Friday, June 1

i almost sent my kid to school… but then i didn't.

the time has come, (and really, come and gone) for most families with kids brody's age, to make the big schooling decision. he turned four in april and most of his friends have been in pre school since three. he's been home with me as i hem and haw over which road to take with his education in these next few years. we've been playing a lot, and letting him be a kid.


he's a smart cookie, my brody boy. and i take little to no credit for it. he has a memory like no one i have ever met. the other day he told me, in detail, about the old red car we used to have, aka the car we got rid of when he was 18 months old. um yah. i tell him something one time and he has it memorized. he points out octagons and parallelograms right and left and i dont' even know how to spell those words.

i would have had trouble forking over a pretty penny for preschool this past year when he knew everything that he was going be taught already. don't get me wrong, i think the social interaction is fabulous, but we have lots and lots of play dates and he also is in sunday school every sunday morning. i taught pre school for a few years and i truly loved it. i think it's great and i know many wonderful programs locally. but it just wasn't what i wanted for him. or what i thought he needed right now.

i know what makes him tick, i know how his little brain works, i know his flaws and his quirks. and he has many of them. i know how he learns best, and i feel that i, his mama, can nurture and teach him best at this stage in his life. i don't know how long we'll do it for, i don't know if we'll do it with each child even, i just know that, right now, this is it for us.

we're homeschooling. 


it would be easier for me to send him to school in the fall. four straight hours with only two kids? oh! the things i could get done! most days i will tell you that i want what is easier for me, but in my heart, and in the long run... i don't want what's easier for me. i want what's best for them. hear me out, i can already envision myself banging my head against the wall and saying WHAT WAS I THINKING? and i am already pondering over how in the world i would teach my child to read… cause i really have no idea. 

i doubt myself and my abilities to teach him what he needs to know. but then, when i'm praying about, and thinking about it, and thinking about life in general, what i really want him to know isn't what the books are teaching us after all. it's what the bible is teaching us. it's grace and it's love. it's compassion and giving. it's Jesus. 

for me, there are both many positives and many negatives to public school (which i went to and loved). but, i keep coming back to the same question in my mind. am i going to send my moldable, shapeable, easily influenced, (mostly) innocent little boy to spend all day long with a person who could very well not know or love Jesus? am i going to let him be with that person more hours out of the week than with me? am i going to lose out of these fleeting moments of shaping what he believes? 


don't get me wrong. homeschooling has it's positives and negatives too. this is a trial period for us. i am willing to take the risk and be the mom who wants to shelter my kid a little longer. you can smack that label on me, i'll take it! and i'll take it with pride cause we, my husband and i, feel this is what is best for him and our family right now. i have dreams of being a hippie homeschooling mom. you know the ones i'm talking about. like, sitting in a field, eating berries fresh picked from our garden (don't have a garden and my kids don't even touch berries BTDUBS), counting the dandelion dust as it blows by. BAH! i am a far, far cry from that. but a girl can wish, right?

i'm nervous and excited all wrapped into one. it feels good to start out with preschool cause, if i really screw up, at least it wasn't kindergarten. right? someone support me in that thinking, mmkay? we are all paid and signed up for a homeschool co op. it will take place every tuesday starting in september and brody will have half a day of thirty minute classes. he will be taking music, art, phonics, math, science, and gymnastics. and foster is even getting in on the action with preschool primary, music, and gymnastics too. the thought of them in gymnastics makes me a) pee myself with laughter and b) feel bad for whoever is teaching that class.

and right now, cause i like to wait til the last minute, i am researching curriculum to buy to do at home 1-2 more days a week. i love the idea of five in an row, and i was looking into sonlight as well. i would love something that is creative, and also focuses on Christ. homeschooling mamas, help a sista help! gimme your suggestions, links, ideas, anything and everything… i'll take all the help i can get.

87 comments:

  1. It's so encouraging that you are listening to your heart. God is totally leading you! Your kids are blessed and God will teach you along the way...and you'll be a great teacher!

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    1. thank you so much for this! i do feel so strongly led by Him in this, so excited about the journey!

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  2. We homeschool our little one ( who turned 4 in March) and personally I love it. granted I currently only have one child thusfar so I don't know how challenging homeschooling multiple kids is. Nonetheless we absolutely love it. :)

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  3. God bless you girl and good for you sticking with your decision. ONLY you {and your hubs} know what is best for your little guy.
    Our little man didn't fo to pre-k either. You should SEE the looks we get when we tell people. *GASP*
    May you enjoy these days with those three precious kiddos, because they FLY BY! Soak it up and and embrace it all, it truly is a gift! You only have one shot with those babies and I applaud you for listening to your inner voice and soul.
    Good luck sista, I know you will be GREAT!
    XO~Amanda

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    1. thank you so much! i am nervous and scared all wrapped into one but trust that we are doing what is best for him!

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  4. Praying for you in this new season! My boy is just 18 months old and my husband and I have been discussing the homeschool options for months already. Excited to see how this goes for your family :)

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  5. Good luck on your homeschool adventure! We just started this year as well, mid-year. Transitioning my pre-k son and my 3rd grade son was hard but was soooo worth it!

    We use Alpha Omega, awesome curriculum!

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    1. gonna check that out, for sure! thank you for sharing!

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    1. HOLLA. need a video chat and to pick your brian.

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  7. homeschooling WIN! i love this and my heart is right there with you!! i want to teach their hearts as well as their minds!

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    1. yes! so agree, let's chat about it more soon, friend!!

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  8. I agree! I'm throwing around the idea of homeschooling for pre-k and kindergarten too. After that I want to live close enough to a classical school and scrimp and save until then so we can afford it! :) way to go!

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  9. yeah homeschooling! I have been homeschooled my entire life and i'm graduating in a week! My parents wanted to teach their children from a Biblical perspective, and they have. People worry about homeschoolers socialization..pshhh i have really good friends ranging from age 13-23! I think it's EASIER to socialize as a homeschooler cause i don't have to be stuck in a classroom from 8-3 every day! As a child that's parents have homeschooled, I encourage you to stick it out for the long run, it's definitely worth it.

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    1. this is so encouraging - thank you, thank you, thank you :)

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  10. My heart is right there with you! We were blessed to have someone give us four years of homeschooling curriculum from preschool -4th grade so we are starting next year with Amara. I so often struggle with what I believe is right vs. what is easiest. They are sometimes two completely different things, but we need to be able to stand before God and say we did what was right even if it made us want to pull our hair out :) So excited for you on this new adventure!!

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    1. that is such a blessing!! and thank you for your support!

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  11. I love Five In A Row... but have decided to go the Classical Route using mainly The Well Trained mind books plus adding on a Math, Spelling and Science curriculum of choose.

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  12. I think we are going to see a lot more people homeschooling especially with encouragement like this. I was homeschooled, loved it, and will definitely be doing the same with mine. I'm excited and it scares the crap out of me. Please post your curriculum choices, I'd love to see what you get! You aren't going to be alone in this!! Love you!

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    1. yay! love you friend! so glad we will be in this together!

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  13. I understand you completely. I badly want to home-school, but I SUCK big time at school. :( I would be a bigger disservice to my girls in that arena than I would do good. However I think after two years in the public school system (and were in the #1 district in so cal) I think if next year is not better I will be homeschooling too. i think it is the BEST option ever and I applaud you for doing this for your children. Here is a great system to for homeschooling http://zsem.k12.com/tpages/index2c_ca.html?gclid=CNvS_JqYrbACFegbQgod1VynTA&st=CA&leadsource=sem&product_type=va&product_interest=cava&target_audience=gen&target_grade=gen&utm_campaign=California_Local_Intent-Search&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=google&utm_term=Cava&adgroup=SL_Cava&keyword_match=Phrase&message_class=direct_response&vendor=ef&provider=google&geo_distro=ca&ef_id=2L9PjNfTfiYAAAVS:20120601135346:s

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  14. I'm really encouraged. I myself feel inadequate to homeschool but I know God is my strength in my greatest weakness! My son is only 2.5 but I can see us taking this route too...can't wait to follow your journey...please share the curriculum you end up using!

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  15. I have never commented on your blog before, but I have been reading for a while. I have to agree with what you are saying, I have 4 kids 7 and under and we are a homeschooling family and it scares me a lot...what if I mess them up...oh wait, I am sure I already have since I am a sinner and all. It's only by Gods grace that we do anything! My daughter is finishing first grade and I still say, well if I mess up its only first grade! Haha I always say that you have to take one year at a time and sometimes one day at a time. We use a consultant by the name of Carole Joy Seid...you can google her and see her website and listen to some radio interviews. She does day conferences and is a huge blessing to us. Good luck to you and I hope it will be a blessing to you and your family.
    Christine

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    1. thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share this christine, so glad to know we are not in this alone!

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  16. I am so proud of you! People will always have things to say whether you choose public, private or homeschool. You know & have to decide what is ultimately best for your family! I know that the Lord will use you in big ways during this time. I'm sure He probably wants to mold & teach you as much as the kids! Can't wait to hear all about your journey!

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    1. you are so encouraging and sweet to me friend. thank you so so much!

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  17. Oh my goodness Danielle... My son just turned 4 in May and my husband and I are contemplating sending him to Pre-K... Granted it is a Christian Pre K ... but.... I still have so many reservations about it. I am so very on the fence to home school and feel I would not be disciplined enough to do so. We have a magnet ( like a lab school, more hands on learning) school establishing nearby our house, which our son would benefit from since he is not much for sitting down to color for very long. But it's still thorough the Public school system. I had thought to do some kindergarten curriculum with him already this summer to test the waters, like Brody, my son knows most of which he needs to start school. Just so conflicted about all this!!

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    1. i feel you and your heart. we went back and forth for so long but truly felt, after much discussion and prayer, that this is the path the Lord has for us. i hope that He makes it clear for you, too!

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  18. Homeschooling is one of my favorite memories growing up! The bond I have with my mom, dad, and my sister, I completely believe was because of our decision to homeschool (I promise I had gobs of other friends, but these relationships last much longer!) I was taught values, life skills, and history all in the same lesson. I was taught "proper history", and how Paul's missionary journey's were effected by the roman empire. Honestly, my mom wasn't super disciplined, and neither were we.. but that's how we learned.
    My husband was also home schooled, and his experience was entirely different. Academically, he was leaps and bounds beyond anyone his age (he graduated high school with a college degree) the routine was very regimented and that worked for them.
    I love how it looks differently for everyone. And from my experience five in a row and sonlight are amazing! Also, high school isn't as intimidating as it may seem! Good luck!

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    1. thank you so much for sharing your experience, elise!!

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  19. I think it is so wonderful that you are listening to your heart and doing what's best for your little man! I'm ALL about inspired parenting. Good for you girl!

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  20. I think what you are doing is phenomenal. I am a public school teacher and have had my son in pre-school for two years, but we will be homeschooling him from Kindergarten on (starting this summer!). I am completely humble in the fact that this may not be what we do forever, but it is what is goof for him now. I have been researching curriculum for over a year and weighed all my options and actually have decided to go with my own mish-mash of curriculum (so much cheaper than a boxed set!). The one thing I did spend a bit more on was his Bible curriculum, but I am okay with that! You guys will have so much fun doing school together, and I hope you post more on our adventure as you guys continue on this journey!

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    1. this is so encouraging to hear! i would love to hear what bits and pieces of curriculum you decided on and which bible one, especially!

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  21. I don't know if there is a First Class Homeschool Ministries in your area, but they are a fantastic, Christian based homeschooling co-op ... http://www.firstclasshomeschool.org/pages/welcome/parent-welcome.html?track=parents

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    1. definitely going to check it out! thank you!

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  22. We have homeschooled for over 20 years (and our youngest just turned 5, so...) and I have no regrets. I LOVE the fruit that God has produced in our grown kids through our homeschooling lifestyle.

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  23. We have homeschooled for over 20 years (and our youngest just turned 5, so...), and I have no regrets. I LOVE the fruit God has produced in our adult children through our homeschooling lifestyle.

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    1. thank you so much for sharing that - it is so encouraging!

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  24. I don't homeschool, yet. But one great resource is Karyn Henley. I learned about her in one of my education classes. I'm not sure that she has curriculum but she does have some incredible things that would be great supplements. I'm excited to read about your homeschool adventures! I'm planning on homeschooling our (almost) 3 year old and (almost) 2 year old.

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    1. thank you for sharing! will definitely check her out!

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  25. You don't have to do any explaining. All your reasons are correct. We are homeschooling to and I"m VERY excited about it. The best of luck to you!

    - Sarah
    agirlintransit.blogspot.com

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    1. thank you! best of luck to your family, too!

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  26. I loved Five in a Row with my little people. If one turns out to be a book worm, Sonlight is awesome too! Homeschooling is an awesome journey of love!
    Mama to one home school grad, with 3 more to go,
    Becky : )

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    1. thank you so much! i am excited about five in a row!

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  27. Good for you, girl! I haven't. Schooled any children personally but watching my sisters homeschool their 8 children has been fun. The advice they gave me was to teach the way they learn and to study the steps of classical education, not what is done today. Most kids in the past didn't learn to read until age 7-8 ...that was the norm. So if one of your kids reads at 5 and the other at 7 don't get discouraged by the milestone stigma. One of the smartest guys I know (aerospace engineer) didn't read until age 8. that's the cool part about homeschool.

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    1. thank you friend :) ps: hows the baby in the belly? thinking of you :)

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  28. You've inspired me to take the plunge and at least begin researching homeschool options. This is something that's been on my heart for a while but I am terrified of it - feeling inadequate, like I'd lose my mind, etc - but it won't go away and now I know that I need to at least research this. Thankfully I've got good friends who are successfully homeschooling their children, so I can pick their brains for ideas. I'll be sure to share when I find something helpful! Meanwhile I'll be checking out the ones you linked to. My boys are two and four years old, nearly three and five now. But my older one has an October birthday, so he wouldn't start K until next year anyway. He's already have two years of preschool, but we've been thinking of pulling him out. So we'll see. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. i am so glad you are going to start researching! i look forward to hearing what you decide!

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  29. good luck, danielle! my sister-in-law has been homeschooling since her oldest (13) was of school age. now she has four boys (the others are 9,5,1) and she's still committed to it. it works for her family. and her boys are super smart and socially adapted. i'm not sure what i will do when the time comes but our only option to send jake to all day pre-school AND kindergarten definitely has factored into considering homeschooling. in the end, we are our children's first and best educators... regardless of public, private, or at-home schooling.

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  30. I am a survivor of homeschooling! ;) I still remember my first day of official kindergarten. My mom got out the playdoh and we started working on the alphabet! You can do it. These early years are the best. I remember good things from working with Sonlight... I think my mom used Bob Jones stuff for the younger years? Go forth and educate!

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    1. yay! you are living proof that people come out normal ;)

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  31. Amen! I couldn't agree more. That decision for us is pretty far off, but I'm definitely leaning towards homeschooling. :)

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  33. i could have written this post word for word. like exactly. except we are starting kindergarten and i always say, "well, if i completely screw this up it's only kindergarten, right?" lol!! we are using my father's world and loooove it! It's a classical, gentle approach and very hand-on!! good luck!

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    1. hahah! i love it! i've never heard of my father's world but i am so excited to check it out!! thank you so much!

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  34. been exactly where you are...thought we'd "try" homeschooling for pre-k and see how it goes. it went well. still homeschooling. now my oldest son is starting 5th grade, my second son is beginning 3rd, and my baby girl is gonna start pre-k in the fall. the key is diligently praying and seeking God's will. i too am not cemented to homeschooling exclusively. if the Lord wants you to homeschool then He will make it work. period. He will use you to accomplish His will for your/His children:) He will bless your obedience if you are going where He leads you!

    and i can't say enough AWESOME things about five in a row! we did it for years. i loved being able to include all of my children. looking back on those years i am so so thrilled to have chosen that curriculum. those are precious, cherished memories! now i'm looking forward to beginning it again with my little girl!(and my boys are excited too)

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    1. yay! that is so great to hear about five in a row, thanks so much!

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  35. and btw, there is no escaping the #1 comment you will ever hear about homeschooling your children...

    'oh, i think that's wonderful, but what are you going to do about their "social skills"?

    just giving you a heads up! let me know when you think of a feisty, saucy answer to that one so i can use it!

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    1. oh i will totally come up with one and share it, you know it ;)

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  36. Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    1. thanks so much! i look forward to checking out your blog :)

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  37. This post is beautiful! Thank you for being such a champion of parents knowing there kiddos better then anyone else, it's wonderful to see and does my heart good! I was home schooled from 5th grade on and it was the best choice my Mom ever made for me, granted there were days she wanted to pull her hair out but I think that comes with kids.
    As for an awesome reading curriculum? Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
    It's phonics based, gives you a narrative, and most of all WORKS.
    Good Luck!

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    1. Thank you for that suggestion - I am going to check it out asap!

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  38. can't wait to see how the lord waters your hearts through this!
    love this, love you!!
    xo

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  41. SOOOO exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!! very happy for your sweet fam! praying for you and here for you anytime xoxoxoxo

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  42. I'm a huge advocate for doing what you feel is right for each child. For example, our 8 yr old has always gone to Christian school, where a homeschooling curriculum is used. But her younger sister needed some additional help at home after Pre-K(didn't seem like she picked up on anything; turns out it just takes her a little longer to pick up on concepts, then she runs with it). So I homeschooled the little one last year for kindergarten, using the same homeschooling curriculum our school does so she's have an easy transition to school the following year.
    This year, I ended up teaching 3rd grade at the same school. The 8 yr old was in my class and the little one was in 1st grade. Both did very well. The curriculum we use is very Bible-based and includes alot of scripture memorization for the kids. Its amazing what their little minds can retain!
    Each child is different and you have to pull out all the stops when it comes to their training and upbringing. Don't let anyone steal your joy about this; you'll hear all sorts of negatives. But homeschooling is AMAZING and there is NOTHING like teaching your child how to read, and seeing them reach those milestones right there next to you.
    Ive seen every form- hubby and I went to public school(& he now teaches in one). The girls are both in Christian school now( which we can make work because I get a discount. And we've done the homeschooling thing too.
    May the Lord richly bless you as you take this step of faith with the boys.
    xo,
    Sarah

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  43. I came back to write and tell you that Sean and I just ordered SONLIGHT curriculum, last night! As soon as it gets here, let's have a SKYPE date, ok? I'll show you everything.
    LOVEYOU/MISSYOU/BODYSLAM

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  44. We are homeschooling and LOVE IT! I have never regretted our decision. I sort of pieced together our curriculum. We did five in a row and really loved it (I loved reading the stories to the kids). We did math-u-see for math, and explode the code for reading/writing/grammar/reading comprehension. I checked out a box of early readers from our school district for Ethan's sight reading. For handwriting practice, I had him keep a journal where he copied down his Awana's verses. This was sort of killing three birds with one stone...he got to practice his handwriting, reading and all the while was memorizing his verses for Awanas.

    I think this fall I'm going to look at Sonlight for history, but will probably stick with the curriculum I mentioned above because it was a really good fit for Ethan.

    Good luck! I know you'll love it! I really loved having our kids at home and have the opportunity to be a part of all they were learning from start to finish!

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  45. just stumbled upon this...looks like some great stuff :) http://www.homeschoolcreations.net

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  46. You sound just like me! We decided to homeschool a little over a year ago and it's been the best decision ever! Challenging? Yea, but all things worth it are. I hunted curriculum like a mad woman and decided to just create my own and it's been so relaxed and wonderful. I heard a quote, "I learned to write by writing. I learned to read by reading." and i just made perfect sense to me. We read a TON and she does copy work a lot. She's doing wonderful. I have tons of homemade resources on my blog if you're interested. They seem to be about the same level.

    www.JourneyToJosie.com

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  47. I read this article and its full explain this topic and also tell me how to send your kids the school thanks for tell me grad school statement of purpose .

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