I am a Mom to four children. I am a second generation homeschooler. We have always be able to have the privilege to home educate our children. I have been homeschooling for 10 years now. I have one child in high school, two in elementary grades and one special needs preschooler. (This should be an interesting year!:) To make things a little more interesting: we are in the process of adopting again and it looks like we could be getting a placement here soon - So I am very aware that this is shaping up to be a full and very educational year for our entire family -- how ever many that may be:)! I love to homeschool - and am so thankful for the opportunity.
For most of our homeschooling years we have used ABEKA curriculum. We have done it both ways - parent taught and video taught. For the Jr High age and High School grades I LOVE the video as it helps me to feel that they are getting some of the things I may be unsure on how to teach them. I will be parent teaching my Third grader and also doing some preschool work with my youngest for this school year.
Preparing for the first day of school (2005-2006 school year)
James participating with his class on video.Zak playing at his desk during school time.
OUR SCHOOL SCHEDULE:
I LOVE a schedule. I love making schedules out and posting them. Our family functions best on a detailed schedule. I am a Pastor's wife and have responsibilities with different church ministries. My children all take piano lessons. My girls take violin lessons and our youngest son has autism. I know that we would not be able to do everything that needs to be done without a schedule. I am POSITIVE that we would not be able to be even thinking of adopting again if it was not for our schedule.
I have always been a detailed person. To some extent, we have always been on some sort of schedule. However, several years ago I did come across the Maxwell's web page http://titus2.com/ . I have found valuable information that has helped me implement schedules that really work in our family. My schedule is one of my best friends!! Here is a picture of our control board. On the board with have the schedule posted for each day of the week. Each child has a color and each half hour there is listed what is on the schedule for that time.
My day starts at 5 am when I have to give Zak his first dose of medication for the day. I start my coffee and then go up and give him his medicine. He always goes back to sleep and I come down to a quiet house and a hot cup of coffee. I am able to enjoy time in the Word with the Lord and pray. I also take some time to plan out the day if I need to. I try to go on a walk with my oldest daughter around 6:00. When we get home she makes breakfast and I shower and get around for the day. The others are getting up at 7am. They do their "Sunshine chores", get ready for the day and get their rooms cleaned. We eat breakfast as a family at 7:30. After breakfast we have morning chores for about an hour. (If you are interested in a post on chores and homeschooling let me know.) We head down to school at 8:30. We take an hour for a lunch break at 11:30. Our school day for the younger ones gets done around 2:00 pm when they start their music practice. My oldest gets done with her work around 3p.m.
During the school day each one of my kids has a "Mom and Me" time. This is time for just the two of us to go over school work, take speed tests, and give homework assignments. The kids love their time alone with me. This also allows me to be knowledgeable on the school work of the children participating in video school. Then I feel like I am able to help them. and catch things they are struggling with that perhaps could get missed without my attention.
The Maxwell's site that I mentioned earlier is packed with information for the homeschooling family. I would highly recommend ANYTHING that they have on their site.
I know the issue of socialization is a big topic around the concept of homeschooling. I believe one of the best places for my children to learn to socialize is in the home. My children must FIRST learn to be a friend to the people God has placed around them. (Perhaps I should post on this subject of socialization. You can let me know if you are interested.) With that said however, our family is NOT isolated from social contact. We make sure as a family that we are around other people and ministering to those with whom we come in contact. The goal of our family in this area of socialization is not to find friends for our children, but rather raise our children to minister, and be a friend to those with whom they come in contact. OK: enough on that hobby horse!
We make sure that our children are dressed and ready for school. My children do not sit around the table in their pajama's doing school work. I believe in order to have the BEST environment for learning the children must be dressed and ready to sit and learn. I believe that this tells my children that what they are doing is important. I have found that their mental attitude tends to be better if they have prepared for their school day and start ready to learn.
Well, that's about it. I am about ready to start the new school year this year. We plan on starting on the August 20. I will post pictures of the school room when we get in all ready for this year. The kids are SO excited. I am getting there too! Happy homeschooling everyone.