Over the past two years, we’ve been sharing a wealth of information about homeschooling here at MomSCHOOL. I appreciate the comments that you have made and hope that I have been able to answer your questions! I like to think of all of you as my online friends. So, just between friends… I’d like to introduce you to my family.
My husband of twenty years and I have six children. We started homeschooling in 2004, and just recently graduated our oldest daughter. Homeschooling is probably the most rewarding task I have taken on… but it is also the most challenging! I am a veteran school teacher of 14 years, I also have 3 college degrees… all that to say that homeschooling is still challenging even for the educated parent. Again, though challenging it is vastly rewarding! I encourage you, even if you haven’t gone to college or even finished high school you can homeschool. If you are intimidated, there are great resources out there that do all the hard work for you. Many of them are video based or online homeschool programs, but each of them make it a simple task to homeschool your child.
We have six children ages 17, 15, 12, 12, 8, and 6. Needless to say our house is always busy, always crazy, and we are always headed to the grocery store! I retired from teaching when w
e made the decision to homeschool all of our children. It was a good decision, and though I still tutor and teach college courses… we never looked back! My husband works for a local charter school and is a great supporter and encourager of our homeschool endeavors!
When we started out, we used an “out of the box” curriculum called ABEKA. We simply ordered the entire thing for the grades we needed. We did this simply because this was the curriculum I was used to as a teacher and what I had used when I was in school. This is an awesome curriculum, and one that is very challenging. However, not every child does well with this curriculum, and it isn’t the easiest to use for a large family. Those first two years were pretty insane. I was trying to homeschool at 5 different levels as well as care for a toddler. It wasn’t working to say the least! I finally stumbled across a few options that were great for large families. One of the best was Vocabulary and Spelling City. This online program allowed me to put each of my different students in their own account with their own individual assignments that would be automatically tracked by the program. This one resource saved me hours each week!
The second homeschooling resource that I fell in love with was Apologia. I began using this curriculum (one book) for all of my elementary level students, and an individual book for my highschool student. It worked great. I could augment the curriculum with additional assignments for the older students while requiring a lap book for the younger ones. All of this with only one well written science text geared specifically for homeschoolers! It was getting better and better!
I have used a variety of curriculum over the years, some written for homeschool and some not. We typically have a blended schedule each year, finding the best curriculum to meet the varying needs of each of my children. In fact, I might use Saxon for one of my children in 5th grade and then use Singapore Math for another child when they reach 5th grade. I try to monitor their likes and dislikes, passions and interests, and then fire them up with homeschool curriculum that targets those strengths.
I have to say that with each new year, I learn more about my children and homeschooling. I hope that if you are “on the fence” about homeschooling… our blog may help you see what a great blessing it is!