For most mom bloggers, having your kids in school means having a period of 6-8 hours to yourself a day — oh to have that luxury on some days. 🙂

Homeschooling is a choice my husband and I made five years ago when we went from a dual income down to one. I had been working full time since I was seventeen without any real break and for the first time, I was feeling stressed between caring for our 8 month old son (whom I was fortunate enough to be able to take to my office with me every day), keeping my eldest daughter from feeling left out because she wasn’t with us all day, meeting my husband’s physical and emotional needs, and trying to keep work and home balanced.

My hat is off to any woman who works outside of the home – it is a constant struggle to maintain balance between home and work, and much like having three full time jobs – your work, child-rearing, and housecleaner/maid. I truly admire women who can do it. I just couldn’t.

Of course, I say I “couldn’t”, but only because we were willing to make some other types of sacrifices in order for me to stay at home. No cell phones, no cable or satellite, no dinners out, no movies, nothing extra for the first year until we became acclimated to our “new lifestyle”. I know some people who would rather juggle all three jobs than sacrifice what I’ve found so easy to give up. And there’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

In addition to that, Katie had been enrolled in a private Christian school and we simply could not continue to pay for it and still meet our other financial obligations with only one income. We had two options: send her to public school or homeschool her. I have nothing against public schools, honestly. I think there are some find schools out there. But above that, there are some truly incredible teachers.

However, the school district we live in is one of the worst in the state of Texas and it doesn’t matter how good the teachers are when you overcrowd the class rooms, there is only so much attention your child is going to get. If I know anything at all about Katie, it’s that she’s a kinesthetic learner. She has to have hands-on activitites to retain things. So I felt like homeschooling was really our only option.

Last week, I mentioned my concerns about homeschooling three this year. So many of you left sweet words of encouragment and I just want you to know how much I appreciate it. I tried to reply back to everyone, however some of you do not have your email address enabled in Blogger (please do that!!!) so I was unable to reply in person, hence the “public” thanks.

It struck me today that I have never taught Kindergarten or 1st Grade Abeka (we started in 2nd grade) and now I am positively hyperventilating every time I think about developing lesson plans (I am using used curriculum and there were no lesson plans included, only teacher’s keys) for Aj and Abby.

My question is for all you seasoned homeschoolers – what should I focus on first?

My son can already read (thanks to last year’s book we read “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons), but he has no idea about phonics or writing, because we didn’t cover that. My youngest daughter has no clue except for what she’s picked up from her brother, so I’d like for them to both learn together, even though she’s 2 years younger. I really think she’s smart enough that she’ll pick up a lot and whatever she doesn’t, we’ll just cover next year.

Do any of you have any resources you could point me to? Any ideas or thoughts for making it run more smoothly? If you don’t feel like leaving it in a comment, you can also email me at simplyamusingblog{at}gmail{dot}com.

And so the countdown begins…T-minus 7 days.

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5 Comments on The Countdown Begins

  1. chickadee
    August 25, 2008 at 3:22 pm (9 years ago)

    great headstart on the reading. that’s the hardest for me. we love explode the code for phonics reviews. dication is also a cheap, easy way to teach writing and spelling.

  2. Elle
    August 25, 2008 at 9:46 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m a stick to the basics girl of the 3 R’s. I do know the anxiety though because my youngest did not know how to read when we took him out of K5, and I was quite nervous about that part. I used An Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. I spent the greatest part of my energy on phonics and reading aloud to him. We did not add basic writing until the 2nd half of 1st grade after he had established reading skills. That approach has served us well.

  3. Lona
    August 26, 2008 at 8:01 am (9 years ago)

    What a grace-filled post!

    The number one rule for homeschooling is: Relax.

    They would learn, even if you didn’t give them any curriculum or plan any lesson plans. I am hsing middle and high schoolers, and you need to be less relaxed at that point, but with little ones, it should be about delight and togetherness and fun. With children close in age, you can combine a lot of the schooling…

    And while there is no perfect curriculum, we’ve found Sonlight to be full of delight and togetherness and fun.

  4. nicole
    August 26, 2008 at 4:00 pm (9 years ago)

    Good luck this year! I really admire homeschooling moms. Right now I don’t think it is right for my family, but I am always interested in how others make it work. I’m sure you will do a fantastic job.

  5. casual friday everyday
    August 28, 2008 at 10:58 am (9 years ago)

    I was homeschooled. And we’re still up in the air about school vs. homeschool for my children. I do know that it’s only between Christian school or homeschool though.

    I’m so fortunate to have a thriving internet business that would allow me to still be home but afford private school.

    Anyway, have fun with all three! I’m sure it’ll be a balancing act and might be overwhelming at times but I’m sure the good will always outweigh all of that.

    Nell

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