Homeschooling at its Finest. Books a Million is one of my favorite places. I love…
Here is my Homeschooling 101. I’ve been homeschooling for the better part of 12 yrs. Do I do things in the “normal” fashion? Well, I guess that demands on your definition of normal. My definition of normal is a mom with pink and purple hair (much to her mom’s chagrin), being barefoot 99.5% of the time and drinking coke out of a wine glass….your definition probably is a whole lot different and that’s okay. That’s what makes the world turn.
Here are some questions that I have been asked, as well as, some comments people have made:
1. What does a typical day look like?
A typical day is Boo coming upstairs to wake me up at about 8 am. I meander, make phone calls, take a shower, etc and then I come downstairs by 8:45 or 9 am. Bear in mind, my kids are now older and I wasn’t always able to do that. While I’m “getting myself” together for the day, the kids eat breakfast, clean up their breakfast spaces and then do their chores. Once 9 am hits, I’m checking my email, Bug (oldest dd) helps Little Man (youngest son) with his work; Peach, Boo and Gigi are doing their work and I have Catfish write his spelling words.
When Catfish is done, I go and work solely with him. He has some delays and some learning disabilities and it takes a while to get things done. Everyone else works independently, asking me questions as the day goes by. I have one who sits in the kitchen, 3 who set at the dining room table and 2 that work in the living room.
We stop at noon to eat lunch. They eat, then clean up their space. Once that is done, they go upstairs and watch a movie, go play in their rooms or outside, or read a book until about 2. This gives me time to make phone calls, do specific housework, check email, text, read, watch a show, relax….they do not bother me during this time. After that time is up, they finish up schoolwork for about an hour or so. By then, we are doing other things, outside the home.
We “school” Monday-Thursday. Fridays are reserved for make up stuff, tests, field trips, etc. I also grade all papers on Friday. Once a month, I write out their schedules. Each child has one and we check things off when we are done. The kids are responsible for keeping up with their schedules. If they get lost, then they get to do extra work until their schedules are found.
To make things easier, we have crates. Each child has a crate and that is where they keep their books/pencils/papers and schedules. I make things VERY organized for them.
2. What type of curriculum do you use?
I have been known to use Sonlight, Abeka, Bob Jones, Starfall.com, enchantedlearning.com, or I make up my own. This past year, I got on timberdoodle.com and I looked under their “complete packaged curriculum” and I wrote down what each child would need. Then, I bought those books off of timberdoodle, homeschoolclassifieds.com or amazon.com That has been my favorite thing, so far.
I do lapbooks, unit studies, Mystery of History, Teaching Textbooks, Exploring Creation…it is a free for all. I have also found a WONDERFUL site allinonehomeschool.wordpress.com that is COMPLETELY free and AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has done all the work for you. You will need a copier and some small supplies. She has it completed from preschool-8th grade and is working in high school.
3. How do you teach multiple kids, multiple ages?
My oldest dd (17) has classes at our local university. She started them last August and is able to go for a fraction of the cost because she is still in “high school”. By the time she “graduates”, she will also have her Associates Degree. She does refresher math courses because that is her weakness. She does this online and it is also free. Khan Academy is a great resource. She wants to be a teacher, one day and so she has taken on the challenge of teaching my youngest son, 6. He works part-time with her, part-time with me and he does computer work to help with his letter/number recognition.
Peach (almost 15), Boo (almost 12) and Gigi (12) have their schedules are are independent learners. They come to me when needed.
Catfish (8) works one on one with me due to his learning issues.
4. Your house is so clean, how do you keep it that way?
Each child has an area that they are solely responsible for. I have learned to let go of my OCD tendencies and my perfectionism in those areas. I teach them how to properly clean it, they do it. Sometimes they do it halfway and when that happens, they redo it. I am not the maid, I am a mom. My job is to not raise perfect children…my job is to raise Godly responsible adults.
Bug (17) – laundry and laundry room
Peach (15) – both bathrooms
Gigi (12) – kitchen
Boo (11) – chickens, living room/dining room
Catfish (8) – take out/feed dogs, hall/foyer
Little Man (6) – feed cats/help Catfish
They are all responsible for their own rooms.
We “deep” clean on Mondays. Do chores every morning and then we pick up before daddy gets home.
5. Do you still have time to cook?
I vary on this. Sometimes I cook once a month, sometimes once every two weeks and sometimes I cook nightly. I do not cook on Sunday or Wednesday nights…we eat at church. I also don’t cook on Thursday nights. Big Daddy makes me a pizza and the kids either eat pizzas or macaroni. It’s their favorite night.
I make out my menus, ahead of time for the time frame that I’m cooking for. I write down, in my calendar, what we will have on each night. Visual helps my sanity. I make out a complete grocery list and then I go through my pantry/fridge/freezer and mark off what I already have.
6. Do you feel like your kids are “socialized” enough?
Uhmmmmmmmmmmm…………yes. My kids are learning how to love their siblings and to love others. There are all different kinds of socialization. Some good and lots bad.
7. What outside activities do your children participate in?
Girl Scouts, 4-H, church, field trips, eventually karate and boy scouts. I would like for each kid to be in something…we shall see.
8. How do you remain so calm?
I don’t. I deep breathe, go to my room, drink a coke, pet a cat, sing a show tune…that is how I attempt to stay calm. I’m not a yeller, but I get frustrated. Chaos and loudness are a part of my life.
9. What are your qualifications?
What are yours? I’m a mom. I’m a daughter of the King and I read the greatest instruction manual ever…the Word. I am just trying to be obedient.
10. What are the “requirements” that meet state standards?
In KY, which is the only state I know about, the requirements are to send a letter to the superintendent 2 weeks prior to school starting, stating your intentions and keeping a record of attendance. However, I keep everything. Then, I test once a year. Bob Jones University standardized testing is what I use. I start testing in 5th grade, but not before.
11. What do you have against public schools?
12. What does your family think?
Ha….they think more of my pink/purple hair then my choice of homeschooling. My mom is a retired teacher…she has thoughts…my siblings have thoughts….and if I wanted to know their thoughts, then I would ask LOL. They pray for me, for my children and that is what is important.
I will say that it is wonderful when you do have a support system. I have an excellent one, in my husband.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Comment on here, ask on Facebook and with your permission, I will post your thoughts/questions on here…someone else may have the same question.