Thursday, June 26, 2014

Home-school Revamp

Written a few months back, I am sharing a post that hadn't been published but was saved as a draft. Since I wrote it, we have been working mostly on reading and some neat science projects the kids have enjoyed. 

I feel like I'm running out of time. My pregnancy appears to have progressed rapidly and I realize what this means. It seems that very soon the time spent with our schooling will be affected greatly. I know from past experience, that immediately after giving birth and for some time later, our schooling time diminishes considerably. As it is, my days are spent driving my college-aged girls to and from school, making our schooling schedule choppy and shortened.

 I could have really used a schedule, but never did get around to it. Instead we have mostly done lessons from workbooks for the youngest. Occasionally I prepare a more elaborate lesson with a project which I know my kids enjoy much better. The oldest ones have more freedom choosing what and when to study. Usually they spend most of their time reading something they are interested in, this could be anything from history, biographies, science, or literature. Later, they might work on some math and writing. I haven't been as consistent as I would like, but I try to keep them accountable. To do this, I periodically ask, what they are working on at the moment, and I encourage them to make sure to dedicate time to different subjects.

It's important to check through the work they do, in order to get a better idea of the progress made. This helps me see where there is need for improvement. As it is, I see a need to spend more time reading with my younger ones. My older kids could also benefit from putting more emphasis studying grammar. 

I think this coming week is a good one to make some major changes. We need more structure and better accountability. Maybe the best way to accomplish this is keeping a written record of our daily school work. My older home-schooled kids have planners, but haven't used them much. This however seems like a good time to start using them again. If I purpose to check their planners daily, and record the lessons worked on by my younger ones; I believe we can make some noticeable improvement.  

Accountability is important for me as well. That is why I'm grateful for the times my husband asks if and how, our kids schooling is progressing. I also feel gratitude for my college students. They see and understand the importance of education, and will regularly question their siblings schooling improvement (or lack of improvement). This helps keep me on my toes and helps me focus better on our educational goals. 

I'm excited for the coming weeks. Maybe, I'll even take some time to post some of the things we work on. I do love being a home-school mom, even though I admit to being guilty of slacking off a bit.
My goal for the next few weeks is to revamp our home-school! Any ideas or comments are appreciated. 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Making some progress

  It finally feels like we are making some progress. Presently, I have three kids in college and one preparing for his GED exam. We're hoping he is enrolled in college for his first semester this coming fall, by the way. Amazing how time flies. It seemed only yesterday when our firstborn enthusiastically begged to be home-schooled. Now he is attending a university and doing rather well in meeting his educational goals. We have two children that are studying to be physicians and one from the picture above planning on becoming a nurse. 

  Life can be difficult at times and there can be periods that seem progress is no where in the horizon; but if we hang in there, we will see the the results of our labor. We are far from done, as we have seven more kids home-schooling and are due for our twelfth child in about a week. Looking back however, it is such joy to see our kids dedicated to their education and working on their goals. 

  It is by no means an easy thing raising children and deciding a home education is the only way to go. We made this decision years ago and have stuck it out, and now are beginning to see the fruit of our labor. Education is definitely a priority to our family, even though I am the most likely unqualified fit for the job. At least it's how I've felt all along. My thought has pretty much been, a hope not to ruin their education to the point they hate it or give up. But I have learned some valuable lessons along our educational journey. Maybe one the best lessons I've learned, is that teaching the basics and a love of learning, is enough to get them well on their way; and they then take off on their own. Give them the tools, and then give them room. That's basically what it takes. 

Feeling accomplished and,