Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homeschooling Journey - 3

(See part 1 here and part 2 here)
Once I realized that homeschooling had moved not just to a REAL option (from the last resort, only if I have to option) but to my maybe number ONE option, things started to get interesting.  I started to tell people about my possible plans.
My husband just plain told me he thought I was crazy.  As he had already come to that conclusion years ago, I wasn't too worried.  Don't think badly of him, he also said that he'd support any decision I made and he meant it.  He's pretty amazing that way.
My best friend told also told me I was crazy.  She then looked at me for a minute, got a thoughtful sort of look on her face and then said something along the lines of, "Okay, but please, promise me you won't get crazy."  Because, we all know that homeschoolers are crazy.  Well, maybe not crazy, but we've all heard stories (even if many of them are about someones sister's, cousin's, next door neighbors, best friends acquaintance) and so I promised I'd do my very best to not get crazier than I already was.
I also read some more.  I know, I have a problem.  Research is my friend.  The more information I have the more confident I feel in my decision (it's one of the reasons why I saw more than 50 houses the first time we purchased a home). 
After reading, or at least looking through, most of the books having anything to do with homeschooling in my library, these ended up being my favorite.
The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise.  I know, you're shocked.  Well, I checked it out again and this time I read through the first section to get an idea of how my first grade year with Ben might go.  Out of all the books and types of homeschooling I'd studied, classical spoke to me the most.  After reading reviews of it (and knowing my over planned and over scheduled tendencies), I did know I wanted to take it slow if I made this life altering decision. 
That would be the best advice I could give to anyone thinking about homeschooling.  Take it slow.  You do not have to (nor should you) do everything.  Start with the basics and then you can always add to them as you and your children feel the desire.  Looking back I'm so happy that's how I started.
As I am a lover of options I also really loved 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy.  In the beginning it even has a quiz you can take to discover your teaching style and your kids learning styles.  It then tells you which curriculum matches up with your family the best.  
Even though I was heavily leaning toward classical, I really enjoyed reading Lisa Whelchel's book titled, So You're Thinking About Homeschooling.  It gives a short description of many different methods of homeschooling.  There is no one "right" way and this book helped solidify my desire to homeschool classically.
You know, IF I decided to homeschool.  For months I did some pretty serious fence sitting.  I just couldn't make up my mind.  I was terrified of making the wrong choice and forever (even though I'd decided it would be a year to year decision) scarring my children.
I can pinpoint the moment I decided consciously to homeschool Ben.  It's a little silly (okay, a lot).  I'm pretty sure I'd already subconsciously decided, but hadn't been ready to come out of the closet as it were.  We were out to dinner with my in-laws who were in town visiting.  I was sitting by my sister-in-law talking about the possibility of homeschooling when my mother-in-law overheard me.  She looked over and said something to the effect of, "You don't want to do that."  I don't remember now if she said anything else, but that was enough for me. 
I'm not really the rebellious type, but I've always had this urge to do the opposite of whatever someone tells me.  I think it's a teenage thing that I haven't quite gotten out of my system yet.  After putting the kids to bed after dinner, I turned to Steve and said, "I'm doing it.  I've decided, we're homeschooling."  And we did.
I can't say that I've never looked back or had doubts that I made the right choice (or that I continue to).  I can say that Homeschooling my children is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.  Hands down.  It's a blessing that I'm thankful for everyday (even the days I want to hide in my closet and hope they can't find me). 

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I found your blog looking for sharing time ideas and got caught up in all of your homeschooling posts instead! We're also homeschooling and love the Well Trained Mind. I don't know too many LDS WTM homeschoolers, so thought I'd leave a comment and say hi, and say I've enjoyed reading about your journey to homeschooling. It's always fun to see the many different ways people end up doing that! Anyway, nice to "meet" you!



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