Aug 12, 2011

Back-To-School: Homeschooling {Guest Post}

My daughters attend public school.  We live in a great school district and we have had a wonderful experience! 

But I have lots of mom friends who homeschool their children and also have wonderful experiences.

I felt it was important to include them in the back-to-school series because I think that sometimes, those of us who send our children away from the home to school misunderstand why some families choose homeschooling.  And also because in many ways, homeschool moms are preparing for back-to-school in the same ways we are.

So, I asked one of my friends who homeschools to guest post today on her experience as a homeschool mom.  I wanted to know why she chose it and also what she is doing to prepare for back-to-school time.

Let me introduce you to my friend, Jenny!

Hi!  My name is Jenny and I am a stay at home mom of two kids, ages 6 and 4.   If you would have asked me a few years ago if I would consider homeschooling I would have said "no way!". 
I think at the time I had a lot of misinformation about it.  We sent our son to pre-school, but when it was time to sign him up for Kindergarten I had a feeling it wasn’t the right thing for him.  We started praying about homeschooling and doing a lot of research.  Now, here we are at the beginning of our second year.

Yes it is hard in some ways, and time consuming, but the rewards are great!   We belong to a local homeschool group, which is wonderful.  The kids take art, music, and gym classes.  They make friends in the group and I am able to spend time with other homeschool mom’s. 
When we prepare for the upcoming school year we start in the winter.  I begin researching curriculum and going over what has worked well that year and what we possibly need to change. 
For example my son’s math program didn’t fit well with his learning style so we changed it and now he loves math!  I have a great support system of other homeschool mom’s so I bounce a lot of ideas off of them.  We attend our local homeschool conference in the spring and there we are able to look at so many different curriculum companies it is overwhelming at times. 
Once we decide what we will use for each subject I write out lesson plans to give me an idea of what we will be doing each week.  One thing I have learned is to be flexible in this area because things will come up and kids do get sick.  We usually start school at the beginning of August and end the last week of April.  A couple weeks before we start I take the kids and let them pick out school supplies.  I think that is a fun part of school and I don’t want them to miss out on it just because they are homeschooled.  
We are really enjoying the journey we are on and we feel it is where God wants us to be.  We know that homeschooling is not for every family or every child.  We decided to take it one year at a time and pray that God would continue to guide our decisions. 

Thanks so much, Jenny, for sharing with us!  I am always amazed at how much work homeschool moms do and all they accomplish!  Plus, that schedule of getting out at the end of April sounds AWESOME :)

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