Monday, March 10, 2014

Tranistion to Homeschool

During all of our transition, we made a very big decision to home school our girls, ages 6 and 8, instead of transferring them to a new school.  Homeschooling is something I have always been interested in, and, for several reasons and after much prayer, this felt like the right time to begin. 

(For those interested, we are currently using the Easy Peasy curriculum, but plan to begin Heart of Dakota soon.)

Making this choice is a very big change in our family.  We are used to the school schedule, getting up at 6 to get to school by 8, pick up at 11:30, then pick up again at 3:40 (after waiting in line for an hour), home for a small rest before beginning homework, supper, baths, and bedtime at 8pm.  (Not to mention any extra activities such as church or sports!)  Suddenly, there was no routine or rhythm to our lives.

For a few weeks, that was very nice.  We were decompressing from the schedule, unpacking and settling in, and enjoying the holidays.  I've been told that there is a period of time after unenrolling in school that children need to relax, play, and get back to the fun of learning at their own pace.  It proved true for our family.  For about 5 weeks, we did no school whatsoever.  My girls had no interest.  They played; colored; read books; drew; created; learned chores; but never once did they ask when we would have school.  Eventually they did start asking, and I knew it was time.

We are focusing hard on teaching Baby B to read.  She is very interested, and loves the lessons in "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons."  Bianca is moving right along in them, and is beginning to recognize words, though it is slow, as this book focuses on learning letter sounds and sounding out words.  We are also working on sight words to help with this process.

Bella is becoming quite independent in her work!  She often wakes before the other children and gets her schoolwork started before breakfast.  Easy Peasy allows her to be more independent with her work, as it is all online, and she enjoys moving at her own pace.  Bella struggled in school with math, and so we are using this time to back up and be sure she has her basics down.  She reads day and night, literally.  I have to remind her that it is bedtime and to stop reading by light of the nightlight.

We look forward to Bianca reading so that we can work together on the same unit in our schooling.  I would like to order one curriculum set from Heart of Dakota and school both girls together.  How has this worked for you?  Technically, the girls are in kindergarten and third grade.  We may have one more year of separate units to get them working together, but we will see. 

What are the ages of your children that you school together?  Does it work well?  What is your favorite curriculum for unit study?

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Monday, March 3, 2014


We have been in a huge transition period for our family.

I didn't realize at the time exactly how big it would be.

 As I began to post on this blog, my husband was interviewing for a job with Indiana Wesleyan University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

By late October, he had a verbal job offer for the same job, only it would not be in Indianapolis.  It would be out of Champaign, Illinois, 45 minutes from my hometown!

 For a month, I knew that we would probably be moving soon.  Then the actual job offer came through, and they wanted the Mister to start in 10 days.  TEN days.

There was no way we would find a rental home and have our house packed up and moved from Kansas to Illinois in ten days.

So Mister packed up and moved in with my parents.  It was odd to have my husband and parents under the same roof and me and our kids way out in the state of Kansas.

As house hunting began, our large area of options kept shrinking.  Around here, its all about who you know when it comes to finding a good rental home.  Few people advertise their quality homes for rent.  Eventually we had a few options, and every. single. one. was in my hometown.  I was so excited to be so close to my family!!  I love having them near!!  But I wasn't sure how my big city husband would do with that.  By the grace of God, however, he had been staying with my parents for nearly a month, working his new job, by that point, and had discovered that he gets a good taste of the big city with his job nearly every week.

In my wildest dreams and scariest nightmares, I never once put us living in my itty bitty hometown.

God answers prayers in ways we never could have dreamed.

Sometimes he even answers prayers we never knew we prayed.