Homeschool Year Two: post1

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This new homeschool year is bringing such unexpected delights. The book selections this year are every historical literature afficianado’s dream. While I’ve never been a huge fan of historical texts, the Medieval times and Renaissance period are both eras which produced a plethora of texts, both fiction and nonfiction, that really speak to the heart of humanity. Already I have had such great conversations, centered around this literature. What better way to teach a child about the moral and ethical paths to take in life, than through story? My 9 year old and (almost) 13 year old students are reading and discussing some of the same texts. It has been so encouraging to see them both fully understand the deeper meanings within these stories. While my younger student may see a king who has learned that ruling with compassion ensures more support, my older student hears the same story and concludes that the author is showing through her characters, that humility and forgiveness are two of the most important ways to share our humanity. The two boys have been able to learn from each other by sharing their own unique perspectives. Beowulf is next on the agenda. This has always been a favorite. But, I think I am mostly looking forward to reading and discussing The Canterbury Tales. I am sure teaching my bilingual 13 year old how to pronounce the prologue in Old English will be a hoot. Southern meets Colombia!!! Video of teacher and student soon to come. Stay tuned.

My Decision to Homeschool: From Fear to Peace

indexWell, I suppose it is high time I put my money where my mouth is. A growing skepticism over issues with today’s schools has moved me to decisions I never once thought I’d need, let alone, want to make. But here we are. Getting ready to home school.

What began, in my opinion, as a need has become a strong desire. If someone had told me two years ago that I’d even be considering home school, I would have laughed them out of the room.

There is not one instance or experience in my life, that I don’t feel has led me to where I am… and will continue to lead me in this endeavor. When Dustin told me that I’d need to pack up my life and head west to Texas, he thought he was enticing me by telling me I didn’t have to work. Hmph! I didn’t feel enticed in the least bit. In fact, I felt slighted. Didn’t he know how important my public school job was to me? It wasn’t a job. It was my life. I fought it hard. When I got to Texas, I searched feverishly for a teaching position. I was a bit dismayed as to why I wouldn’t at least get an interview. After all, I’d never experienced rejection in my career before. I left my school in Mississippi on a high, after having just been recognized as Teacher of the Year, and being a team leader, and having other adults request to visit my classroom to view “best practices” as we educators call it. Now looking back, I know that God has always had my best interest at heart. And even more encouraging, He’s had my children’s best interest at heart. I never got an interview. I honestly think God needed to humble me. I also without question believe He knew what was coming. God knew that first I’d become pregnant and need to stay home with Sam. He knew second that my distaste for the current state of affairs in public education would grow exponentially. He knew third that my oldest child would begin struggling in math. He knew fourth that because of those struggles in math she would develop high anxiety. He knew fifth that my sweet anxious child would become increasingly worried about tests… so worried that she’d begin exhibiting behaviors outside of her control. He was giving us all experiences that would mold my heart; so that I could shepherd my child through her struggles and her fears.

I am scared to death about home schooling. I fear that my children will not be socially well adjusted. I fear they wont have friends. I fear they’ll end up resenting me for not allowing them the opportunity to go to a traditional school. I don’t think I’m a traditional home school mom. I haven’t made this decision because I am fully and confidently convinced that learning at home from mom is the best route for education. After all, I have first hand experiences of some truly beautiful moments inside of a classroom… both as a student and a teacher. I have made this decision because of issues either with my own lack of confidence in our ever growing top down take over of schools, or with personal concerns over seeing my child struggle through her very real and scary anxiety.

I’m taking a leap and trusting with every fiber of my being that God has led me here and will therefore lead me through it. I’m taking this leap because my heart is changed. I’m taking this leap because my very hesitant and skeptical husband,is now completely at peace with at least giving it a try. Dustin and I have committed to not committing to this. We will take this year by year. We will allow God to lead us back to a school or through the journey of home school. It may look totally different for Sam, who must absolutely unequivocally play baseball! We might have to find a school just for him, so that he can follow in his Popsi’s footsteps and become our family’s next pro player. Who knows what the future holds. We are not promised tomorrow, which is why I choose to keep my children close to me today. I welcome any and all advice… Unless what you have to share may make me cry. I’ve done enough of that already ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you Jesus for changing my heart without me even realizing it was happening. Thank you for the beauty of choice and opportunity in a variety of forms. Thank you for the people you have put in my path to help me feel encouraged and not so overwhelmed. Thank you for your provision in spite of my stubbornness. Thank you most of all for revealing to me that my purpose here is to be a mother to my children, to guide them, and to mold them. Thank you for the ability you have gifted me with so that I feel confident teaching my children. Thank you!

Forget Prepositions, Let’s Just Read…

For those of you who do not know, I am teaching the language arts portion to two home-school children this year. Today’s post is a result of my time spent with my third grader, Lorenzo, this morning. I had intended on spending about an hour on grammar this morning… but as I’ve said before, sometimes the best lessons come when you least expect them. We worked so hard yesterday on grammar that I wanted to begin today’s lesson with just a simple picture book. I had intended to simply read the book to Lorenzo and move on to the all important task of crossing out those prepositional phrases. However, as I began reading, Lorenzo began opening up. He began smiling. He began sharing his thoughts and feelings and opinions. I absolutely love this book and knew that it had the possibility to open up the lines of communication. But Lorenzo, took the bull by the horns and led us away from grammar today. He had so much to say about this book, that I just decided to let him say it. So without further ado, I give you Lorenzo’s guest appearance on my blog today…. Take it away, Lorenzo.

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The Book that Makes My Feelings Happy: by Lorenzo

Theย  picture book the fantastic flying books of mr. Morris lessmore shows us how books can be great. In the begining mr morris was writing his own story. But then a storm came and blew all of his pages away. Because of his unhappiness a book angel drops a book that leads him to a library. While he is there he becomes happy again and finishes his story. In the end mr moress goes to heaven and a girl reads his book that he left behind.my faverate part is when he takes care of the books the way they took care of him.This story makes me happy and sad at the same time because he dies but the books have been changed by him and he was changed by the books. this story shows how the way we live our lives is important because it can change other people around us and our lives can also be memories for them once we are gone.

 

Homeschool: Week 1

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Jacob and his mom, Olga, picking up a copy of the book we are reading together! Book Club for two.

“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.” My students always become like family to me… I get caught calling them my kids and on more than one occasion I’ve overheard a couple of them call me mom. Where I am lacking in numbers for a group discussion, Jacob has shown in just two days that he will pull the extra weight. I have spent two days with this young man who is not shy about expressing his opinions and view points. I say to him, “Let’s talk about the personal narrative.” He replies, “Well, can I write a personal narrative in poetry form?” I told him I loved that idea. He recalled a past time in school where he wanted to do just that but was discouraged. That is the difference in having to meet state standards and having to teach a child according to their needs and passions. Let the journey begin.