Friday, May 6, 2011

The Big H – Educating my Two Sweet Beebs

I never thought I would consider homeschooling my kiddos. They would attend a private, Christian school where I hoped they would learn about Jesus and wear uniforms (SO MUCH EASIER). Shortly after their third birthday, we would enroll them in a preschool program two days a week and Mama would head back to work.

Then I HAD the kiddos and I feel like the Lord is leading us down the homeschool path. I think. For the first two years of Avery’s life I ignored it and hoped it would go away. But now I’m researching and everything I thought I knew about educating my children is being challenged. It is exciting! I’m on a research mission and I’m going to document it.

Education Mission – Rough Draft

Christ-centered - Biblically based – Build Godly character – Encourage service and missions – Academic excellence in Literature, History, Science, Math, Critical Thinking/Logic, Writing, Public Speaking, Money Management & Dating – Exposure to Art, Music, Foreign Language & World Cultures – Freedom to pursue special interests.

Research and Reading

Here are some of the ways I have bee exploring homeschooling.

  1. 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy – A+ – Great book with her review of her top curriculum choices. Also an informative section on learning styles.
  2. The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide when It’s Right for Your Family by Lisa Rivero – A – Overview of homeschool truths, a typical day, special issues (teens, special needs), laws and questions to ask yourself to make the decision.
  3. Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath-You Can Do This! – B – She guides you through staring your homeschool days. Everything from convincing your reluctant family members to record keeping to physically organizing your school space.
  4. Current Controversies – Homeschooling – C  - A weird little book with short articles by advocates and critics of homeschooling.
  5. Sonlight – A curriculum that has caught my eye and so did their very thorough catalog. I especially enjoyed their “27 Reasons Not to Buy Sonlight.” Sonlight was recommended to me by a friend who homeschools four girls.
  6. I listened to a presentation from Classical Conversations and have their catalog.
  7. Browsed catalogs from A Beka Book and A.C.E – both recommended to me by homeschooling mothers. I was taught with A Beka Book until I left private school in 7th grade.
  8. I’ve read about homeschooling at Mommypotamus and learned about different styles of homeschooling. My #1 book on this list does a fabulous job of explaining this too.
  9. Browsed blogs like Confessions of a Homeschooler to see what they do all day.
  10. Read through legal information at Home School Legal Defense Association and learned that New York State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials). See map.

On My List to Read

  1. Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson
  2. The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
  3. Home Education by Charlotte Mason
  4. A couple of John Gatto’s books  - maybe Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.

This weekend we are attending the Home School Book Fair right here in Arlington. Grandma Robb, Marc and Samuel have been recruited to watch the kids so Barry and I can attend workshops. Yay!

Any other suggested reading?

Much more on this topic in the future!




Meredith - proud mom of THREE! said...

Something you might be interested in, is looking into a prepatory academy. Basically, you homeschool three days a week, and your children attend hands-on-classes two days a week. Its not a co-op, although those are good too. There is on in Arlington called Grace Prep. I am sure you have already heard of it though. I think that is the route we will be taking with our kids!

Whittney said...

Yes! Grace Prep is on my list, but honestly, it is much to expensive for us to have 2 or more kiddos enrolled there. If we have three kids, it will be close to the cost of our mortgage. GASP.

joannalee said...

i just have to say how much I admire all the research you've done, especially so far ahead of time!

Before having kids, I thought I would either homeschool or public school, didn't want to pay for private. Once Julia hit 2, the thought of homeschooling took a flying leap out the window!

But in the past year I've started to rethink it... it's a big commitment but I can't help but wonder if it's what we're supposed to do. I wish I had more friends that had elementary age homeschool kids, because it'd be nice to just do what works for them!

All the options can be overwhelming, and Julia's the oldest girl in our group so I'm a bit intimidated to start on my own. It may very well be one of those things that God will have to talk me into =)

Should we choose to put her in public school, I'm glad that we live in Keller ISD because it's supposed to be one of the best. One more thing tempting me not to homeschool, that's for sure!

Ok, forgive me for writing a blog in your comment section! ;)

Mandi said...

I'm excited to see this take off, whatever direction you ultimately choose!