June 29, 2013

Where to homeschool?

This past school "year" we had a homeschool room. Actually, in the beginning, we started in our living room that I sectioned off and made into a school area. The problem with that is we had to take our chairs from the kitchen everyday and move them back and it generally stayed rather messy. After a couple of months we moved all the girls into one bedroom and reworked the other bedroom for school. It worked really well.

Then, when we were going to switch to private school, I started taking things down and moving it around in that room. My plan was to make it a room for my second oldest daughter to have her own space. We started decluttering the whole house for a yard sale and stacking it in there.

Well, now we've decided to keep homeschooling. The obvious choice is to move everything back and make it a homeschool room. But, I do still want to give Alexa a bedroom to herself. One option is to move the built in desk my husband made into the living room. We have talked about purchasing a desktop computer since they are less expensive and setting it up there for the whole family to use. I can also move my sewing stuff into the living room and use a cabinet to hide it. Then we could either fix a small school area in the living room with the desks we were given and some bookshelves, or we could use the kitchen. I was hoping to be able to redo the kitchen this summer so it had more natural daylight. It just gets so dark in there! But, I don't know if we will be able to before school starts. It involves hanging wainscoting and painting the cabinets white, kind of a big job.

1. Do the same thing and use the school room
2. Turn the school room into a 'tween' room, move school stuff into corner of living room
3. Homeschool in the kitchen even though it's kind of dark

If we didn't move her to a bedroom to herself, we could put some shelves up by her bed now (top bunk) where hopefully she could store her things and keep others out of it. She loves rocks and shells and has sacks full of them that she wants to display :)


June 24, 2013

Change of Plans

Ok so I haven't disappeared forever.

So, since I had intended to make a focus of this blog homeschooling, which I didn't do very well anyways, I kind of dropped it when we made the decision to change directions with school. And to be honest, I didn't want to hear anyone's comments in case they weren't nice. Just being truthful.

In May we started saving for tuition for two of our daughters to go to private Christian school. One is in the special needs program at the public school and one is a preschooler. After about 5-6 weeks of saving, we realized that while we could pull it off, saving for tuition AND paying off debt was making it very hard to have enough money to live. Last week we spent some time praying about it and were trying our best to listen to God, but we just didn't know. So,we talked to the girls about it. They decided that we should put off private school another year and homeschool this year.

Honestly, I had been a little sad about not homeschooling and really wanted to try it again because I know I could do a better job. I felt great peace and relief actually, because it was hard to live on SUCH a tight budget. We did it, but it wasn't fun. However, we did save enough to get everything we would need for homeschool.
I was really surprised at how well our girls took this. They have been really wanting to go back to school and I just knew there would be tears. But they decided it would be best to wait and save up and have some extra money for things like dance and baseball. Wow- God totally worked on their hearts.

Last year I was so nervous and ambivalent about homeschool. This time I am looking forward to it and feel much more confident about it. And it is really hard to believe that it has already been a year since we started!! How did that happen?

So now I am putting together a curriculum. While I have an ample budget to get whatever, I still wanna be smart about it. Last year we did a version of the Charlotte Mason education. There is a lot that I really like about homeschooling in that method, but I know my girls better now, and they like textbook learning. That probably has to do with the fact that they've been in the public school system before. My plan is to do both.

We will utilize Charlotte Mason plans for history, reading/literature and some science. We will also include art, music, handicrafts etc. Math, spelling, grammar,phonics and some handwriting will be another curriculum.  And I personally really like unit studies,so I am trying to plan some of those. Mainly I need to do better at planning, because that sure helps things go smoothly, LOL. Planning and then doing, that's how it is supposed to work, not winging it. Lesson learned.

So, I'm back in the game of homeschool mom. And I'll be adding a very smart 4 year old into the mix, so I have to come up with some things for her too. Looks like I might be busier this year! Good news though, since I've recently started using and selling Advocare products, I am feeling much healthier and more energetic, and have started losing weight,so I'm up for the challenge!

I am on Day 11 of the 24 Day Challenge and though it has been a crazy day with not a lot of sleep I am feeling good.By the way, I've typed this whole post with a 4 week old kitten sleeping on my chest or back Hence the lack of sleep.That's another story for another post though.