Home Schooling

In September of 1997, I slid into a chair at our new homeschooling table, and set a brand new, shiny copy of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons in front of my then-kindergartner. Within ten minutes, she was frustrated, and I ran out of the house, literally in tears, to tell my husband that I couldn't do "this homeschooling thing." He calmed me down and I returned to the table, voice a little hoarse after crying, and we opened the book and began again. While I taught our daughter phonics, nursed our three-month-old son, and tried to keep our two-year-old son occupied long enough to finish the phonics lesson. It occurred to me as I closed the book with a sigh and pulled out a shiny new math book, that teaching college was much easier than homeschooling.

B doing his schoolwork--Explode the Code

Well, thirteen years later, we will be starting yet another year of home education. We graduated our daughter in June, and she's starting her freshman year at Point Loma Nazarene University , and this year (2010-2011) we have our three sons still at home: a high schooler in 10th grade, a middle schooler in 8th grade, and an elementary student in 5th grade. We switched from our first crazed year with Konos and have settled happily into Sonlight through grade 8, and then rely on Saxon Math (with a tutor), ABeka science and history, and a mixture of Sonlight and Smarr literature in high school. And, of course, lots of Brave Writer for writing, of course.

J does "cool school"

We've rather fallen into an eclectic mixture of Charlotte Mason and Classical philosophies, with lots of delight-directed studies and foreign languages for younger kids and lots of literature, poetry, and writing for all ages. History also tends to be a family activity--and we always open with Morning Prayer. We tend to be rather relaxed--allowing the kids to work through their assignments in the order they want, as long as it's all done by each Friday.

T builds a robot as part of his science project

Our family has been schooling through Heritage Christian School in San Diego since the very beginning of our home schooling adventure in 1997. Through Heritage we attend twice-monthly Class Days where I teach high school writing courses and the kids take three classes each--always including PE which is my teaching weakness--a mixture of fun classes and academic courses. Heritage keeps all our records, keeps us accountable with quarterly grades (by semester in high school), and provides wonderful activities for high schoolers, including a beautiful graduation ceremony.

E graduated in June 2010

We allow our kids to experience lots of community involvement. Our oldest and youngest sons are heavily involved in our local community garden; our daughter was very involved with our local youth theatre group, and our middle son continues to play guitar with the Free Teen Guitar Class. Our kids enjoy working with people of all ages in our community, something that would be much more difficult if they were in traditional schools.

Our school area--the dining area of our living room/great room

So we continue on our homeschooling journey, right in our own living room. Where most families have a dining room/area, we have our school table where we gather together each day to learn together. Even though I used to teach college, I still find something new to learn everyday as I teach our children not only academic subjects, but character growth and real life skills that they will always use, no matter what their futures hold.

I also am blessed to teach other homeschooling families' children through Brave Writer and my own essay grading website, plus my Class Day courses through Heritage Christian School.

So we continue on home schooling--as the kids decide each year--enjoying one anothers' company and growing in family togetherness...despite the frequent quarrels. Yes, home schooled children are not perfect...just at home. With me.

Schooling as we go,


Blog Widget by LinkWithin