I’m not sure if I have ever talked about this . Actually I didn’t really think anyone cared, seriously . Until I started getting messages and phone calls asking me about my journey. Of course along the way I got a lot of smirks, remarks about not knowing how I do it . People actually looked at me in disbelief and kind of patted me on the shoulders. You know before I began my journey of homeschooling I never knew so many people had such conflicting views on homeschooling. It kinda made me feel like I had chosen to be in a cult. Nonetheless, this experience has been abundant.
Here is my journey…
Well in the beginning I only imagined this time to be a time of pure joy. We would sit in a room for 7 hours working hard. Learning from maps and reading so many books. And, yeah, that didn’t happen. I learned within the first month that there was no way that we were going to be happy in one room for 8 hours just doing work so I had to figure out a way to make them happy and me less stressed. So our long hours dwindled down to about 3 hours a day 4 days a week. My hours varied, some early mornings and some afternoons. But there was still something missing . My children attended a private Christian Prep school and their school was pretty busy. They had P.E. , music, computer, art , chapel , lunch and recess. So I had to figure out a way to introduce this to them and still not be as odd or weird for them . Early on we learned that with not having all the extras from school it was going to cause us to finish our work very early. Which meant our school year could have possibly been over mid March or earlier . So I needed to quickly find a way to supplement our time .
We searched the internet and found alternatives to our needs. For computer we used Prodigy for extra help in Math and English . So I know you’re saying so how did this help in computer skills but it keeps their mind moving to remember passwords and in some of the games they need to remember home row keys and such . We also added Khan Academy to their list of apps to use . Khan Academy has a plethora of games and skills and the best part of each of these games that I mentioned is that they use a tool that allows children to go through levels and you cannot reach the next level unless you have mastered the level you’re on. These apps are all free. They also downloaded Duolingo and each of them learned a new language. Not to the point that they could speak it but to a point that they recognized some of the written languages, that was was fun. Especially for the one child who learned Korean .
I included chapel in our homeschool activities. I conducted chapel like I would have done for a Sunday school class at church. Our school curriculum included Bible so it was a pretty easy transition. Chapel was a must because for the first part of homeschool we were doing online church . This 10/15 minutes of chapel allowed my children to express in the way they would have during a church service. We would sing songs like we sang at church. I taught them the sanctified clap and stomp ( we are still working on that ) and I think they learned a new aspect of praise that they would not have learned in school. Bible lessons were pretty cut and dry. But they were able to ask some interesting questions about the season we were living in , what was God’s will , and how God could do anything. This was perhaps my best times to spend with them .
For P. E. on warm days we spent taking walks, thankfully there was a playground right in our backyard. Some days we would use the playground but most of the times they just really wanted to run around, play basketball, turn flips and ride their bikes. I was carrying our youngest daughter so my plans didn’t always align to what I really wanted to do . We really could have done more in that area but we took advantage of our time pretty wisely .
For music, we learned a lot of songs. Because of the Bible class we did have a few songs that we were supposed to learn . And of course we had those random moments of me teaching them those sing and respond songs that I grew up singing in church. Now they have random moments of singing a song really loud and one of them responding, ” He’s alright.”
Art was a part of our school curriculum and my children are pretty crafty so Art was the least of our worries. And for the most part the Art portion tended to be more worrisome than helpful. So for Art I allowed them to explore their desires. And with their exploration the girls started a business selling bracelets and hair bows, they also painted a little. My middle daughter fell in love with art and since our 2.5 years of homeschool she has cultivated a love for art and drawing.
In this time I really started to learn my children very well , I learned their strengths and weaknesses. Portland really gained a knowledge for politics , he was able to engage in a lot of information on American Presidents and I think he’s found his place in understanding the democratic process. PK has found her place as a great writer she has also recognized her voice. And who knows she may follow in my footsteps as a writer.
Now we can get into socialization. This is one thing that I kept hearing over and over again . It started sound like a fly buzzing in my ear. See the year before we had so many social issues that I was really ready for a break. I always hear that children need to learn how to work with children, actually children need to know how to behave around adults because one day they will be an adult. This is one thing that I immediately took note of because children are instinctively able to meet and play with other kids without a problem (usually) . The thing I needed my children to learn is how to interact with adults, how to look people in the eye, how to speak loud and speak up when its time, they needed to learn how to count money. How to calculate money in their heads when they are making purchases in the store, how to say thank you once they have received a service and how to ask for help when they needed it . How to place an order and how to listen when someone is speaking to them. How to be decisive about what they want in life. Now with all of that said , I did purchase them phones and their friends were able to text and facetime them after school. We had play dates with friends . And fortunately they had cousins that they still spend quite a lot of time with .
Did you know that since homeschooling these 2.5 years we have not had a sniffle, a stomach ache, the flu, no one got Covid and no one has coughed, not even the baby . We have had our fair share of tiffs and whoas. I always knew they were safe, not being bullied or not being the bully. Lots of space is needed after a day of homeschooling , lots of prayer and just time to adjust all in all it has been a wonderful experience…Basically