Are you a successful homeschooler?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One of the best parts of being part of a homeschool community is the time I get with all the other homeschooling moms.  We could (and do) talk for hours about curriculum, testing, reading levels, unopened science kits, used book fairs and speed drills.

But if I'm completely honest, when I listen to other moms talk about the most recent project done by their 8 year old, I'm secretly comparing my child's knowledge and ability in that area.  I'm constantly trying to determine where my children fit, or excel or lack compared to other students.

It's so easy to focus on what we're not doing or where I think my child is "behind" where they might be in a formal school.  And enjoy all the guilt that comes with that train of thought.

With a school year soon coming to a close, my mind is moving on to how much better we will be next school year, when we start using _______ book, or just start fresh.   But that's not how I want to finish the year.

It was not a failure.

In fact, we saw a lot of success.

I want to claim each success, celebrate them.  Not for me, but for my kids -who grow most often in spite of me-but a lot of times, also because of me.

  • Keeping Geography Songs going in the car led us to learn every song in under a year.  My 4 year old can tell you what countries are in Equitorial Africa.  I love that.  (and need to video it)
  • Boo loves to read--he reads road signs, movies on our netflix queue, and bedtime stories to his siblings.  I tell him, "Stop reading!"  And he says, "I can't, Mom!"
  • Belle is thisclose to finishing math book-which is just about on-time.
  • She and I have also found a time to read together-while Daddy reads to the boys at bedtime, she and I sneak off and I read to her.  This is sacred time between us-time we despiritely need, I believe for our relationship both now and later. 
  • Big Boy and I also enjoy couch time, and are well into 100 Easy Lessons.  He loves and needs this one on one time.  And so do I.  

Here's my challenge for anyone who home-schools:  notice your successes.  name them, write them down (maybe in your yearbook?), throw a party, call a friend.  it's up to you.  But do share them-with other moms and your kids-it is their success, too.

And of course, tell me!  I'd love to hear what's worked for you!

8 Creative People Had This To Say:

Kelsy said...

Geeze, Kristen. When I read your title for this blog I literally sighed and thought "nope. Not at all."

But then I read what you said, identified with it COMPLETELY and started to list the good things we've done this year. So, here they are.

1. My (almost) 8 year old discovered that he loves reading. This year, thanks to the Magic Tree House and Boxcar Children Graphic Novels, Eli's gone from being forced to read to being forced to put the book down.

2. My 6 year old pretty much taught herself to read. She got a new children's Bible at church for being a kindergarten graduate and read the first 85 pages, completely on her own, in a week.

3. I talked our local library into starting a story time for homeschool kids. They read books and do science experiments once a week. We've had 8 families show up so far. That's pretty good for our small community of less than 3000.

There are more, but this will do for now. I'm thinking I may have to expand on this on my own blog later this week. Right now, I'm off to hide from this storm system in my mom's basement.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I loved this post. I've been meaning to email you for the longest time but then I get caught up in a million other things. like packing for our big move. Anyway, as you know we are moving to Brazil for a year. Enzo is supposed to start Kindergarten in the Fall. For lots of reasons, mostly money and how the school year works in Brazil, I will most likely be home schooling Enzo. I have been looking at curriculum online and it's so expensive. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe I could call you one day and we could talk about this. I feel trapped. I don't want to spend a bunch of money but I also want Enzo to have a good experience being home schooled. I never thought I would homeschool so this all very new to me.

Kelsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelsy said...

Damaris, I would highly recommend you check out this post from the Pioneer Woman.

care said...

Great post! I'm not very proud of our homeschool year, except for the fact that we actually did it -- we made it though the year! I have lots of thoughts and hopes for next year! BTW -- my kids love that geography CD too! I see another commenter recommended the Pioneer Woman's homeschool section of her web site and I'd wholeheartedly agree -- I love her web site!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

Kelsy and Kristen thanks for your reply.

Kelsy that Pioneer Woman is one amazing lady, my goodness! Thanks for directing me to her homeschooling section. I had never looked at it before. She really is the Oprah of the internet.

Kristen, thanks for your detailed email. I really appreciated it. I already did 100 easy lessons with Enzo and he is reading really well. I'm going to take a bunch of books with us and some math workbooks as well and I'm going to enjoy being where I am as much as I can.

Braley Mama said...

wow, thanks for the encouragement sister! You always have the best ideas, and attitude! Thanks for inspiring me!

Summer said...

Ah! I've been trying to find songs like that for the car! Where did you find them?! You are AWESOME!