About Me

My photo
Thanks for visiting! My name is Lori and I am married to my high school sweetheart and have 2 beautiful girls. What is 'Life With Sugar & Spice'? It's a blog where I will share everything from my faith in Jesus Christ and my girls (sugar and spice) to thrifting and decorating! I started it as a way to showcase our everyday life to family out of town!
Powered by Blogger.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Homeschool: A Recap

I promised at the closing of the school year, that I'd post about my first year as a homeschool momma.  I wanted to give you my opinions, the pros and the cons of our choice and how it went.

First off, if you don't know our story, you can read it here.  If you remember, our girls are enrolled in a University Model School; they attend school 2 days a week and I homeschool the rest. I will tell you upfront, I don't believe every momma should homeschool their children.  I truly believe it's a choice you make based on your children and their needs, as well as God's direction.  Whether you decide on private, public, full homeschool, or a hybrid model, I feel like we have no business judging anyone else's choices.

I can honestly say that our first year was amazing.  It was hard. I cried...A LOT.  The girls cried.  We said ugly things to each other.  I doubted my efforts and abilities.  But, both the Hubs and I saw amazing fruit from our labor and the blessings have overflowed!

So, what was the good, bad and ugly?
* First up, I didn't get to choose the curriculum.  It's set by the school.  This was great, yet hard at the same time, since I didn't love all that was offered.  For example, we used Shurley English which was very difficult teaching at grade 5.  Once we learned it, we LOVED it and she grabbed onto it and excelled! Since Ry started it at grade 2 (which is the first year they use it at our school), it wasn't as challenging for her and I could see the benefit of using it from the beginning.

I also must mention that the teachers develop all the lesson plans.  I print everything out Sunday night and follow the plan to a 'T.'  No stress in picking books and trying to ensure that the girls are learning what the state mandates.  That's done for me. But again, I can't change it if it doesn't work.  What I can do, is drop that particular class. 

I did choose to pull Chloe out of History and if I'm honest, I didn't do a great job of teaching it this year.  While I do plan to teach History on my own next year for both girls, I will strive to be better at actually teaching them.  It's easy to forget it!

*  We had very little flexibility.  While traditional homeschoolers can flex their schedule and customize subjects to each child's needs, I could not. I had to follow the school lesson plans.  What was completed on Monday, was typically due on Tuesday and so on.  We had to complete the work as it was assigned no matter how heavy the load may have been.

Now, I did flex Fridays and Mondays.  We typically took half days on Fridays, but it made Mondays very long.  I could also choose to put off a project until it was closer to the due date.  

With this school model we had a huge amount of tests.  Tons!  Once we got used to it, it wasn't as big of a deal.  The first semester was very difficult as we tried to learn balance between tests and projects.  Again, it's just something we got used to and it goes with the school.  You either learn to adapt, or you choose a different path.

* We loved our schedule.  The girls loved having a day home, then at school.  It was a nice balance to our week. It gave them enough of the social experience and activities that they craved, but allowed me to spend plenty of time guiding and nurturing where I felt needed while we were home. 

*  Responsibility and Independence:  by second semester, the girls blew me away with their responsibility!  There were many mornings I'd awake (yes, I slept in a lot) to find them at the table with lesson plans in hand all ready hard at work.  It was such a blessing to get to this point.  They were eager to complete their lessons.  It was so different than hounding them about homework when we were public school.

* Spiritual Growth:  while I wasn't as diligent with bible teaching as I should have been, I was able to instill biblical teaching into our day.  What a blessing to be able to talk about God's word at lunch and reflect on it's meaning.  I saw amazing growth in their desire for God's word. This is an area of great opportunity this year and I hope to be much more dedicated to it.

* I liked that the girls had to learn to adapt to different teachers and their unique teaching style and requirements.  Ry had 2 main teachers and Chloe had 4.  While not every teacher was my favorite, they were all great teachers and the girls learned that each one expected something a little different.  For my girls, this was huge!  Not only did they have to answer to me, they had other teachers that had high standards for work. For me, this kept me accountable and taught them valuable lessons about answering to authority.  Not that we had an issue with that, but when you have multiple teachers it takes some getting used to!  Ry hAD one very strict teacher and one sweet, relaxed teacher. 

* Cost:  It wasn't cheap.  Our decision to school the girls in this format is costly.  Not as expensive as private school, but it's costly.  There are uniforms, books, and fees.  I work at the school on the 2 days that they attend and barter for tuition.  Yes, we may be crazy to "pay" for school coming off of unemployment and having such a large pay decrease. All I can say is that this has been a HUGE leap of faith and we've seen God prove faithful. 

It's hard to put into words how much it has brought our family closer.  Or how much Chloe has matured and blossomed.  And it's not just me.  It's God using all the pieces he's set into motion to bless our children.  That is worth every penny, tear, and hour of instruction.  I only have these sweet girls for a short amount of time and the sacrifice is small in comparison. 

While I don't expect everyone to understand why we'd be willing to sacrifice so much for schooling, we know it's where God wants our girls for now.  I don't think it's forever. But it's what we'll do until God directs us otherwise!

No comments:

Post a Comment