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Homeschool Page!

We have been homeschooling since Hannah was born. We started researching it before she was born. Let me tell you, there is a lot of information out there on homeshooling! We hope this page will give you an idea of what we do and what our days are like. Be sure to visit the Homeschool Links page where you'll find some great links we have found useful.

First off, let me tell you that homeschooling is not for everyone. We are not against the public or private school systems. We believe this is what God would have us do for now. We will continue to homeschool as long as we believe and feel it is what He wants us to do. Pray about it, and then decide as a family if it is what you believe you are being called to do. Homeschooling is not an easy task, but is a wonderful experience. If you are not a very organized person, or a very disciplined person, homeschooling may not be for you. It must be supported from all. This can't be a decision of one parent and not the other. Again, pray about it before jumping in full throttle.

We homeschool for several reasons. The main and most important is that we feel called to homeschool. We feel that God wants us to homeschool and we feel that we would be sinning against God if we didn't. Homeschooling is a way of life around here. Anything and everything can be turned into a "schooling" experience. We don't always call it school, or say, "We're schooling now while fixing dinner", but we use as many activities as we can to teach our children. Doesn't sound much different than what you do at home already? It might not be that different. Learning begins at home from birth. We teach our children so much from the beginning that teaching them to read and do their math is just an added bonus, to us. Watching Hannah first learn to read was so exciting and rewarding at the same time. Rewarding in that we taught her; exciting in that we wouldn't have missed it for the world. We were together when she learned, we've watched her progress, we've watched her struggle some, but we've also watched her smile and radiate as she realized that she read it! Such a beautiful experience and we're beginning to watch it in Rebekkah. We look forward to it with each child.

We homeschool using Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.. I would encourage you to visit their websight to see if Sonlight is for you. They have many discussion forums, an eight-week, risk-free trial of their basic curriculum, and an online catalog. Just as homeschooling isn't for everyone, Sonlight isn't for everyone. We like Sonlight for several reasons. One of the main reasons being that they have a teacher's schedule with all of their curriculum. Having four children, I don't really have the kind of time to sit down and write a schedule each day or even each week for each subject. With Sonlight, it's all done for me! And the cool thing about that, too, is that I can pick and choose which lessons I want to do ~ one of the joys of homeschooling. I usually always do all the lessons, but some days I don't find it necessary to do them all, or I might find one that I think is too difficult for the kids and they are not ready for it yet. Use your judgement and pray about it. That's one of the really cool things about homeschooling--you can pick your course of curriculum, but you can also pick your lessons.

One of the other main reasons we like Sonlight is because it is a literature based curriculum. The science and history/geography use literature books for many of the lessons, there is a daily Bible reading and there are many read-a-louds. Sonlight is a curriculum that brings you together. You spend much time together reading and talking about what you've just read. Sonlight also helps your children get an understanding of other cultures and countries. For instance, in first grade, Hannah learned about many different peoples who don't have the Bible in their own language. We read about them and prayed for them each week. This year we are using a book called Window on the World. It discusses different people groups and then tells how we can pray for them. Hannah and Rebekkah really enjoy learning about these people, seeing on the map where they live, and praying for them. What an awesome opportunity to foster compassion for other people in your kids!

These are just some of the reasons we like Sonlight. Again, Sonlight is not for everyone. Visit their website to find out if Sonlight is for you and your family.

As for our day and how it goes, where do we fit schooling into the day, how do we get everything else done around the house? Here's an example of our homeschooling day.

8:00 AM Rise and Shine
Time to get the kids up!
until 10:00 AM Breakfast, baths, getting dressed, the kids' chores and starting the laundry.
10:00-12:00 School!
12:00 PM Lunch
until about 5:00 PM We finish up school that didn't get finished in the morning hours. Usually only math needs finishing for Hannah. Then we finish laundry and other chores, do crafts some days, and much playing, etc.

As you can see, homeschooling fits right into the day. Hannah is in second grade now and Rebekkah is in Kindergarten. Sarah and Joshua are doing Preschool work. The really neat thing about schooling more than one not too far apart in ages is that you can use some of the same curriculum with all the kids. Like with Hannah and Rebekkah right now, Rebekkah does Science and History with Hannah. All the kids listen in on Hannah's Bible time and read-a-louds. They love it. It may be a little above their heads on some of it, but you'd be surprised what they retain! With more children, the main things to cater to their age is the reading and math. The older the kids get, the more they can begin doing on their own, with a little less supervision.

Another thing to consider is getting involved with a homeschool group. We are a part of the Peninsula Vineyard Homschool Group. We have monthly meetings, Mom's Nights Out, craft days, community outreach, field trips, and park days. The Support Group is a wonderful way for the kids to fellowship with other homeschoolers and a great way for you to have some adult interaction. Find a support group near you!

Homeschooling has been wonderful for us. I'm not going to kid you...there are days it's rough or days we don't feel like doing school, but that's the joy of schooling at home. We can pick our own holidays and days off. Sometimes I just need a teacher work day to catch up on some things around the house. We school all year long, taking breaks when we need them, so taking a teacher work day every now and then doesn't hurt. On days when Daddy is home from work, we usually take the day off. (But a lot of those days we're going to museums and school gets done anyway.) Just be sure to check your State's laws on homeschooling. Some states require a certain number of days of attendance per year.

We hope this has helped you some in deciding if homeschooling is for you. Feel free to email us if you have any questions and be sure to visit our homeschool links page. Thank you for visiting and have a blessed day!

This page created on 08OCT01 by Kelly A. Youngblood using Notepad.
Updated 13 NOV 03. Page best viewed with font "Kidprint".
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