "teach them in the morning, evening, and as we walk along the street", and I will obey (and enjoy) it!

    I didn't see anyone mention unit studies yet, so add that to your list of things to look at. The traditional starting place is with the KONOS books. It's great for multiple ages learning together, great for hands on learning, and easy to tailor to individual kids, and individual needs.

    Also, we started lapbooking this year, and LOVE it! Check out homeschoolshare.com to see some of the FREE literature activities they have.

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  91. Oh my goodness, so many comments, doubt I can add anything new, but wanted to say that I hope you decide to homeschool because I love reading your blog, and for my own sake, would love to see it take on a homeschooling spin. There are so many great moments to take pics of when you homeschool :).

    I've been homeschooling my 4 kids for about 6 years now. First, let me say that it is HARD. But I love it. We have used several different kinds of curricula over the years, the ones that stick out the most as our favorites are Learning Language Arts Through Literature, Singapore Math, and Story of the World (history). I would say plan to set aside (a lot) of time to surf curriculum websites and see which one speaks to you and best fits how you think your kids learn. And you don't have to stick with one forever. Some good sites to check out are www.lovetolearn.net (nice curriculum reviews, family website) and www.lisawhelchel.com (website of "Blair" from the Facts of Life sit com - she's a homeschooling mama now, has lots of good advice).

    We do history, science, bible, and a chapter book read-aloud time all together as a group, then break up separately to do reading and math.

    My kids also attend gymnastics, dance, swim, etc. classes in the community, and we meet with our homeschool association about 16 weeks a year for co-op classes. Classes are once a week for 2 hours. Moms teach or help with a class. I really feel like their "socialization" needs are met by these activities, and the monthly field trips we all take together. But, how can you know for sure...? In any case, my kids seem happy, and have not shown any desire to attend public school so far.

    I will say that I did experience serious burn-out this year, and was almost ready to throw in the towel (did I mention that homeschooling is HARD?), but then I discovered blogging, and that has helped sooo much - being able to share my experiences and also learn soooo much from other homeschoolers' blogs. There are so many ideas out there. And one of the things many homeschooling moms complain about (or any stay-at-home mom) is the short supply of external rewards for your efforts - blogging helps to fulfill that need through all the sweet and encouraging comments you get after posting one of your homeschooling ideas. Blogging has been my homeschooling life-line this year.

    Check out as many homeschooling blogs as you can, as often curriculum and ideas are listed in the sidebars.

    And don't worry about being "qualified", as someone else mentioned - some people just don't "get" artistic folks. I think your blog is beautiful, and it is your arrangement of words that add to that beauty.

    Good luck with your decision. If you feel that God is calling you to do it, then He will help you through it, no matter what. Prayer can work miracles. And go easy your first year, find what works, get acclimated.

    You can do it!

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  92. I thought I'd throw my opinion out there... I was in public school for 8 yrs, homeschooled for 1 yr, Christian school (2 different ones) for 4 yrs. I loved each of my experiences and thought they all had pros and cons. My brothers got a wide variety of experiences as well and looking back on the three of us has convinced me that what is best may not be the same for every child. I thrived in Christian school. My middle brother thrived in homeschool. And my oldest brother thrived in public school (homeschool nearly destroyed his and my parents' relationship). I am incredibly thankful that my parents were aware of our differences and chose to make their decisions on an individual basis. One year, we were doing three different types of schooling!

    Now that I have children of my own, I see that doing different schooling for each would be very complicated. Only our oldest is in school so far and the decision was a difficult one. We chose the local Christian school. The two main reasons for our choice were 1) for her sake - she is a social butterfly... she thrives on being with others and to keep her at home I felt would stifle her and ultimately, harm her relationship with her sisters... plus w/ 3 other children under 18 mos at home, I didn't think I could give her the time and attention she deserved... and 2) They are gone SO LONG during the day... I couldn't fathom letting her be taught things in a public school without a basis in faith and the Bible for 8 hrs a day. We will probably end up sending all of our kids to the same Christian school, at least at first. I just hope and pray as they get older, I will remember to treat them as individuals and make decisions based on the personality and needs of each individual child.

    Another side note... I went to an amazing Christian college that I absolutely LOVED... there were many homeschoolers that attended. And based on that experience, I think you do need to be really careful about ensuring they get a proper education. If you intend for them to one day attend college, I would recommend figuring out some way to be sure they stay at or above grade level... and when they get to high school, I would explore other avenues (co-ops, community college dual enrollment, etc)... because I don't know many people without degrees in education (or specialized fields) who can properly teach high school/college prep level calculus, science, literature, etc.

    With all that said... you are a courageous woman to take on such a challenge, especially with other small ones at home. Good luck and blessings to you and your sweet babies! All six of them! :)

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  93. You have alot of comments and I've only read through a little of them. But I thought I would just note a little about my experience. I was homeschooled until grade 7. My mom was the leader in a homeschool group and my sister and I had many activities outside of school we did, so we socialized alot. We did paino lessions, swimming lessons, took courses on pottery making, went to orchestras. It was great until my Mom could no longer understand what it was she was teaching us.
    If you are going to homeschool you have to know your stuff. You want to make sure your children are educated, you want to make sure that if they wanted to become a doctor or a lawyer that you are giving them the information they need.
    I also think the social part is very important. When my family moved to the farm, my littlest siblings who are homeschooled never played with other children. They are about 2 years behind other children socially because of homeschooling. They have no idea how to interact or deal with their peers and I really think that is sad. It is gonna to make things very hard for them when they are older.
    So if your gonna do it, make sure they get lots of other activities that involve tons of other children. Homeschooled kids get to do things, like go to the orchestra or even a trip to disneyland in the middle of the week.
    Hope this post makes sense

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  94. Brittany,

    Good idea on getting input, many women never do.

    My little man is still young. He's four. He started reading when he was 2 and a half. NO JOKE. Did I teach him? NO!!!!!! He has been a self-learner from the get-go. He reads very fluently now, and everyday he reads aloud to me. I say all that to say that Homeschooling is wonderful for us....because he is well advanced in reading, I don't have to hold him back. And I can make things work for him, and myself, too. (Mind you, we do have some structure, we do some things everyday....Bible verses, reading, math, writing.) I have researched Homeschooling since before he was ever born, and I'm glad I did. The best advice I could ever give is this:

    DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR FAMILY!!!

    As long as they're taught well, loved, and nurtured...you can't go wrong.

    P.S. And though it WILL be tempting, don't buy into the overly priced curricula out there.....it's NOT WORTH IT!!

    I'm NO expert, but thought I'd share my two cents with you! Hope homeschooling goes well for your family! :) Blessings to you!

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  95. Dear Miss Courtney,

    That's MR. Anonymous to you. And p.s. Learn to spell: there's no such word as kuddos. It's kudos. Would you like fries with that?

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  96. Hi Brittany- first of all, I love reading your blogs and seeing the beautiful pictures of you and your family!

    I'm a 2nd grade teacher and have been teaching for 12 years. I find homeschooling an intriguing topic. (notice I didn't say "wrong"
    because that's not what I believe).

    Homeschooling parents can be just like public school teachers in the sense that there can be great ones, horrible ones, and everything in between. One of my close friends homeschools her five children and I have a lot of respect for her. I've heard the amazing things that she's done with her children and I have no doubt that she's doing an excellent job.

    We've had some families come to our school after homeschooling for a while, for various reasons. Some of the kids are at grade level or above, and some have come to us way below.

    My point is, it's entirely up to you as to how successful it is. There are many, many resources if you need help. I think the bond that can be created with your children can be incredible. I love what I do and am very fortunate.

    I think there's been a lot of excellent advice on here. Check your state regulations. I strongly recommend doing standardized testing too once year like the public schools do. This can be a guide to let you know where your children are at. Check out curriculums. Our state has to provide the student books at a parent's request. We have had families ask for them.

    I will be anxious to read how things go for you! Please take care!

    Laurie in Minnesota

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  97. I hope the negative comments about homeschooling have not gotten to you. I used to think all the bad things about homeschoolers, that are really just uneducated opinions because someone knows someone who has an antisocial friend that was homeschooled. My husband and his three younger siblings were all homeschooled in not the best home environment, but their best interests were looked out for for the most part. All of them are some of the most creative, well socialized, able to interact with young and old alike, and extremely talented. Each of them is on the road to owning their own businesses in some form or another and they while maybe not the best spellers or at algebra, can interact well in the real world. My husband went to my highschool for two years and because he was homeschooled, knew he was different and appreciated his differences and didn't feel pressured to fit in, or try things that he shouldn't, or rebel like all other normal teenagers. In short, I think homeschooling, especially coming from someone creative and happy, and God-following as yourself will produce the same in your children. Good luck and God Bless you and your family on your journey!

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  98. Brittney and readers,
    I commented very early on and am now curious as to why if you all believe 'socialisation' (Annon I am from Australia so don't correct my spelling!!) is a non issue then why is it one of you commomn defences???? Providing an enriched education is about combining more than just curriculum and socialisation. Teachers like every profession out there have the good, bad and the ugly, but we as parents can work with the strengths and weakness of individual teachers to provide our children with a 'whole' education. Just because you do not homeschool does not mean you do not teach your children, everyone of us should be homeschooling from birth,, but in an incidental/informal way.

    I love my children but I also love that they attend a fantastic school with teachers who are also my peers, together we are working together to create the most amazing learners and people.
    Leonie

    I also need to add I do not share the readers views that Lord has lead you there,, while I do not ever want to make judgement on anyones religious views I do not get it, and I am comfortable with that but are you comfortable that I don't, that is a question I would love an answer to. I am a christian woman and livea christian life without bible study or formal religion and while I believe that a higher power has a plan out there for us I am ultimately resposible for my own behaviour and choices not some one else...

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  99. Hi I never leave comments but wanted to on this. I have a 10 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old. I have been homeschooling my son for 3 years and it is not at all what I thought it would be! I love my kids and I love being with them but just like my husband being with them 24/7 is really hard. I fell into the trap of thinking that if I homeschooled I would be a better mother and a better christian. I read all the blogs and they mad me feel so bad that I was not happy! An average day around here is my son trying to concentrate and do his work while his little sisters are to loud and bother him. I wish I had just enjoyed my babies while they were babies and just been my son's mom and not teacher. He is lonely and bored. He is learning algebra and all kinds of things I have a real hard time teaching with 2 little ones under my feet all day! He will be going to schoolo next year and I'm excited for him! His days will be a lot fuller. I believe he will be met with some tough decisions at school but it is a good time to learn it while he is under my roof not when he is at college and has no experience in facing adversity. This is just my experience.....sounds a lot better than it is!

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  100. Hi Brittany,

    It is so exciting to see that you want to homeschool your children!!! I see that you already have loads of great stuff to read through, so I'll make it snappy. I was homeschooled from age 4 until beginning mission/church work full time during my teens. My parents taught me and my three sisters to learn from each situation, and how to think and find the answers for ourselves. I am forever grateful to them for their commitment to educate us at home, as a family.

    Homeschooling was a huge joy for us, and I can't wait to begin with my own children someday! May it be a joy for you and your beautiful children, as well!

    Blessings on your journey,
    Jennifer Thompson
    Founder/Director
    Casa de Amor Children's Homes
    Cochabamba, Bolivia

    PS-Just because your spelling or syntax is not correct 100% of the time does NOT mean YOU as the mother of your children cannot be the best teacher they will ever have!!

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  101. I was homeschooled all the way through, and I'm so thankful that my mom persevered. There were a lot of difficult days, but overall it was such a good thing for me. I hope that I'll be able to teach my kids someday (when I get married and have them). I never felt that I missed out socially and the transition to college was easy. Right now, I'm a missionary in Brazil and I help out with the homeschooling of a missionary family. I love it!

    My mom made it a priority to instill the love of learning in me and my siblings. She used unit studies, took us on field trips, read to us a lot and in general tried to be creative. Obviously, all schoolwork can't be fun and games, but it doesn't have to be boring all the time either! The family I help homeschool has this vision too. My advice would be, if a child finds something particularly interesting-- go for it! Spend a little time and go deep into that subject. Personally, I think this teaches kids to really LEARN, not just temporarily memorize information.

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  102. I don't have time to read all of the comments here, so I'm sorry if what I say is repetitive!

    I sent my oldest (5) to kindergarten this year and in the fall I will be starting homeschool also. I'll do preschool for my 4yo at the same time. (I have an almost 2yo too!)

    You will never find a better teacher for YOUR children than YOU. Especially if God is leading you to bring them home--he will BLESS you for that!

    I'm obviously new to this whole thing, but I've done much research. I don't like the pre-packaged curriculums as I feel I can better suit my child by choosing specifics for him.

    So far I've already bought:
    Singapore Math
    A Reason For Handwriting
    Horizons Phonics and Reading
    The Gospel For Children

    I still need to find a couple more resources and I am hoping to pick them up at a homeschool bookfair next month. Probably you could find a bookfair somewhere near your area. They are a great place to be able to SEE the things you are interested in using for your children.

    I also plan to use the local library for much of our research.

    One tip I got from my sister-in-law (who homeschools her eight children--including a 16 year old who is a national merit scholar and just earned FREE college tuition!)...get a rubbermaid tub for EACH child. Large enough to hold the books/supplies that they will need on a daily basis. That way they keep their things separate but organized and you can teach anywhere in your home, without dedicating a whole room or space to it. It's easy to pack up and move to a different room or clean up the room...whatever.

    Good luck and God Bless your homeschool journey! I hope you keep us posted as you get into it! :)

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  103. Brittany, all of you and especially MUMof2.

    I want to tell you a story about our daugther... she will be 10 next week.
    She is a gifted child. She was writing her name before she was 3 and was very social. I thought she would do great in school and was looking forward to sending her. At her first parent teacher interview in kindergarten I was told she was behind and it made me cry. At our grade 1 interview I was told she couldn't get along with others. At our grade 2 interview I was told she wasn't reading at grade level. At her grade 3 interview I was told she was doing well in math but that the teacher was checking to see if she was cheating {because she was doing well in math}. This little girl was being judged. She was being told that she did not measure up and was acting out {with tears and anger} towards the other children.
    I always wanted to homeschool... I felt called to it. But, we decided to start homeschooling last fall because we wanted to see a change for our daughter.
    After a short while teaching her I could see the problem... she wasn't being taught the way she learns. She wasn't taught phonics but rather to memorize. She does not have a photographic memory... but if given the chance she hears what she needs to write down. We practiced her spelling words all week and when I tested her orally on Friday she would get 98-99% correct. Then she would write the test and get 50 or less. It was heart breaking for her.
    I stopped the process and found out how to teach her. She now blossoms... her scores are just as high as her brother's {90% or higher on average}. She now socializes well with her peers. She looks happy.
    I'm not a teacher by profession {though it is my spiritual gift} and I make grammer and spelling errors. My kids forgive... I'm not perfect. But, I do love my daughter and I know how to teach her. {Something the school system didn't have time to do... I did approach them over the years and ask for special attention.. they said they just couldn't provide it.}

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  104. Hello Brittney!

    I am so excited for you as you start this journey with your kids!

    I was homeschooled from 3rd grade on, so there are a feww suggestions I would like to share..

    1. If you plan to do this, COMMIT to it. My mother worked full time so we(my 4 siblings and I) were left to "teach" ourselves. For a child who is self-motivated, this may have been okay. That was not me though.:)

    2. Make sure you involve them in other activities with other kids.
    And not ONLY around christian kids. I think it was really helpful for me to see how people were outside of our faith. Your kids are going to be around unbelievers in their life and it's good for them to experiance what that is like. We were in a bowling league when I was in jr. high and Hi-school and that was a great way to interact with other kids outside of church.(plus, that's where I met my hubby!:)

    3.your kids are different. They need taught differently. Some need more social interaction and some don't.

    4.Also, I think it's a good idea to let your children decide if they want to continue HSing through High-school. I BEGGED my parents to let me go and hold some resentment towards them for not even considering what I wanted.

    I too have felt the nudge to HS our 5 chilren, but my hubby isn't feeling the same way. Until his heart changes, his word goes....

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  105. I was home schooled from K-3rd grade and it was the best things ever. I am now 15 and LOVE public school. I am glad I was home schooled at a young age and got all the basics. It is fun now to go to public school. My mom now teaches in public school and can tell which kids use to be home schooled. Home schooled children usually have a better foundation.

    My sister and I went to a local home school school every Friday and did things with peers.

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  106. Brittany-Who better to teach your kids than you and your husband?! I am a homeschool mom. My kids are 2,4,6, and 7 years of age. I may not be "qualified" in the eyes of many, but would not want anyone else to do it! We use Saxon Math & Alpha phonics. We fill in what we are interested in for the other subjects. It has not been expensive for us so far (alpha phonics is a reading program that can be used for all your children for $26) We have a cupboard (large, freestanding) for all of our homeschool things. My husband does occasionally help in the evenings on one subject here or there as needed. We school both at the same time-I help one while the other one is doing something independant, quiet time for the 4 year old with various activities, nap for the 2 year old. sometimes is a bit of a juggling act. :) We are open to community education classes and music lessons at our discression. We like to do outings if they are available (ie:learning how maple syrup is made.) We would like to find a homeschool group that would help us have a few more of those. With the ages my children are at we only do a few hours a day. That usually is done at nap time of my little one. I am not an expert by any means but here a few tips that have been helpful to us along the way:
    *find homeschoolers in your community-for support and answers to questions.
    *read about homeschooling-things that are align with your beliefs (homeschooling is NOT the same as public school)
    *be flexible with your routine-life happens, kids learn from that also,and sometimes what your doing isn't working-so change it.

    I hope this was helpful to you. God bless you on this exciting journey! You can do it! Philippians 4:13
    You have beautiful family!!
    Lisa E.

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  107. Ok, please don't take any of this the wrong way.
    For the last two years I have worked with children all day, every day, at a museum, where I run programs for kids (crafts, baking, etc). Teachers from public school as well as homeschooling groups come in.
    I can say without a doubt that the homeschooled children are the argumentative, rude, maladjusted, antisocial, bratty ones. I work with at least 200 different kids a year. Before I did this job, I thought that maybe I would homeschool MY kids one day. Now, I would never ever ever ever ever do that. EVER. In my experience the homeschooled children tend to think that they are the centre of the universe because the focus is solely on them at at home when they are being taught. The publicly schooled children consistently have betters manners, make friends more easily, and show me as an instructor, a great deal of respect. The homeschool kids can't cooperate! It's TRULY SHOCKING but I couldn't make it up if I tried. I LOVE kids, and kids love me. In fact I'm in school to do my Montessori teacher training, so yes, I clearly believe in alternate methods than a government-mandated curriculum. I applaud your brave decision to undertake this.
    What I can offer though is please, please, please SOCIALIZE your kids. It is no coincidence that the publicly schooled children are 100%, consistently, across the board more social, easy to get along with, willing to take direction --- all those qualities people would like their children to have.
    I'm not trying to attack you at ALL. I do understand that with children with special abilities or unique problems that affect their learning, a more one-on-one teaching approach tailored to the child is best.

    I feel that I have a unique perspective on this subject and I urge you to either send them to public school or surround them with friends DAILY!!! I remember my public school education (in French Immersion) as amazing. I did team sports, played in bands, did plays and musical- all sorts of things that are difficult to pull off in the homeschooling environment. I learned social graces and about all different types of kids and families first-hand. I LOVED my public school education. Putting your child into a melee of 30-odd other children with just one or two teachers around is such a great tool for them. There are so many social thing that a child can only learn that way.
    Thanks for listening! Good luck.
    p.s. I swear that out of the 400 kids I have worked with in the last two years....out of the homeschooled bunch, 98% of them are TERRORS! Its NOT a coincidence. Have you considered alternative schools (like Montessori?) who have classroom-styles?

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  108. Ok, please don't take any of this the wrong way.
    For the last two years I have worked with children all day, every day, at a museum, where I run programs for kids (crafts, baking, etc). Teachers from public school as well as homeschooling groups come in.
    I can say without a doubt that the homeschooled children are the argumentative, rude, maladjusted, antisocial, bratty ones. I work with at least 200 different kids a year. Before I did this job, I thought that maybe I would homeschool MY kids one day. Now, I would never ever ever ever ever do that. EVER. In my experience the homeschooled children tend to think that they are the centre of the universe because the focus is solely on them at at home when they are being taught. The publicly schooled children consistently have betters manners, make friends more easily, and show me as an instructor, a great deal of respect. The homeschool kids can't cooperate! It's TRULY SHOCKING but I couldn't make it up if I tried. I LOVE kids, and kids love me. In fact I'm in school to do my Montessori teacher training, so yes, I clearly believe in alternate methods than a government-mandated curriculum. I applaud your brave decision to undertake this.
    What I can offer though is please, please, please SOCIALIZE your kids. It is no coincidence that the publicly schooled children are 100%, consistently, across the board more social, easy to get along with, willing to take direction --- all those qualities people would like their children to have.
    I'm not trying to attack you at ALL. I do understand that with children with special abilities or unique problems that affect their learning, a more one-on-one teaching approach tailored to the child is best.

    I feel that I have a unique perspective on this subject and I urge you to either send them to public school or surround them with friends DAILY!!! I remember my public school education (in French Immersion) as amazing. I did team sports, played in bands, did plays and musical- all sorts of things that are difficult to pull off in the homeschooling environment. I learned social graces and about all different types of kids and families first-hand. I LOVED my public school education. Putting your child into a melee of 30-odd other children with just one or two teachers around is such a great tool for them. There are so many social thing that a child can only learn that way.
    Thanks for listening! Good luck.
    p.s. I swear that out of the 400 kids I have worked with in the last two years....out of the homeschooled bunch, 98% of them are TERRORS! Its NOT a coincidence. Have you considered alternative schools (like Montessori?) who have classroom-styles?

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  109. EH I am so glad for you that you have found the way to teach your daughter that suits her learning style, and I am sorry that that the teachers let her down. In Australia we are very driven on understanding the individual child and teaching (the best we can)to suit individual learning styles. We are unable to keep every parent satisfied but we do our best we have 20-30 children to consider so as I am sure you could appreciate that on a one on one situation every child would do fantastic but I BELIEVE that it is not ideal.

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  110. sorry the previous annon commenter was me, mumof2, and what I mean by ideal is that children need to learn to achieve and work in environments that turn taking , waiting, sharing, valuing others and other very important social skills that prepare them for life ahead are practiced amongst their regular aged peers. By no means do I think that a parent is 'not educated enough' to teach their children at all but I think it is not 'enough'...
    Leonie

    oh and I make typos and grammar mistakes too, teachers are humans too!

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  111. I find it interesting that the parents who have commented have mostly said, "My kids are amazing, above grade level, well adapted, blah, blah, blah ..." And the OUTSIDERS who actually have to DEAL with these same children have mostly written to say, "These children are terrible, anti-social, wild, etc."

    Very interesting.

    Sometimes parents look at their little cherubs with rose-colored glasses, don't they?

    Also, as for the grammar comments: of COURSE we all make mistakes. I think the original commenter, though, was referring to not just a random mistake, but a seeming lifestyle of uneducated errors.

    Just my observations.

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  112. As with everything you are going to get so many anti- and pro opinions. I only wish everyone would comment from their own experience with homeschooling.

    That being said, my husband and I decided to homeschool our first child when she was two. I had read books and then heard a radio talk show discussing homeschooling in a series. (James Dobson, by the way.) There was never any doubt that we would homeschool our miracle baby that the Lord entrusted to our care. Our school verses are found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

    My husband and I are high school graduates and that's it. I did become a Certified Dental Assistant in the years before our daughter was born. You only have to have a high school diploma to teach your children and we had that. I was never deterred by that fact. I knew I had her best interest at heart and God would bless it.

    We researched, attended seminars, book fairs and talked with the one person we knew who homeschooled locally at the time. (She moved to our town the year before I began the journey. She was the wife of our Minister of Education newly hired at our church. The Lord is so good!) In 1993, we began the journey with our then 4 year old daughter because she would point and ask what a word said when we would read to her. She was ready and so were we.

    By that time we had a son 2 1/2 years younger than our daughter. I would teach my daughter while my son would play in the floor with his toys. As he got older he would listen intently to everything going on and would sometimes pipe up with answers to questions before his sister (which would make her so mad!).

    Through the years we used different curricula, but the one my daughter loved best was A Beka...only because she is a Perfect Paula. (Know your children's learning styles. You'll never regret the time you invest in that research.)

    I used different things with my son because he's a boy and he liked to be doing things rather than sitting in a chair all day. He's a Wiggly Willy.

    I am a founding member of a homeschool group in our small town. We started with around 10 families and have over 100 this year. We have mom meetings, offer co-ops, clubs, field trips, and plan other big events during the year. My children are SOCIALIZED through the group and our church.

    With our own field trips, science experiments, ballet, music, and gymnastics lessons plus baseball and soccer, our children were exposed to so many wonderful educational opportunities.

    I've read some of the above commenters and have to wonder who they are looking to for their homeschooling models. I've seen moms do slack jobs with their children, but most of the time I see moms who love their children and want the best for them. They strive to give their children the absolute best available because they love them like no one else can.

    My daughter is finishing her sophomore year at a state university working towards a BSN to become a Registered Nurse. She will begin clinicals in the fall. (Out of over 300 nursing students, she was one of 175 to make it into Upper Division.) She won an 'externship' at a local hospital. (Out of over 200 applicants she was one of 17 to get that position.) She will be getting married in May while she and her groom-to-be work to finish their degrees.

    My son was homeschooled from K5 to 11th grade. He asked to attend the local public school this year as a senior so he could take Honors Physics (I know my limitations!) and play sports. We prayed about it and sent him with the Lord's blessing. It has been a wonderful experience for him. He is dually enrolled at a local community college and is earning college credits while in high school. My daughter did the same and had 21 credit hours before she even began college. My son has been accepted at the state university into their Engineering and Computing School where he will begin classes in the fall.

    We used A Beka, Bob Jones, Saxon, Sonlight, Christian Liberty Press, some KONOS, Easy Grammar, Greenleaf Press among other resources. You can always change anything if it's not working for you or your child. In the high school years we've used satellite school or co-op classes taught by other homeschoolers for the tougher classes. Mainly science and math. (As I said before, I know my limitations.)Just because I'm not proficient in a subject doesn't mean my children will suffer from it. I seek out those that have a better understanding of the subject. Most of the time we have teachers within our homeschool group that are just waiting to be asked to help a student or lead a co-op.

    It can be expensive. I hit all the used curriculum sales locally and state-wide that I can find. I also sell my old curriculum online or at the sales. I do hang onto our favorite timeless things because I'm thinking one day I will have grandchildren that may need them.

    Our homeschooling journey is far from over...the Lord blessed us with another son when our oldest two were 13 and 10 1/2! He is finishing his second year of homeschooling (first grade). I am learning more about his learning style and can say he is totally different from the other two. So next year, I'll be tossing the books I'm using now and getting something a little more compatible with his interests and the way he learns.

    See? As a homeschool teacher you are always learning new things from your children. And you relearn things you may have forgotten. Teacher's guides and curriculum guides tell you how to teach your children each subject. There is no guess work. If you are insecure and don't feel comfortable going with unit studies or teacher-directed learning then you have the curriculum choices that allow you to have it all done for you. That's the beauty of homeschooling.
    Seek out those in your area that homeschool and pick their brains. They are usually more than willing to share all they've learned. ;)

    I am not using my blog name on this because I shared more than I would have on my blog. I will sign my name and I think you have access to my email address? Or post something and I'll read it! Anyway I would be happy to answer any questions you may have or direct you to a web site that may help if I don't have the answers!

    May God bless your journey. Enjoy these years. They fly by. My baby girl isn't supposed to be 20 and getting married already!! And my son isn't supposed to be 6'4" and a senior! At least the Lord blessed us with our baby. He knew we were not ready for an empty nest.

    Hold on tight and let go gently.
    Renee

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  113. I have to comment on something others have written. About homeschooled children being rude and anti-social. Well, that can also be said of public schooled kids. I know one family that homeschooled their oldest two and they were rude, they were pushy and they did not listen to anyone. They are in public school now and guess what? They are still like that.

    It all depends on the parents. It is the parent's duty to raise the children, not the school.

    Julie

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  114. Good for you for listening to the Lord. Homeschooling (like having a large family) is an area where complete strangers will feel they have the right to criticize your family. They will say ugly things to you, even in front of the children. Every action your children make will be "because the are homeschooled," which isn't fair. We rarely blame the problems of status quo children on the fact that they are public schooled.

    I am educating my 4,6 and 8 yr old right now (our second year hs'ing). We also have a 3 yr old and a 20 month old. We do Konos-in-a-box unit studies. Each 9 wk unit focuses on one character trait. In the mornings we do art, science, Bible, history, music and read-aloud time together as a family. Then, in the afternoons, when the youngest 2 are napping, we focus on math, spelling and reading. We did Sonlight last year, but it was just not a good fit for us with so many age levels. Unit studies like Konos and My Father's World are fantastic when you are teaching a large group of siblings.

    We just came to the point where we were more concerned that our children be WISE than we were that they be SMART. They can get knowledge from school, but they cannot get wisdom.

    We also joined a co-op this year. We meet on Fridays and the kids take classes with other kids. They enjoy it and I've loved the fellowship with other moms.

    It can be tempting to take way too many field trips at first, but you will eventually settle into a routine. It is hard to homeschool when you are never home.

    Be encouraged, Brittany. If God has called you to this, He will equip you!

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  115. I was homeschooled from 8th gr up and it was THE BEST decision my parents ever made! Would totally encourage it.
    I plan on homeschooling as well.

    I cannot really think of any downsides :-)

    As for "social interaction" - (the biggest "complaint" we would hear from others) - doesn't really seem to be an issue, we usually had to PLAN time to "do" real school with all the "extra-circular" out of home activities! Interaction is not an issue unless you make it less interaction for the well being of your family or your child. Even a once a week out and church activities is usually enough social life for any young child!

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  116. I would also let you know that people who say that homeschoolers are unsocialized (one poster above even says 100% of homeschoolers - how silly). A large study that followed homeschoolers. public schoolers and private schoolers found that hs'ed kids consistently interacted with a a wider range of people. So, if you'd like your child to be socialized to only value their peers' opinions, ps might be the way to go. If you want them to be prepared for the real world, where they will encounter all different people (rich, poor, old, young, black, white, etc) - hs'ing is a great option.

    I've posted some of our homeschooling projects on my blog: www.pfamilygal.blogspot.com, if you are interested in seeing what Konos looks like in real life.

    Tamara

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  117. I homeschool, I hesitate to say we because my hubby doesn't have much to do with the actual teaching aspect of it.

    I use ACE (schooloftomorrow.com) it's very user friendly and so easy to work with. I have also used Abeka for my now 5 yrs old this past year. I'm thinking I will use Bob Jones for him for k5, I don't care for ACE's younger grades...say k-2nd grade so 3rd is probably the youngest level I'd begin using of theirs.

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  118. Hmm...lots of comments. I'm going to have to read these. I am starting homeschooling next year as well and can use all the help I can get.

    I was homeschooled but did not enjoy it. Done right I believe homeschooling can be an enjoyable experience for everyone, but such was not the case for me. I'm looking forward to changing my view of homeschool through my own children's experience with it.

    I know you will do an awesome job...you just seem like that kind of person. :)

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  119. I have to shake my head about what some people have said about my comments about homeschoolers, in regards to my experience working with hundreds of children from both schooling systems.
    "I have to comment on something others have written. About homeschooled children being rude and anti-social. Well, that can also be said of public schooled kids."
    Well, when you work with 200 kids a year, you definetely start to see a TREND. One family with rude kids doesn't mean that public schooling doesn't create more social, cooperative, polite kids. Trust me, 9 times out of ten, it does!
    This was another interesting one:
    "I would also let you know that people who say that homeschoolers are unsocialized (one poster above even says 100% of homeschoolers - how silly). A large study that followed homeschoolers. public schoolers and private schoolers found that hs'ed kids consistently interacted with a a wider range of people. So, if you'd like your child to be socialized to only value their peers' opinions, ps might be the way to go. If you want them to be prepared for the real world, where they will encounter all different people (rich, poor, old, young, black, white, etc) - hs'ing is a great option."

    Regardless of this "large study" (by the way, I have written a few university psychology papers on the topic of HS vs PS, so I am no stranger to these studies) I stand by the fact that children in public school were socialized above and beyond those who were homeschooled. Of COURSE the public schooled children had some among them who were less than ideal to work with. But what I found that consistently the homeschooled children did not know how to interact with the other kids as well, weren't as good at taking direction, in my experience (I can only speak to that) each and every one that I have worked with over the last few years has in some way fallen short in the social skill/graces aspect.
    Why wouldn't you want your child to be socialize to value the opinions of others? How is that a bad thing? If they are ever going to be employed in an office or faculty setting (among others) they will have to learn to do so! And to respect their boss (aka teacher). To me, THAT is "real world" training. And how exactly is being HOMEschool going to expose them to "rich, poor, old, young, black, white" people any more than public school will? (You know, where kids join hundreds of other kids daily...)
    The reality is, it's up to you! I was just putting my experience with homeschooled kids, and letting you see why I formed the opinion I have.
    " find it interesting that the parents who have commented have mostly said, "My kids are amazing, above grade level, well adapted, blah, blah, blah ..." And the OUTSIDERS who actually have to DEAL with these same children have mostly written to say, "These children are terrible, anti-social, wild, etc.""
    I think anonymous hit the nail on the head with that one.
    We all think our kids of perfect. And coming from someone who works with hundreds of your perfect children, take it from me that Public school offers a level of socialisation that homeschool can't imitate.
    Of course, Brittany, do whatever you want! They're your kids, your family. That's just my 2 (or 3) cents.

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  120. I have already posed previously- about hsing my 4 girls.
    But something I would like to add which I feel is one of the biggest bonus's is how much family values and faith can and will be built up during homeschooling. I feel we as parents have been given the opportunity by God to sheppard and protect our little ones. As for me personally, I will teach my children what is out in the world- but age appropriately and with our Godly values in place. Often children in public school are very pressured in these area's (sexuality, spirituality etc.)- to try things out of they're comfort zone while they are still learning who they are.
    Also, yes, pubic school has alot of socialization, but is it positive or negative? As adults, if we are in a situation we are uncomfortable with we chose either to deal with it or leave it at our leisure. Our children on the other hand do not have that choice when having to deal with the same teacher and children everyday. They cannot escape the situation if need be.
    You cannot hide your children from life- it will happen. Homeschooling is just a good way to set them on a solid foundation preparing them for what lies ahead.
    Good Luck

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  121. WOW, Brittany!! Didn't know you'd have so many conflicting opinions, did you? Haha.

    For what it's worth, I FULLY believe it depends on the family. The truth is this: there are going to be children who are not socialized well, rude, disrespectful, and depressed in ALL TYPES OF SCHOOLS....be they public schools, private, or homeschools. It all depends on what their families are teaching them by their lifestyles. Just as there are well-rounded children that turn out from all sorts of schools...it's all in how they're raised. Public school is not bad, private school is not bad, homeschools are not bad.......but one can look around and find any excuse NOT to do any one of these. You have to do what works for you, and what you believe God has for you.....you answer to nobody else but HIM regarding the raising of your children. For now, we are homeschooling. My lil' man is around people a lot....older ones, as well as those his own age. He's very outgoing. Who knows if we'll homeschool him all the way through, but for now, it's what's best for US. There are families who don't give a rip about educating their children, or their children's well-being whatsoever. You can find these parents in ANY camp of life....no matter the way in which their children are educated. Brittany, you sound like a well-rounded Momma who does NOT want to homeschool to shut her children off from the world, or to keep them at home to work, or to be lazy.......so I'm sure you'll do a fine job. Just take all the above comments with a grain of salt.......DISCERNMENT is key.

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  122. Mom2Three-

    You state you don't want your kids going to school "where they will never even be able to pray or mention His name."

    Good news! If your kids are going to public school in America, they CAN pray and mention His name. Is the teacher going to lead them in prayer? No, because I'm sure you wouldn't want the teacher leading them in a Hindu prayer, or a Jewish chant, or a Muslim kneeling to Mecca prayer either.

    We have religious freedom in our schools. My Muslim friends took out their prayer rugs and prayed when they needed to. My Christian friends had Bible study groups, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, etc. My Hindu friends had special meals prepared for their vegetarian needs. Your kids can mention his name, wear shirts with Bible verses, pray over their meals, the list goes on and on.

    But no, the principal isn't going to get on the loudspeaker and ask everyone to bow their heads and pray to Jesus. Do you know why? Because just like you wouldn't want the principal having your kids pray to Allah, or Ganesh, other people who are Muslim, Hindu, whatever don't want *their* kids praying to Jesus.

    Religious freedom is clearly not want you want. You want everyone to follow *your* religion, which conveniently takes away everyone else's freedom. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I get so tired of the "poor persecuted Christian that can't even speak His holy name" act. It's not true, and what it implies about what you wish our nation would do in terms of a state religion scares me. I'll reiterate- your kids have total 100% religious freedom for their own behaviors in public school, they just can't expect everyone to do it with them..

    And I have to say that if you're concerned the only way your kids will stay Christians is if everyone around them believes exactly like they do, that's troubling too. What happened to in the world and not of it? I'm sorry, but the fact that conservative Christians can't see that this benefits *everyone* and allows *everyone* to worship as they desire is beyond me. It's such an egocentric view of the world that unless the entire school is officially Christian, being led by the teacher in prayers, having Bible study, then somehow your religious freedom isn't being given to you.

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  123. Brittany-

    Read some of John Gotte's work. His research on the history of public schooling and his views on education are fascinating and very informative :) Good luck in whatever you do.

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  124. Cortney,

    I couldn't agree with you more. My four children all attend a public charter school near our home and I love it! What do I love most about it? The diversity it offers my children. There are students of all races, religions and socio-ecomonic classes, it is wonderful.

    I know many homeschoolers teach at home to protect their children and to not expose them to the evils of the world (and, as a mother, I can understand), but why not allow your child to arise to the occaision? Sometimes middle schoolers/high schoolers are offered drugs/alcohol, have questions/concerns/issues with social pressures, etc. Give your child a good foundation at home, your guidance and love and let them rise to the occaision. Let them, with your guidance, learn how to handle these situations, let them be successful in navigating life and making good decisions. Let them learn to use the "tools" of their beliefs to live. We cannot shelter or children from everything all of the time, but give your kids the tools and let them live, whether it be as a Christian, a Jew, a Buddist, a Muslim or an Athiest for that matter.

    I'm sure I won't be a popular poster, but I think keeping your kids at home to "protect" them from "everything" is just counterproductive.

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  125. To the mum that aknowledged that we as parents look through rose coloured glasses I could not agree more!!!!! and to the last annon poster and courtney, I have enjoyed reading your views and share most of them, shouldn't we ALL regardless of race religion or creed be gearing the next generation of leaders to have tolerance towards others..... Being a woman who struggles with religion I want my children to be exposed to many diferent facets of the world (the good the bad and the ugly) and with my guidance(and my husbands and our families) make choices that are considerate of others, with compassion and tolerance then maybe (looking through my own rose coloured glasses) the world would be a better place.

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  126. I had so much to say about how we homeschool I just did up my own blog post. If you'd like, you can see it here:http://maineberrypatch.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-we-homeschool.html

    One thing...I think it's great that you are looking at this option. I've only read a few of the last comments. That led me to say this...I just read a great little book over at The Old Schoolhouse store about homeschooling & one thing has really stuck with me. Would you want to send your child to the enemy's camp for training? It's not all about religious freedom. It's about the right to raise our children the way we see fit. I don't expect my elementary aged children to have the skills necessary to defend their faith. High school is another store. Young children want to please & follow. I want to be that influence for them.

    Wow - this got long. Sorry about that. ;-)

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  127. Well if you want advice from the good old SIL something that I don't think anyone has mentioned is that in this case I think it's really important to know what your child's preference would be? And with that, WHY are they choosing that option?

    The reason I say this is that as you know both Paul and I were homeschooled some. One of the reasons for this is that our mom and dad felt that school systems start children in a formalized structured school program too early. I believe Pre-K is basically FREE daycare for working parents:) Sorry:( This is one thing I agree with ESPECIALLY in the case of boys. So in my case I did what would now be considered "pre-k," Kindergarten, and 1st grade at home. Now having said this pre-k probably did not exist. Kindergarten was minimal and 1st grade I did reading and math and phonics. When I started school the next yr at 2nd grade I was 8!! and at an 6th graders reading lvl. That is impressive right:) I believe that came from our mom taking us to the library alot and reading to us alot!! We loved that. Now math has never been my strong point but it was Paul's and we had the same teacher:)

    Now, with all that being said you probably think I am pretty pro- homeschool and I am somewhat. Only one problem with homeschool-- I didn't like it!!!!! I watched all the kids get on the bus and go to school everyday and wished I was going too. Also, I am pretty sure Paul didn't like it either. He despised being the oldest kid in his class when he started (btw, I think this is one of the reasons he is so smart) I loved being the oldest, but the point you are starting to see is that we both disliked it for different reasons. I have a friend who liked it because she was too shy and uncomfortable to go to school so for her it was an escape from people and I believe to this day she has a hard time dealing with face to face conflicts with other people. Luckily for her, her mother recognized this and made her go back to school. I also know two teen-agers who just started highschool as a junior and freshman after being homeschooled all the way up to this point and I think they are loving it, but before they left they were both PAINFULLY shy and I mean painfully to the point you felt sorry for them.

    I know you will do well whatever you decide to do. I would just seriously consider what each child wants and WHY they want it. I think it would be perfectly acceptable to homeschool one of them if that's the best and not the other two or whatever the case may be. This is not to say that children know best or that they always make the right choices for themselves, but as you can see Paul and I both have opinions on what we did for first grade imagine if it had been sixth grade OH MY!!

    Finally, I don't think it really matters a WHOLE lot educationally until probably 2nd or 3rd grade because before that it will be easy to teach them at home what they will need to be at the same lvl as school. In fact, they will probably be ahead, but after that point they should start to crave interaction with friends and if they don't you have to wonder why they aren't.

    Also, as a side note I thought maybe I should homeschool Cole but I think it's okay to admit that in theory it might be a good idea however, I know myself well enough to know that I am not structured or patient enough and that someone else can do it better. So my compromise was 2 days a wk 9-2 this yr at christian creative learning program. Next yr will be 4 days 9-12:30 at almost 5 yrs old. Public school pre-k here is 5FULL days a wk at age 4!! Too much!! I love Oct bdays that automatically gives him an extra yr which as a boy he needs. So, there should be another option in between full blown public school and homeschool at least for Gavins age bracket. Then after that I will figure it out and it will be christian education and it will BE EXPENSIVE. But both Aaron and I loved going to private school-- never even for a half of a second wanted to go to public school. Also, sorry this is long but here is an example about Cole. He says every tues and thurs that he doesn't want to go to school and he hates it, but when I pick him up he is smiling and wants to immediately show me what he made (which I would so never do those art projects even though I love them)!! So what this tells me is that even though he says he doesn't want to go he actually enjoys it and he loves being with other kids. Thats what I meant about knowing what they want and WHY and sometimes you have to do the opposite of their comfort zone for their best interest.

    I will be interested to see how it goes........Maybe it will change my mind:)

    Karen

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  128. I don't think my comment "took", so I will leave another. If I just over-looked it, I apologize for the redundancy.

    I am a mama of three girls, and we are in our second year of homeschool. I NEVER thought I'd homeschool. I didn't make plans for it (though I often think it would've been easier if I'd known all along this would be the path we'd choose to take). My husband was not on board in the beginning, so I honored him and we sent our oldest daughter to Kindergarten. Within two weeks we knew it wasn't for us,(in honesty, I had known the entire summer before), and we pulled her out to homeschool. We have all LOVED it ever since.

    I am blessed to have a very dear friend who also homeschools her children. We bounce ideas off one another, plan field trips together, and are there for each other during the rough days (there aren't many, but every once in awhile one of those days creeps in, and it's nice to have someone to chat with who knows what you're going through).

    I also want to add that we do not homeschool in order to keep our children locked away at home :) I do understand the value and importance of our children being around other children AND adults. My two oldest daughters are in dance lessons twice a week and they attend Sunday School classes. However, that is only a portion of the activities and events that we are involved in on a regular basis.

    As for curriculum, we use a little bit of everything. I enjoy Christian Liberty Press for Mathematics. We use Our Father's World for Science and History. Spectrum for Phonics, Harcourt for Language Arts, etc. Someday I may choose one "packaged" curriculum, but for now (my oldest is in 1st grade) I enjoy the picking and choosing.

    Homeschooling is not for everyone. We, ourselves, take it on a year by year/child by child basis. If, at any point, this doesn't work for any one of us any longer, we are done (or we take a break, etc.)

    I truly believe you will love it! Best of luck with everything.

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  129. Hi Brittany! So many comments, sheesh! I almost didn't leave one but I keep thinking about some things that have been said and I just want to provide another side. I have always home educated our three boys, who are now 14, 12 and 8. The absolute honest reason I choose to keep our oldest home when it was time for K was that I absolutely adored this boy and did not want to send him off for so many hours a day! I had been the one teaching him for the first 5 years, or helping him to discover things, and I wanted that to continue so it just seemed natural to keep him home from K. And when it was time for 1st grade, same thing, and from then on it was just a given that they would all stay home for their education.

    Is it hard? Yes, sometimes. Is it rewarding, absolutely. I won't even bother to try and argue some of the points that have been made against homeschooling. All I really want to say is that if you are honoring God and you feel led that He called you to homeschool, then you will do just fine.

    Get with a local homeschool group. Check out some of the styles of schooling (classical, unschool, unit studies, etc.) Learn your states regs. And just enjoy your children! You are going to be great at this! Good luck!

    April C.

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  130. I'm finding it very interesting to read all the comments......
    I actually enoy reading about people who aren't for homeschooling.....It's interesting to 'hear' why.

    I was particularly interested by the comment about homeschooling being illegal in Germany.....I'm not directly from there, but both sides of grandparents are. So I did some googling.....Apparently, Hitler was the one to ban homeschooling in the 1930s.....From what I could tell, this is why it's illegal.

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  131. www.we4bates.blogspot.com

    We're a preschool (so far) homeschooling family and love it! Check out our blog and click under "Homeschooling" on the right-hand-side on the bar for lots of great tips and ideas.

    Go for the homeschooling! It's worth it.

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  132. Dear Brittany

    I read the anonymous comment regarding your understanding of English grammar and have equal concerns. Maybe your talents lie elsewhere in, for example in photography.

    In a recent post you write:
    "look forward to it's rewards and challenges!" which is a bad grammatical error to make. "It's" is the shortened version of "it is". Alternatively, the possessive pronoun "its" meaning belonging to, is spelt without an apostrophe.

    Good luck
    Catherine

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  133. These corrections on your grammar are hilarious. Are they jokes? Do people really have nothing better to do than go through your old posts looking for grammatical mistakes?

    I am pretty sure there are bigger, more important things in life than whether or not I put a comma or an apostrophe in the wrong spot.

    April C. (misuse of commas and apostrophes intended)

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  134. The post is on homeschooling so the comment is subject related ie education. I'm not a regular reader and have no time to read many posts, but weaknesses in grammar stand out in the ones I do read. There is an upside: such comments may encourage Brittany to study her subjects further which I'm sure she's diligent about. She gives her all so would no doubt in education too.

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  135. Wow! You have received a lot of negativity! I just found your blog tonight, and read almost all of the comments. You simply asked some pretty simple questions and received a lot of unnecessary (and a little rude) answers.

    I attended government schools in elementary and then private school until the 8th grade when my mom decided to homeschool me. I am SO glad she did that for me. I did not have great experiences in the public or private school settings. I was a very stressed out kid and homeschooling took away that stress so I could focus on school.

    I am now a mommy to two little girls and will be homeschooling this fall. I do not know for sure what curriculum I will be using but I am thinking about using a mixture of Christian Light Publications, My Father's World and Math U See along with Lapbooking.

    I recently joined an online homeschooling community called The Homeschool Lounge. www.thehomeschoollounge.com

    There is a wealth of information on that site and a lot of different groups to join. The members are very friendly and most are willing to share their experiences.

    I've also recently learned of Lapbooking. There is a site (www.lapbooklessons.com) that explains all about Lapbooking and it even has a lot of the printables available. We did our very first Lapbook this week and my girls LOVED it.

    I hope these sites will be of help to you. I wish you all the best in your homeschool journey!

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  136. I think it is great! My nieces and nephew homeschoold all their live and thy tested in at college level in 6th grade! My daughter is homeschooled and I would not change a thing(except to be a stay at home Mom) I have to work a 40+ hours a week and if I can do it anyone can. Be consitant, be firm and be devoted, you will do a grand job and your children will be the better for it!
    Brenda L.

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  137. Isn't it funny how you specifically asked for no homeschool bashing, and got it anyway?

    Isn't it funny that you shouldn't teach your own children because you don't have perfect grammar, and that isn't required of any teacher at any school?

    Isn't it funny that it's the parent's fault if their homeschooled children are socially awkward, and if their publicly schooled kids are socially awkward its.......still the parents fault?

    Isn't it funny how people who have never seen, heard, raised,or loved your kids get to tell you how to raise them best?

    Isn't it funny that one man's definition of bad behavior is another mans definition of curious, joyful, interacting kids exploring their world?

    Isn't it funny?

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  138. Catherine-

    GET A LIFE. Really, are you kidding me? You say you have NO TIME to read posts but you have time to comment on someone's grammer? BTW- you for sure do not have the best writing abilities either!

    Ann (in my not so good grammer and spelling, on purpose) HA!

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  139. I think what is really going on is a bit of jealousy. I think most people would love to spend more time with their kids (like home schooling) but they are selfish and can't swing it. So, they send them to public school (which is far worse and they know it) and then judge to make themselves feel better. Sad. The truth is, the kids who are HS really are at the advantage and will do better in life!

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  140. I've always been a big believer in homeschool but it is certainly not for everyone!! There are advantages and disadvantages of both, definitely. Whether it's good or bad...well there are good and bad schools & teachers out there, and there are good and bad parents out there. It also depends on the child - some kids are incredibly social and need to be surrounded by people. That child might not do so well in homeschool. Other kids (like me and my brother) don't cope so well in large groups, and would benefit from one on one. Homeschool would have suited me well, though my mother might not have been the best teacher.

    As for your grammar, it's true there are some mistakes but if you are using curriculum and computer programs, that shouldn't be a problem because they will teach proper English anyway.

    The great thing is, you can try it out and if you feel one or all of the children would be better off in a school environment you can just enrol them in the next semester. It doesn't have to be a permanent decision!

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  141. I love how that last few commenters are the RUDEST!!!! and they are HS fans!!!!! How about you do your homework!!!!

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  142. It would be a beautiful world if we could post our comments without bashing those that are homeschooling AND also without bashing the dedicated individuals who have given their lives, time, and education (and much of their personal lives) to teach in the public schools. To those of you who have been "rude" about public school teachers, really, you need to learn a thing or two about the majority of them and just how much time, worry, enthusiasm, tears, love, and loyalty they give to their profession - to the children of others.

    If you choose to homeschool, make sure you're really ready to do it. Do your research. I am one of those public school educators. (I have a Bachelor's Degree in psychology and Political Science and a minor in English. I have a Master's Degree in Elementary Education. I also have close to 60 credits beyond my Master's Degree.) I can tell you that just following curriculum and textbooks is not enough to "teach." You really have to spend time extending your own knowledge beyond what you "teach" from the textbook or program to do a thorough job. In addition, you really have to know what comes next in order to really do a good job now. American History is a good example. An educator who just stays one chapter ahead of his/her students does the students a major disservice. If you don't know anything about World War II, you will do a disservice in teaching your children about World War I because you will not be able to focus on those things that your kids will later find out led to World War II. The brain strives to make connections and it is much easier to aquire and maintain knowledge when those connections are made. In order to do that, you really need to know your subject matter. (This is one of the reasons why schools start to have educators who specialize in subjects as early as 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. It's also why schools send educators to professional workshops, inservices, and graduate level classes.)

    I have no problem with homeschooling. I might even consider it myself one day depending on the schools, my children, their needs, and my own feelings at the time. But, one of my pet peeves is when simple parenting is considered part of school. Separate it. Having your children do chores or reading aloud with them at night is not school. It's parenting. I have friends who do not homeschool that do more to help their kids learn than some that do home school. Why? Because some parents call life at home "homeschooling" when it really isn't. Also, make a plan and stick with it. It's all too easy to cancel school or change plans because your kids (or you) don't feel like doing something that day. And, remember to work with organization, especially if it is possible that your kids return to public school one day. (I teach 6th grade and have seen that kids coming into public school for the first time from homeschooling have organizational skills that are behind those in the schools. (I'm not bashing - it's just my observation.)

    I give you a lot of credit for considering such a decision. Just remember that those who do it as a profession really have a lot of training, preparation, and experience (and many a "calling") behind each day of facilitating the learning environment. Teaching is much more than just choosing a program to follow. It really isn't for everyone and there are a lot of people, those in the profession and those who are calling themselves teachers as homeschoolers, who are not cut out for it.

    You seem quite enthusiastic about it, and I'm sure that will help you and your kids have a great experience, if that is what you do choose.

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  143. My nieces and nephews are home-schooled and they are the most socially awkward and socially isolated kids I know - despite being very involved with a home school group!

    My concern is that most home-schooled kids I know tend to roam free through the day (after studies) and they never really learn to follow a schedule or show responsibility to learn during the 6 hours of daily schooling that they should be receiving.

    I don't know how much teaching can be done when you have other children to care for. I could see it quickly turning into an opportunity for them to play more.

    Have you asked them how they feel about being taken away from their friends? Seeing my friends on a daily basis helped make me the person that I am today.

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  144. Hi Brittany,

    I have a friend who homeschools her kids, ages 6 & 9. My daughter, age 9, goes to a very good public school. The difference I see between her kids and mine is not so much academic as it is social. She is doing a wonderful job "textbook teaching" - she checks in with a district teacher once a week, has to turn in time sheets and her kids are passing tests - but I feel her kids are immature for their ages and definitley lacking in the social interaction part of it. When I see my daughter excited about taking part in the school play, or taking pride in receiving an award in front the entire school, or preparing to give a speech in front of her class, I realize these are important steps in learning and growing for any individual. These are things my friend's children will never get to do. I would not rule out homeschooling for us as an option (never say never!). However, at this time, I feel my daughter is getting an amazing education in our public school.
    Best of luck!
    Nicole

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  145. My biggest concern would probably be having 6 children so close in age combined with homeschooling.
    I cannot imagine doing all of the "mothering" of young children, developing curriculm choices for more than one, creating a schedule, etc. It's going to be a lot to carry. I'm not saying you will not be successful, it's just something to give serious thought to- Do I have the time to "be everything to everyone?".

    Kelly

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  146. We are completing our 13th yr of homeschooling. My boys are 16 and almost 14 and finishing up grades 11 and 9. I taught public and private school before I was married and the lack of discipline, respect and the ability to think were all reasons we prayed about homeschooling. Public schools force feed information and do not allow thoughts and ideas outside of what is "acceptable". Here in Florida, the only thing that matters is that the kids know how to answer the questions on the FCAT test. My friend's daughter is in 9th grade and she has actually gotten A's on homework papers that were handed in to the wrong teacher! They don't read and grade and critique-if something is turned in it gets an A!! If nothing is turned in they get a C because they don't want anyone to fail.

    My children have been reading since age 4. They are always encouraged to ask questions, formulate theories and research answers. They are taught to respect the authorities in their life. Failure to do so is met with discipline. This is done to mold them into productive, thinking members of society and not just robots that can only do what they are told, when they are told and spew the party line-whatever it is at the moment.

    Homeschooling is not easy, it is a calling and not a decision to be made lightly. To be a successful homeschooler you need to be organized, passionate about your children and their education and have a support system around you that believes in what you are doing. Otherwise it is even more difficult.

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  147. You're oldest son looks like a behavior problem, and your second one has that bully look as well. So let me guess..the school called them on their bad behavior, and you were offended, and are pulling them out of school because it's the "school's fault." Just a guess.

    Good luck homeschooling..you'll have lots more eyes and hands to watch our other kids whilst you sit on your laptop all day!

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  148. Hi Brittany,

    We are just getting rolling with the homeschool stuff but I've known I would do it before I got married 6 yrs ago. I have a 6 1/2 yr old boy, a 5 yr old girl and a 3 1/2 yr old girl. I think there are so many ways you could go. I think what helped me most was taking some time to look at some of the different approaches like unschooling or classical or whatever. It helped define what I wanted to teach. But I'm also open to pulling from whatever source will work for us. Notice that? Will work for US. I'm sending you a couple of links that I think you might like but I'm basing this on what I know about you from your blog ;) http://www.preschoolersandpeace.com/ and http://www.triviumpursuit.com/

    Again, I think there are tons of ways to go with cirriculum but I think the important thing is taking hold of our children's hearts!

    Lastly, I know lots of mom's who homeschool and it's hard! I hope you have a network where you can share ideas and books and get help. You can still do it even without it but, boy, it is wonderful to have it! In spite of the challenges all those moms are better for it and best of all so are the kids :)

    Rah, rah, rah - goooooo Brittany!

    I

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  149. Really, you are going to attack her children??!!!!

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  150. I am a credentialed teacher who loves kids and education. Although I personally do not feel inclined (at this time at least) to homeschool my daughter, I think that public, private or homeschool is a choice that must be made by each family and that there is no absolute right or wrong. No system is perfect as some of the above commenters seem to think. Some types of schooling work great for some and doesn't work well for others.
    One thing I learned in teaching is that it's important to reflect. Did the lesson I just taught go well? Do my students need more instruction? Do they get it? That's just as important to do in homeschooling as a regular classroom.

    I currently am not in a classroom but am tutoring privately as my little one is at home. Most of the students I work with are homeschooled and just need more guided instruction in one area. (I focus on math but also am teaching one student reading). As you look down the line, if your kids do need private tutoring in any area, it can get expensive. I charge $35/hr typically. It can cost more or less depending on what is being tutored and by whom. This comes more into play during high school as many parents struggle to teach upper-level math and sciences. Ultimately though, the Lord will provide when the time comes.

    I like using Saxon math with my students because it reviews what was previously learned and clearly teaches new concepts. I would encourage you to look at Saxon. It's not for everyone but I find it to be a successfull curriculum on building concepts and mastery of math. I've not have a lot of experience with Sonlight but we briefly looked at it in my educational classes and I know many homeschool families who use it. I know it is well put together and has some excellent literature.

    Best wishes as you invest in your kiddos education. No one way is perfect. We just have to do the best we can with what the Lord has given to us and pray that He will fill in the holes.

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  151. One little tip. I saw one comment that said it was hard separating the teacher/mother role and they resented that.

    Friends of ours homeschooled and every morning, the kids packed their lunch, got ready for school, packed their homework etc and walked out the front door saying, "Goodbye Mom." They walked around to the back door where they entered the schoolroom. From that moment on, they referred to their mother as "Mrs. B____" and they had a very structured schoolday. At the end of their schoolday, they would pack up and walk back to the front door. They'd then enter and say something along the lines of, "Mom, guess what we learned at school today!?" It was their way of seperating school and home and it worked for them. I thought it was a cute idea and would help in the younger years to show the difference between what's home time and school time.

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  152. Mr/Mrs Anon -

    You obviously have no clue about what this family is really about.

    I have known their family for years, as a social friend, and let me tell you how wrong you are. Their children are well mannered, polite, caring and a joy to be around. They are anything but behavioral problems. I work with children and have first hand knowledge that their children are truly wonderful, a sign of awesome parents!

    I wouldn't be surprised if her school aged boys are so far ahead in school that she is pulling them out so they can move forward quicker.

    You should really consider your words before you attack such a wonderful family that is a blessing to everyone around them.

    (we love you britt and fam)

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  153. Wow..people are crazy aren't they!? I say go for it girl! I say pray and look to God for answers! He will guide you...

    love and blessings from ga~erin

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  154. Hello! First of all, I HOPE you do nothing but laugh at all these ridiculous "anonymous" comments. Can I urge you to not even comment on the negativity? It might just spur these lurkers on, you know? Just take the good with the bad and only comment on the good. :)

    Anyway, I'm 23 and was homeschooled up until 7th grade. Let me give you some of the pros and cons from the view of a homeschooled student.

    First of all, let me urge any homeschooling parents to FIRST CONSIDER THE OPINION OF A HOMESCHOOLED STUDENT who actually knows firsthand what it's like. Some parents go to far in "knowing what's best" without ever having experienced it themselves.

    Pros:
    1) Homeschooling allows the parent to recognize the true and natural talents of the child and allow those talents to grow (versus in most school settings where children can be treated similarly). My mother recognized early my love of writing and really allowed me to write A LOT and challenge myself, while she still encouraged love of other subjects. By the time I went to public school in 7th grade, I was grades ahead of the other kids (in spelling, grammar, writing)! I couldn't believe it.

    2) Homeschooling allows flexibility and choice, of course! One great thing is that it allows older siblings to get in on the education of the younger ones. At age ten, I took part in helping my little sis to read! It was an educational experience for ME as well as her, which I think my mom intended.

    3) Homeschooling allows for more time for interactive outings that may teach more than what kids learn with their bums stuck in a desk! :)

    Cons:
    1) Homeschooling may not allow the child to stay current in regards to reading material, etc. (For example, when I went to college, I found there were many books I hadn't read that I probably should have...simply because my mom was not aware of what the other kids were doing.) Just consult with other parents to make sure your kids are on par, so when they leave home they'll be armed!

    2) Back when I was homeschooled, there was a distinct stereotype assigned to homeschooling families. Fight it all you want, but at the end of the day make sure your children are receiving adequate social interaction (whether through a homeschooling program, church, playgroup, etc.). In many ways, I feel I was behind the social curve because of not getting that daily interaction. In other ways, homeschooled children can be ahead of the curve if presented with the right opportunities to balance out school at home.

    ***Keep in mind that I was homeschooled in the 90s, so things have changed, but I think the general rules apply! :) There are plenty more pros and cons, but I wanted to give you mine...from the perspective of a former student. :)

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  155. Hi Brittany,
    My mom has homeschooled my family since my oldest brother(whos 24 now)was old enought to start. There's now three of us who have graduated from either high school and/or college and and two who just started high school this year. We all loved being homeschooled and are so thankful our parents choose to do it! Of course there is, just like anything in life, good days and bad days but the good definatly outweigh the bad!!

    Because I haven't actually homeschooled others(not yet atlest, I plan on homeschooling when I have my own family!)I don't think I should try to give you all sorts of advice when there's lots of more experienced people out there! One thing I would recommend though, is to find/join a homeschool group near where you live or have a good group of homeschooling families around you.I don't know if you know many homeschooolers, but being "in the same boat" with others can be so encouraging for both the mom's and the children...not to mention fun! Plus you can always through it out there when people ask the inevitable "what about socialization??" question. I hope everything goes well for you and I can't wiat to see the pictures that I know will be coming nce you start!

    One more thing: don't believe the spellchecker when it tries to tell you that "homeschool" is two words 'cause its really not! ;)

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  156. I just found your blog yesterday actually. I've been homeschooling my oldest daughter for 2 years now (k-1). We've used the K-12 program. It's an online school through the public school system. The nice thing about it is that the curriculum is excellent. The lesson plans are all made out for you (dummy proof, as I like to call it). Older children can practically school themselves using the computer. AND, it's completely free (minus paper supplies). The cons are that it's not very flexible. You can't just decide you don't want to do a particular lesson. In K there were a lot of fairy tales we had to read, most of which I felt were extremely inappropriate for my 6 y/o. While you can fudge on things a bit (trying a milder version, which can be hard, if not impossible to find for some of them), they frown on you replacing that story with a different one. If you have a different science or art project you want to do, that's on your own time. If your kids get sick, and you can't homeschool for a week, hopefully you won't get behind.

    For us, this has not been a good program. While I appreciate certain aspects, I also feel hindered in many other areas.

    Next year, we will be using Five in a Row for the twins for Kindergarten. I'm also going to purchase Explode the Code for Phonics (I can use it with all 3 girls), and I'm undecided for Math.

    For my oldest daughter, I'm not sure. I'm looking at catalogs from A Beka, Sonlight, My Father's World, and another one.

    My goal is to do most of the Science, History, Art and such as group classes for all 3 girls. Math and Phonics will be separate. Language will also probably be separate, but I haven't decided for sure yet.

    Be sure that you build chore time and break time into your day as well. With a good schedule in place, you can totally make it work!

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  157. I just want to encourage you to seek God in your homeschooling decision.

    My son will graduate at the end of this month and he is homeschooled.

    The first year is the hardest but it gets easier.

    I am looking forward to hearing about your year:~)

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  158. I never thought I would be a homeschooling mom. Why? Well that's simple, my former career was centered around local school districts. Over the years I have worked as a teacher, counselor and even a principal. My son even attended kindergarten in a public school before we made the leap into homeschooling.

    Our approach to homeschooling is different from many other families. We focus on academics and keep religion separate. There is a growing number of families who choose to homeschool from a secular point of view.

    Our objectives for learning exceed what is expected by the state. This allows our children to be exposed to a wider world of learning compared to those in public school.

    Not all families should homeschool. Parents need to be aware of their limitations. You have to be willing to seek out learning opportunities and resources for your children. Some parents just are not up for the task.

    When you choose to homeschool, you are making a huge commitment. I cringe when I hear people say they have decided to homeschool and then say they need to find out how. I believe parents need to research the commitment of homeschooling before making the leap.

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  159. I have not read all of the above comments (just a few) but wanted to add my two cents. As a former public and private school teacher, I can tell you that homeschooling has been the very best thing that ever happened to us as a family. We learn so much and have a wonderful time doing it. Twelve years now and still going strong! Loving every minute of it.Good luck to you!

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  160. Hey!! I read through some of the comments and really dont like the tone in some of them.
    Whose grammar is perfect??? (i am german so dont judge mine now ;)
    And what does her grammar have to do with her abbilities of doing this??? NOTHING!! I dont know much about homeschooling but I know there is a curriculum which you stick to. I am sure there are work sheets and stuff like that so I dont understand why some ppl say she shouldnt do it bc of her grammar!
    I dont have kids yet but I really dont see anything bad about homeschooling. In Germany it's nothing common to homeschool but I do know some ppl in the states who went through a couple of years of that. I think the most important thing will be to also take your kids to other places where they can socialize with other kids not just siblings. But I am sure that will not be a problem to do. You could take them to the park, swimming or to a childrens museum. You could have friends over etc.
    I really like the idea of homeschooling but I also think a school is good to bc of the contact to other kids. That is somethign very important especially at the beginning, so just make sure they get enough of that.
    I know you can do it so I dont really want to wish you good luck!! :)

    Have fun!!!!

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  161. I was home schooled my entire life (never set foot in a classroom until my 20s, when I took some college courses). I have never regretted my parent's decision to homeschool, can't say how much I appreciated the sacrifice my mother made to spend her days at home teaching my brother & I. It is something that we will definitely do with our children. I think though, that the thing I will do differently than my parents, is spend more time with "experience based learning"- ie: rather than learning math strictly from a math book, involve the children in the family business, or grocery shopping...or something that they're interested in & will be a rich learning experience. Blessings on you as you begin the wonderful, exhausting, exhilerating journey with your children this coming school year! :)

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  162. We are going BACK to homeschooling. I homeschooled full-time until I got very ill and we let our children go to public school. Not anymore! The teachers have challenged us and told us it's Ok for the kids to challenge our authority and ask why. They were very well-behaved prior to them going to public school and now their behaviors are not honoring and they are mouthy and sassy. When we teach our children at home we teach them the morals that we have and want them to learn. And NO! There are NO religious freedoms for Christians in the public school. They tolerate all other religions, but the true Jesus they reject and we get persecuted over. Homeschooling is a way of life and no, I don't believe doing chores and reading at night is ALL homeschooling is about. My children were ahead one grade each when they entered the public school and they put them in their age-appropriate grades and they are bored beyond belief. I am not boasting, but when someone is serious about homeschooling the children learn faster and are generally ahead. As far as the social end of it. We have many friends at church and my children have plenty of play time with others.

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  163. Hope I can encourage you a bit. :)
    I'm a 25 year ols stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to 7. I married young also, and we have 6 y/o id. girl triplets. I can relate to your posts! ;)
    I grew up in public school, and flew through in gifted programs with straight A's. That said, I'm now learning things teaching grade 4 english. :P
    We homeschooled our oldest daughter for a year and then put her in school. She was bored, and had already done most of the work in her previous year at home. Needless to say, we didn't send her back the next year. We felt that God was calling us to homeschool. Three years later we're loving it more than ever. My five oldest are all homeschooled now, and all a year ahead.
    I didn't go to college (except for hairstyling) and I am far from "knowing it all" but my kids aren't lacking at all. Anything I can't teach off hand, I learn, and then teach. Being able to read is a wonderful gift! ;)
    As far as extra stuff... my girls all play piano (I teach them) and one takes vioin lessons from a lady at our church. They don't lack social skills AT ALL. Ask anyone who starts a conversation with them...
    You can do it! It's so unbelievably rewarding. I figure, ultimately, I am responsible for the way my children turn out. So I'm taking responsibility.
    I'll be praying for your family!
    Blessings,
    Jaclyn

    P.S I didn't go back and check spelling or grammar either... forgive me. :P

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  164. I didn't read through all of the comments, so someone may have mentioned this already... there is a great blog called preschoolersandpeace.org The woman has 8 children and has always had a preschooler at home while homeschooling her older kids. Having little ones around and homeschooling has it's challenges, but so many rewards too. Anyway, she has great resources and has recently been doing posts on her favorite curriculum on Mondays. It has been very insightful. I have 2 girls that I homeschool and 2 little boys that we love on while getting it all done. School might do a fine job preparing our kids for "the world". Really, I don't want to prepare them for the world. I want to prepare them for eternity with Christ. Until that time, I want them to have the skills they need to love and interact with people having a Biblical worldview. You can certainly do this in the few precious hours that you have with them after school. However, if God is calling you to homeschool, it gives you that much more time to interact with and shepherd them in this way.

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  165. A note on socialization- homeschool kids can be different. Is that such a bad thing? Christians are different. Vegetarians are different. Green living is different. Do we really want to embrace and imitate everything everyone else is doing? There are AMPLE opportunities to socialize your children in positive ways however you school them. You want them to perform in front of a group? Try singing for the church, putting on a neighborhood play, giving a speech to your homeschool group. Work well in groups? Sports, Sunday school, Library story-time, etc. With the size of your family- they already know what team work really means! :)

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  166. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  167. Someone else said

    "I do have a comment for you that I hope you will take as constructive criticism and not as "bashing". I BEG you to reconsider your choice in this decision. I have been reading your blog for over a year (and I know you socially) and I have to point out that there are spelling, syntax, grammatical, and usage errors in 99% of your posts. Quite frankly, you are not a good speller and don't seem to have a strong grip on grammar. I know this is *just* a blog, and I REALLY don't mean it in a hurtful way, but I just wanted to mention it for your consideration."

    Certainly not to bash them or anything, but my mom never taught any of us spelling or grammar, and my older brother and I both have (mostly) perfect grammar and spelling. Just from reading all the time and stopping to think before we put the apostrophe or comma.

    Rebekah

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  168. I got to your blog from Mckmama's and I'm so glad I did! My daughter will be starting kindergarten in the fall and I have really been struggling with the decision to homeschool her or send her to public school. I also have 2 younger boys. I am gaining insight from all of the comments! Thank you!

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  169. OMG just read the comment that Grayson has a behavior problem and Vance looks like a bully?? I don't know you, never met you, but I know you described Grayson as an incredibly kind and helpful big brother, hardly a problem child. I don't see how anyone can judge these kids by their photos!! I always thought Vance looked like a sweetie!
    That's really low to insult 8 and 6 year old children.

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  170. Not sure if you're still looking at comments from here....

    but we are a homeschooling family of 3 boys. My oldest boy is only 5 so next year will be our first year with a 'curriculum'. We value the Charlotte Mason Philosophy of teaching, you can google it to read more. It's centered on learning from literature instead of textbooks, and values the child's natural discovery to learn. We will be using Five In A Row as our core curriculum. I highly recommend this to you because it's multi-level for all your children, even the wee little ones. Then I'm using Math-U-See for my kinder's formal Math and Alpha Phonics for his kinder formal Reading.

    I just did a short series on Homeschooling at my blog.

    Also, check out every book you can find on homeschooling at the library. I did that last summer and was amazed at how little I really knew about homeschooling and all the beauty it could become for our family. It challenges me in great ways to vision purpose for us.

    Good Luck!

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  171. Hey Brittany!
    I am just a lurker here but felt like I needed to comment :) I have 3 kiddos - 6, 4 and 18 months. I send my oldest to an awesome public school - she is almost done with 1st grade (WOW!)
    From reading your BLOG it is obvious you are a very energetic and organized momma :) AND your kids MUST be well behaved to let you get so much done :) {I can't even check my email daily without little people hanging on me and asking me when I'm going to be done}
    I am not about bashing ANYONE about their choices as long as it is not hurting anyone! I was curious as to why you want to homeschool? What was your deciding factor? You of course don't have to share :) but I bet it would help people understand better. And if you have stated your reason elsewhere sorry I missed it :) Now I just want to state something I feel is imperative - the things taught to kids BEFORE they even start school - those formative years! Time for my "rose-colored-glasses" :) My 6 year old is the youngest in her 1st grade class, reading AND comprehending at a 5th grade level, writing short stories which get her awards AND placed in an advanced program, as well as math well beyond her years. Was she taught all of this IN school? Of course not!! Proud to say it all started at home :):) AND, being her biggest advocate AND biggest fan :) I work with the school to bring her strengths to their attention! One of the bonuses about being in a school with other children AND adults is she gets to share her talents her awards and her ups-and-downs with others :) Then come home to her family and get more "KUDOS" hee hee :) Her teachers and even her principal have all comented to me that it all starts at home and that it is obvious I am doing an amazing job! What she is being supplemented with in school - education AND social - allows me time to focus on my other 2 kids so they can have the same headstart their big sister had, ya know? That being said, I am sure there are families out there like yours that can be successful doing IT ALL! Just remember to keep an OPEN MIND! Good luck! I'll be "lurking"... :) OH and I wanted to say I LOVE your photographs! Very talented photographer!!!

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  172. We do not homeschool our children but I have a friend who does and I ADMIRE her greatly. She is well "qualified" to teach her children.

    Nor do we send our children to public school. Our experiences with the public school have been nothing short of great, as far as quality of teachers and the care that they provided for our children. My youngest daughter has had nothing short of fabulous teachers and were it to ever be a need I would not hesitate to send them back to their former elementary school.

    That being said my youngest daughter was born with verbal apraxia and did not speak until she was well into her 4th year (I think she had a vocabulary of, maybe, 20 understandable words). We had not planned to send her to Kindergarten when we did but, with much prompting from her SLP, who thought that stimulation would help her develop her skills, sent her while she was still 4 (she is a late year baby).

    Through her years of schooling we have constantly been told "she is too ready for the next grade to stay in this one but she will probably fail the next." This was not an attack from the teachers by any means. We were always pleased with the staff in how they encouraged her for her determination to not let anything stop her from learning.

    All this "background" info just to say that we chose to put our youngest 2 kids into a private Christian school that works through a PACE system called Accelerated Christian Education. The kids do diagnostic testing to see at what level their skills lie and they do their work with a teacher their to help them on an individual basis, as needed. The kids need to grasp 90% of the book in order for it to be considered a pass instead of being in a system that is now being over-run with humanism and "what will it do to so-and-so's self-esteem if he doesn't pass". Where I am from their are thinking that it is too detrimental to fail kids and will push them through the system with the child missing key and foundational knowledge.

    The kids are learning social skills that may or may not be missed with homeschooling (my knowledge of that is extremely limited). My 15-year old daughter got a job to pay her own tuition to be in this school because she was sick of her high school that was full of on-going drug deals and other crimes on a daily basis and she didn't feel she wanted to be forced to be subjected to that.

    Again, all this to say, that this is what works for our family and yes, it is expensive but, yes, it is so worth it for our children.

    Our children are receiving their education based on biblical teachings; they are learning to pray properly, to submit to authority respectfully, to budget money properly and to not fall into the system that feeds self and produces a lifestyle that leads to debt (among many other things). As a Christian parent, there is nothing more wonderful than seeing your children being able to pray or to get prayer when they are feeling unwell or to watch the school's volleyball team come together before each game to pray, to thank God and to give Him praises. (This is what we find works best for our children. How many 15 year olds do you know who would pay their own tuition, not because they have to but because it means so much to them to go to that specific school?) Just for the record for any critics, my 2 daughters have averages of 90.9% and 98.7%.

    Brittany, if you feel you are able to dedicate the time to your children to homeschool them and it is a system that they thrive in and you are able to provide that discipline for them then go for it. You know your own limitations, strengths and weaknesses and you will be able to tell if you are helping or hindering.

    My advice to you is to take all of these suggestions the pros and the cons and weigh them with an open perspective to see if homeschooling is something you can fathom doing and doing well. However, I also suggest to you that you ignore those comments that come laced with a critical spirit and a, seemingly, hidden agenda (those that spew anger and resentment towards you personally).

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  173. Oops, I think I may be corrected for my spelling/grammar. I used a 'their' instead of 'there' & a 'their' instead of a 'they' I am sure other mistakes but it will be ok...sometimes my fingers type faster than the thoughts are being formulated and structured.

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  174. I too was homeschooled my entire schooling years. I now homeschool my two oldest children age 7 and 5. And most days I love it. :)

    Our days are pretty laid back. We do seat work while the baby takes her naps. Mornings are usually Bible, math, writing and reading during this time. Afternoons are for science, history, and literature (read-alouds that stimulate the imagination and/or apply to what we are learning in history and science). Art normally fits into the lunch period. I offer lots of suggestions and different mediums for them and try to have a couple organized ideas a week. That is my "school time" schedule, but I don't miss other learning opportunities or the chance to mix school with life. One of my HS friends has a saying I love. "Life is school. Sometimes school happens at a desk." I know this style doesn't work for everyone or for an unlimited amount of time, but for the early years it can be great.

    Yes, we belong to a support group. We try to have at least one get together a month for the kids (craft day, park day, field trips etc) and have one Mom's Night Out for us. The Mom's Night Out is the biggest draw to our group. We have a few hours of face to face time with other Mom's who "get" what we're doing. It's a huge blessing to us. If you do decide to homeschool find good homeschooling mom support. I can't imagine not having it.

    Homeschooling has not been terribly expensive for us($300 per year). I bought my reading program on ebay. I lean heavily on Library books as well. But the biggest $ saver for me is used books and finding worksheets online. Check your state's homeschool organization and see when their convention is. I always look at the used books first and then buy new what I can't find used.

    I saw one of your other commenters said to check out HSLDA. I just wanted to second that.

    Organization is tricky for me. I use my dining room as both dining and school. One half table, one half school area. I use a book shelf with closed storage underneath. In the close area I put the majority of my school supplies, extras that go with curriculum (tapes, wall hangings), and educational games. On the shelves, I keep out the books we use and reference books. I have a few file boxes to keep the paper mess that always is lurking in order. It's not perfect, but for now, it works.

    Curriculum can be hard. My best advice, find someone who knows what they're doing (and you respect) and don't buy too much the first few years. It's hard to resist (I keep thinking that my children's entire education is on the line!), but you probably will need less than you think you do. A few of my favorites are Sing, Spell, Read and Write. Super fun, super easy! I love Math-U-See for my very hands on son, but Saxon Math is also excellent. I wouldn't use ABecca overall, but I just bought one of their grammar books and it looks great. (I've heard up through third grade). Obviously, I have an eclectic style and for some "boxed" curriculum sets work great. It all depends on your style.

    I could go on and on about this (obviously) but I'll stop for now. :) I've got some stuff on my blog if you want to check it out or like everyone else has said, google will get you more than you could possibly every need.

    Whatever decision you make, I pray God will continue to bless your family.

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  175. After reading all the comments I noticed all the pro hs talk constantly about worksheets and textbooks. There is absolutely NO research or evidence to support meaningless worksheets help children learn. I am a part time teacher in Canada and this is considered very out of date teaching. The schools here have all moved (or are in the process of moving) into Inquiry based models. Everything is very real world, writing/reading for a purposeful audience, how math works in the real world etc. I have not given my early years class a worksheet in years! That is the problem with HS parents they are not TRAINED in educational methodologies. My advice, take your kids to your neignborhood school. You can't still supplement at home in the evenings and weekends all the things you are passionate about - that's what I do!

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  176. a home schooler5/7/09, 5:35 PM

    Hi, my name is Morgan, I am 16 years old and I have been home-schooled my whole life. I LOVE it!!! I have 5 younger siblings ages 1, 5, 7, 10, and 13. I have heard people ask my mom the "social skills" question a lot, and as far as I know me and my siblings have wonderfull social skills. In fact, it is my oppinion that hs have MORE social skills than public schoolers because they interact more with children and adults of all ages, not just a bunch of kids in their own age group.

    BTW I have been taking piano lessons for 9 years and I plan on studying music in college.

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  177. a homeschooler5/7/09, 7:25 PM

    Hi, my name is morgan, I am 16. I have been homeschooled my whole life, and I LOVE it!!! I have 5 younger siblings ages 1, 5, 7, 10, and 13.
    over the years I have heard lots of people ask my mom the "social skills" question. As far as I Know me and my siblings have wonderfull social skills. In fact it is my oppinion that hs have the same/more social skills than public-schoolers, because they are interacting more with children and adults of all ages and not just with kids of their own age group.

    I have been taking piano lessons for 9 years now, and I plan on majoring in music in college.

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  178. Hi brittany,

    i come here often and read and occassionally comment. i have been aware you are asking for comments on homeschooling, but chose not to,mainly to see what others would say.
    I knew most people would be one of 3 ways, totally pro with their reasons why, or totally con with their reasons why not, and lastly curious.

    I am 26 (will be 27 this month) and i was homeschooled from 5th grade on and hubby was homeschooled from 7th grade on. we are wach the oldest of many chldren and the experience was different for all of them.

    We do homeschool our son right now, but i am not positive we always will. i have so many things to say and lots of advice.

    if you are interested, please feel free to email me: lizlovey@hotmail.com
    if not, i completely understand, i jsut didn't want to type it all out on here.

    the only thign i will say is that jsut as in raising your children, deciding how to live, where to live, how to eat what to do in your life, it must be something you and your husband decide together in the interest of your family. you won't go wrong.

    best of luck, and hope to hear from you!

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  179. It has been interesting for me to read through all of these comments over the past several days. You have gotten lots of good advice/thoughts/ideas.

    Our daughter will be in kindergarten this coming school year, so this past year we have really been researching and looking at all of the options around us. So many choices: homeschool, private, public, charter, immersion...

    I do not think that any one school is "right." You have obviously sought the Lord on this and are planning to do what He ultimately leads you to do. That's the way to go! What's right for you may not be right for someone else.

    We seriously considered homeschool as well. We have instead decided to send her to a Spanish Immersion school, but I certainly learned a lot about homeschool while I was considering it. I am an educator myself and have experience with the A Beka curriculum (which was used in a Christian school). I highly recommend it for reading in the early years. Their phonics program is excellent. I also HIGHLY recommend reading the book "The Well Trained Mind." It is about educating your children at home in a Classical way. I won't go in to much detail because you can easily look these things up. Only one other person I believe mentioned Charlotte Mason. Her model of education is what I would choose if I were to educate at home. She has some really good thorough book lists to follow as well. Also, Core Knowledge is something you may be interested in researching.

    Best wishes to you!

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  180. Hi there, I'm Bethany. I just happened across your blog the other day and was so excited to find a fellow Mama of boys (and now girl twins!!!!!!).

    Anyway, I have always loved the idea of homeschooling because of the uniqueness and flexibility, so much so that we tried it a year and a half ago. I made it for about 4 weeks- clearly it just was not the right time for us (we were focused on bringing home our only daughter from Guatemala, and it was an agonizing two year process); and the two oldest boys REALLY missed their friends. BUT I still want to try it again when God lets us know it's time. I dream of taking huge road trips across this great nation while we're actually learning about its history, the states, etc.

    I would add- organization and commitment to schedule were crucial. And so were breaks for Mama!! Wishing you the best in your endeavors!! :)

    Stop by and visit our family blog when you get a moment- ha! www.princesamakessix.blogspot.com

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  181. I am one of 4 daughters who were home schooled during our early years. My mom used to be a kindergarten teacher turned midwife and my dad at the time was an ER doctor, so I think the flexibility of it all worked well at the time. That and I think my parents really enjoyed teaching us. My twin sister and I were home schooled through 2nd grade, and I think out of the 4 of us I was really the one who "pushed" to go to school. We were all involved in sports (swimming, soccer, running, gymnastics) and we all had musical instrument lessons (piano, flute, violin, violin) so we did "outings" and through our sports got a lot of socialization, but I remember wanting more. The answer for all of us came in a small private school where we were all placed a grade ahead, and then we went to public high school, where 2 of the 4 of us were taking math classes 2 grades ahead. The final result is 1 PhD, 2 masters degrees, and one who hasnt done anything since high school.
    I think homeschooling is different for everyone, it really set up a great foundation for all of us, and I have fond memories of reading with both my mom and my dad through the ladybird series.
    We had no difficulties entering school when we went to the private school, I think because it was still very small (I think the biggest class I was ever in was 13 kids, and the smallest was 6) but when it was time to go to high school, the socialization we had received through sports turned out to be awesome. I guess making sure there is social interaction with different kids, not just the other homeschool kids...I think should be very high on the list.
    Best of luck!

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  182. I just decided to homeschool this year too. My oldest, Calahan, has sort of fallen through the cracks. Between bullying and feeling "unsafe" and "uncomfortable" there .. and how can you learn when you aren't comfortable... and so we decided to pull him out for 8th Grade and do it at home, give it a chance, and see if it is what he needs. My 7 year old Noah, is also getting homeschooled over the summer to try to help him catch up. He wants to learn to read(at the end of 1st Grade, you'd think he would) but he just hasn't gotten it. So we're going to work on all that, his math, and a lot more this summer. We're looking forward to it all :)

    I have a homeschooling blog that I've started ... it is ..
    http://4brothersranch.blogspot.com
    and Calahan has just started up his own blog, part of his school work.

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  183. Delurking to offer my thoughts on homeschooling. I remember the day I boldly told my then-homeschooling friend I would never homeschool my kids. Now, 7 years later, we're a week away from finishing our 5th year. My kids are 10, 7, 4 and 10 months. And I'm so glad God led us down this path.

    To answer a few of your questions, we use My Father's World. We are able to do Bible, History, Music Appreciation and Art together. I work one-on-one for Math (we use Saxon) and Language Arts. Yes, we do participate in activities outside our home, mostly with our homeschool group--field trips, choir, living history opportunities, etc. And we wouldn't survive without our awesome library system! We will spend about $1200 this year on curriculum and supplies, but many of our books are a first-time investment. Beginning the following year, we will start our history cycle back over with books we purchased 5 years ago. Hubby helps with science experiments, but I do most of the teaching. We usually start school by 9:00 and are finished for the day by 2:00, which includes piano practice. And we have an area of the house (in the basement) devoted to homeschooling where we keep all of our books and supplies.

    We started homeschooling because our oldest daughter was reading at a 4th grade level by the time she would have been allowed (in our state) to start kindergarten. We wanted to challenge her desire to read everything and finally realized we had prepared her to be bored in 1st grade as well. So we kept her home the next year, too and have never looked back. Our second daughter has struggled to learn to read, but excels in math. It took two years, but with lots of one-on-one time and patient repetition, she finally "got" it (reading) and is now devouring every American Girl book she can get her hands on. When her reading was still in its formative stages (K level) she was doing math at the 2nd grade level. Now my 4yo son is starting to put letter sounds together. He's showing us he's almost ready to learn to read. That's one of the great things about HS--we know where our children are and how to challenge them at their level, not at whatever grade level they happen to be in at the time.

    A few other advantages: we get to spend evenings as a family, not around the table trying to get everyone's homework done; we get to go on vacation in September--the greatest month of the year (IMO); and my kids are each other's best friends (which, to me, is the greatest advantage of all.)

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  184. I just had to laugh at one of the above commentators who is a teacher herself and put down home schooling... yet can't manage to write a paragraph without several grammatical and spelling errors. Ha!

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  185. I don't know if you still WANT any more comments on this blog, but here's my abreviated 2 cents.

    My hub was homeschooled all the way through. I, on the otherhand, was an honor's student all the way through State University. Yet, HE remembers everything he learned because he was taught to love learning. I was taught to get the good grade.

    The difference is everything.

    I just finished my 3rd year of homeschooling and am just feeling like I've found my niche.

    My advice? don't do a co-op right away. My experienced homeschooling mom friends suggested this to me, saying that it's best to wait until you get a strong feel for what's best for YOUR family before jumping into that extra commitment.

    My schedule? That's a funny thing. I'm a very organized person and had it allllll planned out at the beginning of the year. but when push came to shove, a lot of days we just had to wing it. BUT that's the beauty of homeschooling. Bottom line, I don't want to recreate public school atmosphere in my home.

    Curriculum: research, research, research. Don't pay lots of money for something just because someone else says it works for them. And with so many little ones, I like to have things that are already planned out for me at this point.

    Singapore Math: I've heard it's really good for students gifted in math.

    Creative Thinking Co: Just look into that one. I found it this year and really am excited about using it next year!

    The Story of the World: can work for students of different ages. has storybook feel. with lots of activities. Wanna come and mummify a chicken with me? *grin* I have a feeling I'm going to need emotional support on that day.

    Apologia Science.

    There's so much to say, but I'll spare you. You're welcome. But if you want to pick someone's brain (I warn you...it could be scary), then feel free to email me.

    GvnJCmyALL at aol dot com

    ...homeschooling my girls hasn't always been easy, but it has been a God-send.

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  186. Woweee. You've got a load of comments. I'm also starting the homeschool journey this fall with kindergarten. My daughter is very social, so for her sake I'm missing the "friends" time for her. But guess what? She has two younger brothers that adore her, several friends that also homeschool, Sunday School, Awana, and a community that welcomes homeschoolers. My background - my mom (a certified teacher) saw that I was a very shy preschooler and decided to "buck the system" in the early 80's to homeschool me. She had never even heard of it, but felt God's leading. She got so much flak from the principal at the Christian school my sister attended! She homeschooled me for K, then I went to private school 1st-3rd grades, homeschooled 5th-8th, and went to public high school. Each segment was just right for me, socially speaking. As far as academics, we used a variety of books and curriculum and went to the library frequently. Yes, I was a bit awkward in junior high and early high school, but really? who isn't. I had the chance to really focus on my interests (music) and read to my heart's content. Reading opens the door to a number of disciplines, plus kids "catch" spelling, grammar, word usage, and sentence structure in a way that a classroom talking head never will. My plan for this fall - probably Atelier Arts and Sonlight, with lots of library, zoo, and science museum visits. Oh yeah, and church, Awana, grandparents, and cousins to help "socialize" my little ones. How to organize materials? Hmmm, time to clean out the bookshelves overflowing with my lifetime accumulation. I like to suggestion about the rubbermaid container. Can't wait to see how your journey goes!

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  187. Oh yes, forgot to add. I graduated from public high school with honors, having participated in many music competitions and concerts, and went on to a highly rated Christian music conservatory. Thank you to my mom for shuttling me around to violin and piano lessons during all those school years!

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  188. Valley Mom - As one of the teachers who commented and may be the "herself" that you speak of, I want to comment and remind you that not all "misprints" are actually errors in grammar or spelling or otherwise. Sometimes, a computer keyboard has "sticky keys" that don't always show up and a letter may be unintentionally left out of a word. Sometimes typos happen. Sometimes, a brain that is overwhelmed with a ridiculously large amount of information has synaptic misfirings and doesn't choose the write word or phrase. Sometimes, after a long hard day of working with other people's children, one just lets her (or his) thinking go and lets the random stream of consciousness take over to just get ideas out. Sometimes, one takes a blog comment to be much less formal, than say a PhD dissertation and just lets the thoughts flow without thinking about it. Sometimes, one may even use a "..." where it doesn't belong. My point is why would you again attack someone for commenting, for offering an intelligent and educated opinion based on his (or her) own experiences. (I, personally commented on how I might even homeschool children of my own.) I have a lot of experience with homeschooling friends and family members and wanted to give another perspective. Everyone is entitled to voice an opinion. But, this "bashing" is so ridiculous. At least one poster was quick to assume that Brittany would be incapable of homeschooling because of "errors" on a blog. Another poster questioned a teacher's "errors" in a post. This is getting ridiculous. Sometimes mistakes are just that - mistakes or technologically related or just not the most important thing on one's mind at the moment.

    "Let he (or she) who has not sinned cast the first stone."

    I enjoy reading blogs and seeing the intelligent and constructive conversations that can take place. But, when people become quick to judge and assume, it makes me really hate the ignorance in this world.

    Brittany, good luck with whatever you choose. I'm sure that your children will be fine no matter what. :)

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  189. I found this AMAZING new curriculum for this upcoming year. I have been homeschooling for three years now, but I have some amazing moms who mentor me who have homeschooled for 30 years. They have been so amazing in helping me find the right path for my son. This new curriculum is called Heart of Dakota and it is such a great program. You can use it to teach your whole family and still cater the basics at the individual level. I highly recommend you looking at it. You will get TONS of negative imput for homeschooling but it is more rewarding every year for me. I am so glad that I made the choice to do it. I will pray for you. The first couple of years are challenging but it really does get easier and easier every year.
    The website for the curriculum is www.heartofdakota.com.
    Lots of prayers coming your way!!

    Portia

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  190. Ok last post from me (cheers I guess), but just to counter the comment "Get a life". I do have a life. He's 2 years old and we've been fighting for it for 2 years with 10 major surgeries and the 6 years before to bring him here. Period. I'm not sure the author of this blog (Brittany) would be happy about bashing a special needs mum for getting any more of a life than that which she fought and begged God for daily.

    I also don't necessarily feel that people intend to hurt with their comments; nor would they necessarily be jealous. Brittany indeed has a blessed life and children, but we are all blessed in our own ways and it doesn't do to wish to follow or emulate another's. But then again, I really don't wish to speak for anyone else.

    I've had a good education, have a masters and was a professional writer in the press, but haven't purported to be a great writer.

    Once again, I'll reiterate that I'm not a big READER of this blog, BUT, but came upon it recently and do enjoy it for the beautiful photography and thus happened upon this home schooling post because education is of great interest to me. That's your explanation. Please don't bash. All of the blogs I read are related to special needs kids like my own with multiple disabilities and who need help. I'm just expressing concern about literacy and if there cannot be a balance of opinion here, then I'll step out gracefully.

    I can't reply directly to those who've written because they wrote anonymously. I came here in good humour through another link and some light entertainment, not to bash or get bash. Anyway, a lady always knows when to leave. Let's not fill up Brittany's lovely blog with any more of this nonsense.

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  191. I LOVE that the lady that criticised your spelling/grammar then said "spelt!" Um, that's not a word...Perhaps you mean spelled? I have no experience w/homeschooling, but wish you and your family the best of luck.

    p.s. you used "it's" the right way, too. I was an english major;)

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  192. So, is your head about to explode now? ;)

    I have to be honest, my heart grieves for you. You were vunerable enough to ask a bunch of strangers for their advice, and were subsequentally *hit* with a fury of opinions about your children, your intent, and your capabilities. stated as informed facts.

    Bottom line. YOU are your hub are the ones that God entrusted to raise these adults-in-training. so ask HIM.

    Worse case scenerio, you try it for a year. and then decide: "Nope. not for us." What was lost? Nothing.

    There are lots of things I could share about how we do homeschooling. But...honestly, it changes every year, as my children mature, and as our life circumstances change/evolve. As will the feel of your homeschool.

    Don't be afraid of "failing". Even public school teachers take the first couple of years to find their niche. There IS a learning curve. and if you set yourself up against the naysayers, trying to prove to the world that you can do it, and do it "perfectly"...I fear you'll burnout before you even have a chance to find the place of JOY that homeschooling can offer.

    Here are some articles that have encouraged me. If you have the time to read them, I hope they'll help to give you a more complete view of education in general.

    christin
    http://meandering-thru.blogspot.com



    http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/welleducated.html


    http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/contentbe/dispatch/2007/01/05/20070105-F1-04.html


    http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html


    http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/00000068.asp

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  193. Okay, so I see that you have almost 200 comments on this post and you probably don't need my opinion. But I just wanted to encourage you to go forward if this is where God is leading you. We are a homeschooling family with four kiddos. One in 4th grade, a kindergartener, a preschooler, and a nine month old. Homeschooling with babies around is difficult, but it can be done. Rainbow Resource is a great place to get curriculum. Also keep in mind that children learn differently, and you have to be able to adapt. We have the kids involved in music lessons and sports on the side. nothing too expensive, but something to get them out more. We are also very active in our church, so I don't worry about the socializing aspect. Whatever anyone else thinks, you have to do what's best for your family. We've found that this works best for us, but it's not for everyone. I wish you the best with this. I'll say a prayer for you. Your children will thank you someday, I promise!

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  194. I am a degreed elementary and middle school teacher that is now home with her children and homeschooling for the time being. I have to say that I do think parents can rush into homeschooling. There's more to it than just following worksheets and curriculum. You have to be able to provide hands-on, kinesthetic learning experiments, field trips, etc. to combine with other curriculum. You need to know the learning styles of your children. There are 3: hands-on (also called kinesthetic), auditory and visual. Every child has a different combination of these three ways of learning and as a homeschool parent/teacher, it is necessary that you know how to teach your children according to these ways. I'm not saying you can't do it, but you do need some preparation. Teachers go to school for years to learn how to teach correctly. Granted, there are teachers out there that have lost their passion for the field and should leave the profession. Just make sure that if you're thinking about homeschooling, you aquire a mentor who has been teaching for awhile to help you in areas you WILL run into that require help.
    Good luck with your research and don't forget to prayerfully consider your options. The Lord will show you what His will is for the life of your family.

    www.we4bates.blogspot.com

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  195. brittanyclaire5/18/11, 2:24 AM

    ah, there are 194 comments on this post but disqus doesn't load them. Bummer. :( 

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Thank you for blessing me with your words!

Brittany