In an effort to come up with a title to this blog entry I was stymied. I've been contemplating this blog for awhile but a recent conversation with my wonderful cousin has prompted this post.
First off let me say that I have been told several times that "I have it all together" and that "you are the homeschooler we hate". I DO NOT feel like I have it all together. There are times I want to quit and just send him to public school, but then I take a step back, do some deep breathing and say a prayer and I'm back to being alright.
First step in a successful homeshooling endeavor is write down your reasons why. If your reasons are I hated school WRITE IT DOWN. If they are more profound like I don't want my children indoctrinated or taught and unbiblical view of sex WRITE IT DOWN. If you have a laundry list of reasons WRITE THEM DOWN. On your bad days - pull out that list, pray over your reasons and press on. God didn't give you this will to homeschool for nothing. And if you are an unbeliever - you sill have a will to do this - don't give up.
Which brings me to the next thing - is it working? By that I mean how is what you are doing working for you? Is there a constant fight? Do your kids hate you and you hate your kids? Is learning fun for them or do they hate it? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. They are not to discourage you but ENcourage you. What I mean by this is this. You are homeschooling for what every reasons, but homeschooling you are. If it isn't fun then something has to change. To quote my favorite speaker "if your kids hate you and you hate your kids it's time to change what you are doing:" There is a TON of curriculum out there and just because you have paid for it doesn't mean you should be using it. Your kids education is more important than that $40 you spent on that history, science, math or what ever else. Now this is where I explain myself. I may look like I "have it together" but let me tell you it hasn't been without heartache, tears and multiple unused curriculum tossed aside for my and my sons sanity.
Lets start with math - we use Life of Fred ONLY. Why? Well let me tell you. First we started off with worksheets - they worked for awhile - a whole month or so till my son started having melt downs at math time. Yelling, bribery and tears ensued and then I was done. We took a break and I switched to online for preschool and Kindergarten. Again it worked - for that season. Then I found Saxon math and it was like a ray of sunshine and this was going to be AMAZING. NOT!!! 6 weeks in again the melt downs followed by nausea and refusing to comply. It was time for a change again. I bought simple books with small worksheets, that didn't work. Then I found Mammoth Math - yup again didn't work - he hated me I hated him - time to move on. Again a ray of sunshine came cascading through my computer as I found Teaching Textbooks. Now at this point I pause - this did work for a whole YEAR, and probably would have been still working today if a life changing event hadn't happened. We went to a homeschooling conference (more on that a little later.) At this conference we met this lady who has this amazing store. She has the experience of homeshooling 4 kids all the way through so her life experience is what mattered to me. I stood in her booth and absorbed all she had to say. I sat in her seminars and absorbed what she had to say. And this dear lady introduced us to Fred. Now let me say this I had had NO intention of switching math curriculum's at ALL. TT was working for us, Zach was enjoying it and math was less of a battle of wills. So what changed?? After chatting with Nancy and hearing what she had to say and realizing what KIND of learner son is I asked for suggestions. She immediately pulled out Fred. So hubby and I bought the first book - Apples and took it back to the hotel room. Now this is about 8 at night, we had a long day at the conference, Zach had been at the kids conference all day, we were all very tired, but I handed him the book anyway. It didn't take long and he had the whole book done, giggling and mommy daddy listen to this the whole time. We were hooked. It's been a year and a half and I have to say he's still going strong. He's interested in what he is doing and he's engaged in his math. Not something I would ever have thought would happen with him but very glad that it has. His discussions are now about "when can I start calculus mom" or "I think I want to be a mathematician/scientist/preacher/comedian." Whats the point of this? Find something that works and use it, don't be bound by "oh I paid money for this we ARE going to use it". It's not worth it, it's not worth YOUR sanity, it's not worth your CHILD'S sanity and it certainly isn't worth your child's education if it isn't working.
Well this post is longer than I thought it would be so I'm going to end here and do another one later about our other subjects.
Think about what you have read, don't despair - there is many groups out there on facebook that sell used curriculum - use them to get rid of your anchors and free yourself from the burden.