Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Adventures in Home Educating

I have been home educating my kids off and on since 2006.  We began our homeschooling adventures in Washington state, then we moved to the UK, where I taught my two oldest children (then 9 and 5), for two years.  Life became very busy, and I prayerfully decided to put them back in the school.  We moved to Ohio in 2012, and all three of my kids went to public school.  A year later we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and again, my kids ended up in public school.  After about two months, my daughter, who struggles with Tourettes and ADHD, started BEGGING me to homeschool her.  Her behavior and my relationship with her during this time was very strained.  After much deliberation and prayer, I made the decision to pull her out of school last December.
The first week of homeschooling I noticed a tremendous change in my daughter.  Because she had more time with me, she was happier, less annoying to her brothers (yeah, I was an only girl with 5 brothers, and I always annoyed them :D), and the tone in our home became amazingly more peaceful.  She is one of the most creative people I have ever known, and now she has time to be her best self.  She has more time to practice her (even though I still have to nag her), and even her harp teacher noticed an vast improvement in her playing after only a week of homeschooling.  She still was required to take the LEAP test (Standardized test in Louisiana, and required to be taken by all 4th and 8th graders to be allowed back in public school), which she passed.  I wasn't sure, though, if I wanted to homeschool her for 5th grade.
One of my most difficult parts of homeschooling has been making connections with other homeschoolers, or finding a community of like-minded families.  Part of that problem is because we move around so often, and it is difficult to establish roots and connections.
Then I stumbled upon Classical Conversations.  I have to tell you, I have spent a lot of $$$$$ on many different curricula, but this program makes the most sense to me.  We started our journey with Classical Conversations this summer.  I actually signed up to be a tutor.  Now, each week, we meet as a community, learn the new material, do science experiments, fine arts (the first six weeks was drawing, now we are learning music on the tin whistle), and we review the material from the past six weeks.  And since my daughter is older (age 10), she also participates in Essentials, which delves deeper into English grammar, mental math, and writing.  All I have to say is, I.  L.O.V.E. I.T.
I struggle with ADHD, so staying on task can be a challenge for me.  This program keeps me on task, and if I am having a crazy day/week, I can supplement as much or as little as time permits.  Even just memorizing and reviewing the materials from the two classes is enough.  My daughter is remembering and learning a tremendous amount of information--and so am I.
I have home educated for nearly 6 years now, and I finally have found a home for home educating.

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