Decisions and Education
Even before you start a family, there are lots of things to consider (when to have kids, how many to have, do you really even want children?).
Then once you have that precious “grape” growing inside of you – there are a million-and-one more things to consider (NAME, natural birth or pain meds, dr or mid-wife, do you want people in the room with you? Then there is the nursery, and all the “baby stuff” to decide on, breast-feed or bottle-feed?? If you choose to use bottles what kind? There are like 500 different ones to choose from! Packaged diapers, or cloth……..The decisions to make are endless!)
Then you give birth to that precious gift from the Lord. Life is pure bliss. Then you go home from the hospital and the crying starts, the sleep deprivation kicks in, the round the clock feedings, the endless diapers… and you think to yourself (because you would never admit this aloud) “I prayed for this?? I asked God for this??” 😀
A few months go by and you are either getting more sleep, or learning how to function with out, and life is getting better. When you start thinking – oh my! I only have a few more years with this child before I have to send the precious one to school… And that’s when it hits you… more decisions. Do we go the public school route? (It worked out fine for me and the husband.) Do we want a private school education? But geez, that is a lot of money! And then you realize there is a third option…
Wait a minute…. I never really gave that much thought. After all, I never really envisioned myself as a stay at home mom in the first place. Then again, I’m really digging this whole SAHM mom gig. I do love these blessings. But homeschool? Really? What are you saying to me God?
That, my friends, is when you and the husband get on your knees and truly seek out the Lords will. He will let you know what is best for your child, and for you.
God just might suprise you (you should be used to that by now, though) by placing people in your life who support your decision to homeschool. Who have done it themselves and are a great source of friendship, encouragement, advice, and resources.
The husband and I have said we were going to homeschool since before our daughter was actually born. But it was just an idea at the time. This past year we got serious praying about it, and looking into different curriculum and programs…
We’ve always said we would be using the same program that our friends were using. We had seen it in person, watched them use it, seen the children learn and grow – we truly loved this program. However, we would not need it until Kindergarten, and that is still a year off from where were are now. We also knew though, that we wanted to start doing something this year. We wanted to get our daughter used to the idea of school and routine.
I would try talking to people about going ahead and starting “school” with her, but they always said the same thing. Let her be a kid… the best thing you can do is read to her and play with her… I would get so tired and discouraged hearing that. I do play and read with my child, that is why she knows what she does, but she is ready for something more, and they just didn’t understand that. No one knows your child like you do. Remember that.
She LOVES to learn, so we wanted something that would challenge her a little bit. She will be four in November and already knows her letters – upper and lower case, she knows all the sounds they make, she can count and recognize her numbers 0-20, she signs over 300 words, and is trying to read on her own!
We went to a really awesome (if a bit overwhelming) homeschool convention this past May. That is when God truly opened our eyes and made it clear what we were going to do.
So while at the convention, we looked at the booth for the curriculum we planned on using. They had things for toddlers, but it covered things she already knew. Of course, I also know that she is not ready for a full blown kindergarten program either. So we looked around at other options.
The booth next to the one we planned on using was one I had heard of on different blogs, and I knew that a lot of people get torn on using the one we really liked, or this other one. So my husband and I decided to go check it out.
We fell in love! They have a preschool program that is designed for 2-5 year olds! Perfect for our little 3 and ½ year old daughter!! While it still covers a lot of what she already knows, it is a great Christ-centered program that is laid out in an “open and go” format that is perfect for this easily overwhelmed momma. We bought the guide book there on the spot.
Today, August 13, 2012 was my daughters first day of school.
She LOVED it! Her dad and I wrote out a daily schedule that offers plenty of play and reading time in addition to school. The guide breaks down the activities into 6 blocks (see link below), each are designed to take around 5 minutes. So even if we sat and did all the work for the day at one time, we’re looking at 30-45 minutes. The schedule is more for me, to help me stay focused and get things accomplished, than it is for her.
We also made her some responsibility charts – again, keeping it very simple – to help her learn some basic hygiene, and things she needs to take responsibility for.
Today went very well. O loved her Bible lesson and activity. The art project was fun. We listened to the music during play time, and daddy helped her learn the finger (well, whole body really) play that we will do all week. (Here is a link to view the first week of the LHTH program.)
I cannot wait to see how the following weeks go. I will be sure to post about our progress, and more about how we like the program. I have to say, as I prepared for this week, I began researching Heart of Dakota like a mad woman, lol! I did more compariosons on it versus our original pick, read more reviews, scoured the homeschool forums… and I am more convinced than ever that this is exactly where God wants us, and this is what He wants us to use. I have a peace that I have not had the whole time we’ve discussed homeschooling. Of course, it’s not what we thought we would be using, but that is just one of the things I love about my God. He knows better than I do, and when I seek Him and His will, He is more than willing to point me in the right direction.
In case your are interested, her is our schedule, and O’s responsibility charts.