Homeschool-Growing Our Classroom

My husband and I have been thinking of homeschooling for a while. I was slightly against it because I thought that my kids would be these weird social outcasts…terrible stereotypes! So, after my third grader came home (We will call her Razzy, 8) and started looking, acting, and feeling burned out, I knew we had a problem. My daughter is smart. Some parents claim this, but she really is 🙂 She plays with Circuit Board Kits for kids (b/c Santa only brings educational stuff to our house now), microscopes, and helps with the many “Life & Science” projects we have on the homestead. She has great ideas when we are building things and has proven herself a regular Macgyver. This year I slowly watched her go from the girl that loved school and learning to the “I like school, but please don’t make me do anything school related”. She takes a little longer to get math than other kids, but still manages to make good grades. The public school flies through so many different aspects of Math, English, Science, and Reading and only cover it an inch deep. Well, any gardener knows you need AT LEAST 6″ of soil for good roots. Soooo after many days and nights of research, reading blogs, watching videos on you tube of other homeschool moms, reading Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks book (still reading too!), giving both girls (We will call the other Mayhem:), 5 in Pre-K) assessments so I know their learning styles (I had some idea, but i never dove into it like i have recently) with many different online tests they have….I finally decided that homeschool is best for us. I want my kids to love learning. If Razzy has a 5th grade Science Level and a 3rd Grade Math level, then I want to foster that. I don’t want to push her to pass a test. I don’tt want her to have fear of failing or making a mistake. As adults if we make a mistake we do it again, we research, we learn. It is REAL LIFE. Not LIFE that schools have made us believe to be true.

I grew up in a Private School until 6th grade, then moved to public school. Not to brag, but I was pretty smart coming from a private school, who taught a grade ahead. I was terrified to make bad grades though and I don’t really remember anything I learned other than how to write correctly, take good notes, understanding Algebra, and basic science ( I even took Calculus and Geometry and did not really get it until we began to build things on our homestead..then it clicked like oh ok!). I sucked at fractions until I started cooking more at home a couple of years ago when I was laid off and had time. Sad I know. But my husband was public school only with average grades, very street smart, and his awesomeness as an Army Sgt. gave him the professionalism, motivation, integrity, and discipline that we practice today. He was always awesome..they just amplified it to Hero Awesome 🙂 (love you babe). We both graduated college with Bachelors degrees, and I can still write and research like a mad fool! But living on a homestead has given us practical knowledge and helped us apply so many things to what we are doing to live sustainably. I did not realize the eclectic mix I would have!! So after my research the decision was a no brainer really.

I have found groups that do field trips, park days, skate days, and other awesomeness so my kids can meet with other homeschoolers. I found some cool classes with Legos that are once a week so my girls can use Science and Technology in a fun creative way! I cried when I found this too…I know emotional mom! But I was so excited that I will finally have control over my kids education. We always are very hands on with our kids school work and school functions…I just never had the confidence to think that I could be in charge of their education. Simply put I was terrified!! What if my 5 year old never learns to read..MY FAULT! So it is time I take responsibility as a parent. If I have problems with this, I can change it. Of course in Texas the homeschool laws are super awesome!! So I can teach anyway I want. I am not going all hippie or anything, but I will do it how I like it. I don’t want grades. I want, did you get it? No? Let’s do it again. Did you get it? Yes? Let’s keep moving! or Let’s go on a bike ride and name the trees, birds, plants we see. Let’s go take care of the chickens and make sure everyone is feeling well. Let’s go build a chicken tractor and you can measure for me. Let’s go to Lego class. Let’s have class outside. Sounds awesome right? Hell yeah!  I am looking into the Charlotte Mason and Unit Study method for those of you who know what I am talking about!

Of course, I will keep records..I have to be organized or I will feel like nothing is done! And some of the programs I am picking are computer based which will track progress for me. I am blindly figuring this out, but we are now a “Do IT YOURSELF FAMILY” and we can do anything! I want my kids to know that too!

Anyway, here is my mix of things I have gathered from thrift stores, goodwill book stores, walmart clearance, and other things I have found in my house to start building our classroom! We have a loft upstairs that has a couch and literally nothing else. It was going to be a movie room or game room…but really see no point and have not touched it in 2 years! I still have to add shelves where our TV bump out is, hang up a dry erase board ( I don’t have to but Mayhem, is a kinesthetic learner and I feel writing on a big board will help her out!), hang up some cool stuff, gather more supplies for curriculum, and get a table and chairs…but I have until July/August so I am acquiring things as I go. I wanted to do this the minute I was done researching..but at the same time this is an adjustment for all of us. SO I figured we would let them finish out the year, and start beginning August or late July…whenever we were ready. That is right..it is up to me!

The classroom so far! I figured I would leave the couch and papason chair for a reading corner or if they wanted to sit there with their laptops for some of the curriculum to make it comfy.

Some supplies! I want more storage with drawers..and something I Can place on the floor.

Some supplies! I want more storage with drawers..and something I Can place on the floor.

I have a large piece of plexiglass I think I may hang instead of a dry erase..not sure yet. But I plan on putting the table in this area too…or find a secretary type desk that I can put two chairs to..As my hub says, the world is my oyster:)

Here are some good websites for Texas Homeschool Info…and of course bing or google makes this all easy too!

http://www.thsc.org/

http://www.homeschoolingintexas.com/

http://homeschoolcentral.com/support/texas_homeschool.htm

Yahoo! has some groups for homeschoolers as well.

Learning Without Limits is a great one!

Comment or contact me if you are in the same process and maybe we can help each other! I will continue to post updates to our class and our journey into this madness! Toodles!

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