Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Homeschool Year

This year marks year five home educating my children. I was reminiscing the other day of Journey being in pigtails snuggling up to me while reading Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader 1. She loved to then go draw a picture and narrate back to me. She was a natural word girl. The reading started at 4.5 years and took off shortly after five. You would find this little petite five year old curled up in the corner with a book far beyond her years. I remember her reading Homer Price at just 6 years old and laughing while reading. She totally got the humor. These are precious memories and what fun we had and still do. She continues to be my word girl, running for the dictionary when we can't spell something or know the meaning. She has on her own initiative created a vocabulary book and personal animal encyclopedia compiling all the different things she reads about animals.

I used to think it was the method I used or maybe that I was just smart (ha!). Though I think different methods do help different children, ultimately she is this way because she was wired and created this way. She loves words, language, writing and reading with a passion. It's beautiful to me because I am the same way. I also love it because personality wise she is so much like my husband and she look likes him too. It's such a treasure that we have in common.

Well, along comes child number two. All my grandiose ideas about my homeschooling capabilities went out the window. Isaac is the polar opposite of Journey. All boy, of coarse! Isaac needs to see it, touch it and feel it or it just doesn't compute. This is how he was wired and created to be. I am still on a learning curve to teach him the basics. Added to all this is the ADHD and struggle to pay attention, and to auditorily process his world. Words are strange to him, though he loves stories it's not the words he grasps but the pictures he forms in his head. I anticipate reading fluently is a ways off for him. Part of his struggle is simply coming to the table of learning willingly. The ADHD makes even trying to focus frustrating which then he compensates for by acting out. So much of teaching him right now is to manage himself, not mastering language. As long as this is his greatest need it is where we will strive to grow. Reading will come but self control and character are built from the foundation. They are the building blocks to learning and education in my opinion.

So I embark on year five of teaching my children at home. It is mixed with joy and intimidation. On many levels I am clueless. I am not the crafty, spontaneous hands on mom who loves a good messy craft. I don't think along the lines of hands on and pictures. I think in words for the most part. This is stretching for me. If I am honest, I am not going into this year gung-ho. I think the big yellow school bus looks appealing. This week my kids are in a soccer camp for 3 hours everyday. I keep thinking, this must be what it feels like to send your kids to school everyday. I get to think, process without one hundred questions....without TONS of noise. The baby and I get to hang out and do baby stuff. The laundry is caught up, the dishes are done, I read a book......and on goes the mental gymnastics. The temptation is HUGE for me to throw in the towel and pursue this ease in my life. This up coming year will not be easy as we learn how to learn together, all being so different. It might even get down right ugly some days.

Fortunately my assurance isn't in my method or Susan Wise Bauer's (though I love her method!). It is in the fact that God has called us to teach our children, on every level, in our home. So though I feel intimidated and completely out of my comfort zone, I know that the path I am on is the right path for our family. I am fully convinced this is where he has placed me for His glory and my good.

God will supply all that I need for life and godliness. He is faithful and able when I am not.

And homeschooling is life on hyper drive some days, especially around here!

(Want to be clear that I don't think putting a child in public or private school is wrong...simply not what we are called to do with our kids at this time)


Anonymous said...

I have one son who isn't eager to come to "the table of learning." I'm sure that in a public school he would be labeled and treated a certain way because he's a little slower and very active. But, like you, I like the ability to tailor school to fit his learning ability and style.

Joy said...

Are you sure you weren't talking about my Isaiah? *grins* I can relate to your post in so very many ways.

I will be praying for you and your kiddos on your homeschooling journey this next year!

Anonymous said...

I can relate to how tempting in can be to want to always look at a clean house and have time to breathe. But I also know that I can always clean my house once my son is grown - I can't get back the time I've lost or the moments I've shared with him if I send him back to school. I would rather get what I can done in the time I have and deal with all those million questions rather than have a teacher share in those moments. My house can get Spic N Span clean once he does decide to leave on his own terms.

Dan said...

I was happy to discover your blog today. I was unable to find a contact link. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling and vocabulary words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child's spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software helps the child practice his or her words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists.

I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in A Mother's Musings. If you are interested in hosting a giveaway of a SpellQuizzer license I'd be happy to supply a free license to the winner. You can learn more about the program at There's a video demo you can watch at and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another ( Finally, there's a page targeted to homeschooling families at I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!

Dan Hite
TedCo Software

Jorge and Karen Silva said...

Sandi, you are such a wise woman!! Even thinking back to talks we had back in our ship days, that is what comes to my mind...your wisdom and your gift of communicating it!