I'll admit it... I used to think homeschooling was crazy and only for people with an unimaginable amount of patience. That thought of homeschooling didn't change until last year when I was facing the idea of my oldest child entering school.
I looked into the school districts around me. Poor grades. Huge behavioral issues. Drug issues (in elementary school!). Wepons being brought to school. Bibles are on the "contraban" list. One third of the kids in the district we live in can't read by high school.
I was less than impressed. My oldest is pretty bright. In most areas she was past the kindy curriculum they presented. The more I looked the more discouraged I felt. How was she going to learn all she is cappable of in these schools?
I prayed. A LOT. I begged God to show me how to make sending her to the private school our church runs work. Because I viewed that as the only other option.
In stead, over a few weeks the Lord worked on my heart. I suddenly saw all the ways I teach my children, with great success, on a daily basis. God worked in my heart. It snuck up on me. I prayed for an answer and when I closed that prayer, I knew that I needed to homeschool my children.
I was scared but determined. I also set the bar pretty low for our first year. Hoping to succed at 2 hours a day three times a week. Many weeks we have surpassed that... some days we do six hours in one day! Some times we accomplish nothing at all for a week.
Every evening I make a list of what we should ideally accomplish the next day.
The list is almost always too long. Realistically there is no way to get it all done.
Through out the day I prioritize what gets done when and IF something gets done. I make it easy using this system.
Level 1: NEED TO: Basic feeding, hygine, child and animal care.
Level 2: HAVE TO: bible, church, "stinky chores" (dishes, laundry, trash), volunteer/charity work
Level 3: SHOULD DO: sweeping, vacuuming, errands, picking up, good wipe down of kitchen
Level 4: WANT TO: school, mopping, tub/toilet
Level 5: COULD DO: windows, matching socks
I don't think I've ever gotten to level 5... I've handed the sock box over to the kids and my grandmother washes my windows every 6 months because she tells me how horrible they are.
Some people ask why I set my priorities this way. My answer is that I think about things in the grand view.
Will math or housekeeping skills serve them better?
Will faith serve than better than housekeeping skills?
Will being able to dress themselve allow more time to serve the Lord?
I think most people understand level 1. I think I lose most people when the bible comes before chores, school or anything else. We live our life according to this acrostic:
Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last
Beyond basic feeding and care, every choice is measured against this acrostic. Following this pattern brings us joy because it follows the Lords plan!
I challenge everyone to live a life of JOY!
Speaking challenges... The grocery challenge! For February, our grand total was $573. Not the $400 goal, but closer than the $600 budget!
and for those curious how homeschooling has been going... Alex started out in kindy work in October, she's now on to first grade and reads at a second grade level. Baillie was doing pre-k work and is finishing up kindy while reading at a first grade level. Cheyenne who wasn't even doing school in October, has mastered most kindy skills and has picked up all beginning reading skills. Basically, they're THRIVING!