Yikes! It turns out I skipped another day, but this time it was unintentional.
I woke up this morning and fell into a big funk. I was feeling like a failure. I started telling God what a mistake He’d made having me do this – who am I that people want to hear from me…especially every day for a month?!
I said, “Maybe I need to quit the challenge. There’s not much traction here. I feel like I’m talking about nothing. Are you sure I’m supposed to even be blogging? I mean, seriously…”
After one missed day of blogging, you guys.
I may have overreacted a little, I realize that now. I just get
crazy a little insecure sometimes.
Aaaannnyway…I’ve calmed down considerably. God has reminded me ever so gently that this is not about me, and that He’s put me here with instructions for a reason.
So, that’s been my morning. Just keeping it real.
Now on to other things!
Last week I showed you my new homeschool room and promised to talk about why and how we homeschool. So that’s what we’re going to do today!
Before we begin, let me say that no matter how you school your children, we are happy for you, and we are NOT judging your parenting choices. This is what works for us. This is not how we believe everyone should do it, and we know that you are doing the very best thing for your family.
First of all, you know that we love to travel. We love to take our kids to all kinds of new places and to see friends and family. It’s so important to us that they see so much of this world. It’s hard to do that with just a few breaks from school. This way we can leave whenever our schedule and budget allow!
We Schraufnagels do not do well with an attendance policy, as a general rule. Last year, when Noah was in kindergarten, we almost maxed out the amount of days students are allowed to be absent before the state steps in and checks your parenting. Oops.
We just don’t think that you need to be at school 35 hours a week when you’re 5 years old. That’s almost a full-time job. All year last year we were skipping school because there was fun stuff to do, family was in town, or just because we were tired of the grind and had a family day instead! Not to mention our travel (see above).
It’s not fair to ask a teacher to deal with a student that’s missing all kinds of days, and it’s not fair to ask our kids to catch up when they miss school so much. Keeping them home, we can adjust our learning to fit our schedule.
Right now, I just have Noah home for school. Aidan is doing kindergarten at his Montessori school where he did preschool. Noah and I will start school around 9:30 when we get home from dropping Aidan off. By noon, we’ve done all of our work for the day (look below to see what we do for school). Then we have the rest of the day to do other things – chores, “field trips”, help Ty at the office, etc.
I love that we’re looking at each other, talking about what we’re learning. I love that we have each other’s undivided attention to discuss theories, history, or work on math until he’s got it.
I’ve heard the argument about socialization, or lack thereof, among homeschooled children. In fact, that was everyone’s first point they made if they objected to our choice. Fortunately, Noah is already a very social kid, and we are very social family. He’s not at all lacking in the friend department, so school is not a place that he needs to be to learn how to be social. Now he actually has more time to be social than when he was in school.
There’s a lot to be learned outside of a classroom. There are a lot of life skills that are not a part of a school curriculum. It’s our job to prepare our children to be productive citizens of the world, to think outside of themselves – to be Spartans. We are able to teach so much more than just basic curriculum with the extra time we have.
We’re raising adults. Their peers don’t know how to be adults, either. Being social in a classroom of first graders teaches kids how to be a first grader. They need adults to show them how to be adults in every area of life.
When I told Noah’s principal that we were homeschooling this year, he said,
“I may be the principal of a school, and I believe in the power of traditional school, but I am always so glad when I hear that a parent is choosing to homeschool. I can always tell when a child is being schooled at home. They know how to interact with adults. They look them in the eye and are able to comfortably have a conversation with any adult. It’s such a valuable life skill to know how to be an adult.”
My heart just soared and I said, “My thoughts exactly.”
The curriculum that we use is Heart of Dakota. A friend recommended it to us, and I am just absolutely thrilled with it. I will be using this curriculum for a very long time.
Each day we cover history, Bible memorization, poetry, spelling, language arts, handwriting, math, and reading (both independent and assisted). There are also added elements of art, geography, science, and more history. Everything is interrelated and builds on each other, from the Bible verse to the poem to history to science – it’s all about the same topic.
I love how easy this curriculum is, and that it covers more than all of our bases. It’s all very self-contained, and planned so logically. It makes it so easy, and there is very little prep work. Not to mention that it’s portable so we can do it from anywhere, and we often do!
I don’t know if we will homeschool forever, but for now, this is the best thing for our family. We haven’t perfected it, and I don’t think we ever will. But I love what we’re doing, and I’m so excited to see where we go from here!
cover photo: Bo Insogna