Archive for Homeschool

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Last week we made a trip to Begg’s Pumpkin Patch down in Blodgett.  For those of you who have never been it is a lot of fun for the kids.  We went with our homeschool group as a field trip. To start off we watched a little movie about corn and how it’s grown, etc.  Then  we rode on the wagons out to the patch to pick our pumpkins.  This is not the part that I enjoy with either of my kids.  They take forever to pick their pumpkins and to top it off my friend’s daughter had gone with the us and she didn’t want a pumpkin that had dirt on it.  Well, that is pretty hard to do in a dirty pumpkin patch.  I finally had to say you are all taking the pumpkins that are in your hands, the trailer is going to leave us if we don’t get back on.  They were satisfied with that and happy to get back to the play area.  Grant and Merideth both love the long bumpy tube slide and the duck races.  I think this year’s favorite thing might have been The Twister.  You go in a tunnel and walk across a bridge and there is a large tube with glow in the dark stars on it that is turning around you to make it fell like your moving.  It was pretty wild.  The pig races were also a hit.  We enjoyed spending the day with our friends from our group and even saw some other people there that we knew who were there with their schools.

 

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How our home school came to be

I wanted to share how our home school came to be.  Let me go back to when I was in college.  I have a degree in child development.  I was going to have a daycare and protect and care for all of those children out there whose parents were working.  I thought how great it will be to have a job that will allow me to still be with my own children while I work and do something I enjoy.  At this point in my life, I wasn’t married and the thought of staying home with my children never even occurred to me.  Of course I would work, isn’t that why my parents were paying for me to go to college.   My own mother had stayed home with me until the summer right before I was in 2nd grade and I loved this, so why didn’t I think of it to?  I had a very hard time at first whenever she returned to work, my sister was babysitting me and as much as I loved, adored, and looked up to my sister, I cried, and cried, and cried, and snuck to the phone and called her and begged her to come home.  Eventually, I did adjust and was blessed to have grandparents, and family friends that I was able to stay with in the summers following that when my sister was gone from home.  Now, don’t think that my parents kicked one child out and kept another.  She is ten years older than me and left for college.    In 1998 I got married, moved to Florida, and got a teaching job at a child care center there.  At first, I was still very idealistic and thought I could really help these little children while they were away from mom and dad.  I enjoyed working with them, but the 10 hour days of caring for someone else’s children, where parents expected you to do the potty training, breaking of the pacifier, teaching of the letters, etc., etc., etc., and with dealing with other workers who are doing it just as a job, and not something that they love, made me very quickly realize that this was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  Chris and I made the decision early on that when we had children I would be home with them, at least until they started school.  I didn’t want someone else to have these early years with my children that I saw so many other parents missing out on.  Those simple little things that I even sometimes now take for granted, are so special.  We decided never to depend on my income to live and by doing this it made the transition very easy for me to stay home whenever I became pregnant.  Now, fast forward to the year 2003.  We had Grant.  What a blessing he was and still is to our family.  Right after having him there were times that Chris would mention home schooling.  I would immediately shut the idea down, telling him that most home schoolers were  weird and that kids needed to be in school for socialization, and to be the salt and the light.  As a matter of fact, whenever we lived in St. Louis I had shared these thoughts with some home schoolers whom weren’t weird at all, I just didn’t get think it was right for them to keep their children away from other children and I was really sold on the salt and light idea.  This wonderful, christian lady so sweetly talked with me and said,”we are doing what we feel God has called us to do, our children can still be salt and light without being in the school system.”  She never was rude, hateful, or any of the things that I have probably at sometime already been when defending my reasons for home schooling.  I since then have talked with her and apologized for the way that I treated her.  So all that to say, Chris wanted me to consider home schooling and I wouldn’t.  He didn’t bring it up all of the time, just occasionally.  Then, something really scary happened.  God, started dealing with me.  Right before Grant turned one, I could not stop thinking about home schooling.  For about two weeks I kept running into people who home schooled, I would turn on the radio and hear something about home schooling, I couldn’t get away from it no matter where I went.  I told Chris that I was thinking about it, and of course he was thrilled.  You know, thinking back this is one issue that even though Chris felt very strongly about, he never pushed me about.  I can see now that God was also working in him as he prepared me to answer his call and obey him.  Sometimes, I resist and fight Chris when he wants to do things a certain way!  Sorry honey!  I went back and forth talking to people who were for it and against it for several more months.  I had almost convinced myself not to do it and then we began a class at the home of a home schooling family.  The class is Growing Kids God’s Way.   By this time we have Merideth, she is a baby and Grant is almost two.  After seeing this family, and watching them interact, I realized home schoolers are not all weird, they can very much be the salt and the light and yes these children knew how to carry on a conversation with you.  Imagine that, they didn’t go to school, but knew how to communicate and actually seemed interested in what you had to say when speaking to them.  They were just normal kids whose parents had decided to school them in a different way, than that which is traditionally done.  I finally responded in obedience to what God had been asking of me for more than a year at this point.  Now, came the hard part TELLING OTHERS OF OUR DECISION!!!  For me, who has always worried what will other people think, this was difficult.  But, I am also the type of person that once I make a decision I want everyone else to know what it is, and how it will be accomplished right away.  After we answered the questions of: Is that legal?, How will you get their diploma?, Will you use a curriculum?, Will you do it forever?, etc, etc, things began to get easier.  One grandma offered at first to pay for private school, but now she is one of my biggest advocates and is very proud of her grandchildren.  The grandpa’s are still not to keen on the idea, but are very loving and sweet even when they don’t agree.  Something else we have been blessed to have in our marriage are parents that did their job.  They raised us both to the best of their ability, then gave us wings to fly.  They don’t try to meddle and tell us what to do, even though I know that is sometimes very hard.  I am now way past caring what anyone thinks abour our decision.  That same home schooling mom who had us into her home for the parenting class said something that has stuck with me,”when God calls you to do something, he will equip you to do it.”  I believe that with all of my  heart.  I don’t mind when people ask me questions about home schooling.  I am very happy to answer them, but I don’t like it when they decide to play the role that I once played of trying to convince me it is the wrong thing to do.  Although, I probably deserve every minute of it.  I do feel like now that I am getting better at responding in love, and not anger when confronted about this decision.  So yes it is true, there are home school kids that are weird, loud, shy, slow, smart, little, big, etc. those same kids would still be that way if they were in school so praise the lord that their parents are keeping them home and protecting them until they are able to withstand this world that we live in.   Come spend some time with our family and you will quickly see that we are the  same people that we were before we started home schooling and after being around my kids for about 5 minutes you will also realize that you won’t get to do much talking.  They are like their mom, they love to talk and tell you everything that they know.  

For some answers to some questions you may still have go to  http://writingandliving.blogspot.com/ and click on her homeschooling section.  This is another mom that lives in my area that has done a wonderful job at answering some of the hard questions about home schooling. 

For all of my fellow home schoolers I will do another post later on Called The Bitter Home schoolers Wish List.  These are some responses that we sometimes would like to respond with when asked about home schooling.  They are pretty funny.

 
 

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Serving Others

One of the wonderful advantages to homeschooling is the opportunity that it gives my family to serve others during hours that the kids would normally be in school.  These pictures were taken back in August at SEMO whenever the freshman were moving into the dorms.  The kids and I went and helped hand out water bottles to the incoming students and their parents.  Merideth is with Miss Katie.  She is our baby sitter whenever Chris and I hire someone and we have grown to love her soooo much.  Grant is with Mr. Huey, a man from our church.  These two formed a special bond that morning and it was so exciting to see Grant and this older gentleman interacting while serving others.  They were good for each other!

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