I read a post this morning on a Homeschool Facebook group I’m in and it hit me… After our first year of homeschooling I had already forgotten WHY! I had forgotten my reasoning and beliefs about what is taught in mainstream school. I didn’t even catch it in my last blog post. I didn’t even realize, as I was typing, what I was doing. It took reading a panicked post from a new homeschool mom worrying, like the rest of us just starting out, that we are going to somehow ruin our kids by taking them out of mainstream school to homeschool. Worrying that we wont teach them enough or teach them what they NEED to know. Right there is where it hit me. What they NEED to know… As I was typing my response to her that I will also share with you, my response to her was actually a reminder to myself:
First take a deep breath and realize that most of what your child learns in school they will NEVER use. Yeah, it’s good to know, but my goal is only to expose my kids to that information, not make them memorize it, I just want them to know it’s there. We focus on math (up to a point) and reading/writing/grammar. We do science and history as fun. We focus on life skills and their current interests. After all, their interests are more likely to turn into something they will use on a daily basis and turn into a way to make a living.
I want my kids to know how to think and how to find information, not shove a bunch of information they don’t even care about down their throats. So, with this in mind, what DO I want my kids to learn this year? What do I feel is important? Yes, that still matters because, as children they still do not recognize many important life skills as being such because it doesn’t interest them. Take Caleb, my (as of tomorrow) 13 year old son. He HATES reading and writing. This is non-negotiable in my book. Am I going to let him NOT know how to write a sentence his whole life because he doesn’t like it? No. That would be a great injustice to him and would not prepare him for “adulting”.
I think our revised year will look more like this:
Math using Learn Math Fast (Click the name to purchase it here from Amazon, Free shipping with Amazon Prime!)
Writing and Grammar using Brave Writer (Click the name to visit the Brave Writer website).
Reading both fiction and non-fiction (possibly alternating between a book of their choice and a book of mine).
Audiobooks, I think, will be an important tool in our arsenal this year. We will get audio CD’s that can be played in the car from our local library when we are able, but we will also utilize iTunes
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Holistic Health using Herbmentor.com We have been going crazy trying to find a guideline for health using a holistic approach with no luck… Maybe one day we’ll create one! For now, Herbmentor.com, I think, will suffice. We may try out Earthschooling next year. Their kids can heal programs look wonderful but it is incredibly expensive!
Cooking and meal planning & budgeting (meal planning/budgeting is something mom needs to learn as well, so we’ll learn together!).
All other things will be covered by Quest Clubs. They will choose a badge according to their interests and complete it. We may also work on some badges together as there are SO many to choose from and many of them encompass life skills.
We will continue to do science experiments and explore as it pertains to their interests and as opportunites arrise for me to introduce them to topics they may not know exist as well as geography and history by reading books, watching videos, volunteering and traveling!