Why We STILL Homeschool

Why We Still Homeschool Even After Life Changes



We have been homeschooling since my oldest son was in PreK.  In just a few weeks we will begin our 10th year with an 8th grader, 4th grader and 1st grader! For those of you who don’t know my background, it is important to know a few things about me before reading this.  I was a public school teacher and big believer in group education. I had always planned to send my children to public school and never dreamed of homeschooling until God made it clear to our family. I was never really for or against homeschooling, just didn’t have any thought about it at all.  I didn’t know any homeschoolers and certainly didn’t plan to be one. Funny how God works.

Years ago I shared a post called “Never Planned to Homeschool” which outlined our main reasons for choosing to homeschool.  If you jump over there and read that list, you’ll see that many of those reasons were specific to our season of life.  In the past year, our life has changed and our reasons for homeschooling are a bit different now.  Some are exactly the same, but a few are very different.

I wanted to share a bit of our reasons for choosing to homeschool still, even though our life circumstances have changed.

In the former list, our first 3 reasons were tied to where we lived, our missionary lifestyle and my husband’s work hours.  Those three things have all changed and when we moved we never considered NOT homeschooling and I bet many of you may wonder why. Actually some of you have emailed me to ask!  

Our Current Season of Life

Last winter we moved from the northeast, to the southeast.  We moved because of a calling my husband felt to further his education.  He is in seminary, getting his master’s degree in Christian counseling.  This is a minimum 3 year degree and the school he is attending is the main reason we moved.  We lead a very different lifestyle down here due to our move.  He is home most of the day, and homeschools the kids along with me.  I am the main teacher but there are a few subjects he leads for each of our children {which is nice!}.

We live near decent schools, both public and affordable private. We are also no longer living the busy and very full time missionary life. This is a huge change for us after over ten years.  We have no idea what God will bring after my husband finishes school, but for now we are here.

We now live in a location where the public schools are fine, we aren’t missionaries anymore, and my husband is a full time graduate student who is home most of the day {doing schoolwork}.  So why would we still homeschool if 3 out of our original 5 reasons are now nonexistent?  Obviously we have chosen to continue homeschooling, even after these major life changes.  Below you can read why!   

Why Still Homeschool?

We love the lifestyle!  Obviously, the discussion came back up again once we decided we were moving.  Not so much between us, but mostly from others asking us if we would still homeschool when we moved.  For us the answer was always yes, with no hesitation, at all. The core reason ~ we love the overall homeschooling lifestyle. It fits our family, fits our personalities, fits our goals as parents. There was no need to even consider changing when we were all happy. We all like the lower stress mornings, being together throughout the day, having freedom to adjust our school schedule, the list goes on and on.

Who is influencing our kids? We want to be the ones influencing our children on a daily basis for so many hours a day.  Back in my teaching days I knew many wonderful teachers, but I also knew many I would not want my children spending hours and hours per day with. We do not take the “shelter our kids” approach, but are thankful for the greater opportunity to better choose and have say in who is spending many influential hours per day with our children. This includes both adults and other children.  Our kids are very well “socialized” and I don’t believe the traditional group education even provides for the socialization necessary these days.  I am not saying group educated kids aren’t properly socialized, just saying that homeschooled kids {on average} aren’t different simply because of their educational lifestyle! It depends on individual circumstances and people, not a model of education. MANY people ask if we are concerned about socialization and the answer is not at all!

We have the ability to adapt to our children! This continues to be a driving reason for us. Our oldest child is a more traditional student and would probably do just fine in a group education model.  Our middle son and youngest daughter – not so much.  I wrote a post about our middle son, who is now 9, and if you glance at that post I bet you can conclude why he wouldn’t fit well in a group education model.  It has taken me years to adjust to his learning needs and it has been both a challenge and a joy.  He is a very intelligent child, but I have to meet him where he’s at, honor who he is, and how he learns. Having been a teacher, I know there are very few teachers who can do this, especially in a group setting.  The way our schools are run now, it is almost impossible for even the best teacher to truly adapt to the needs of each student. It breaks my heart to see so many fabulous kids falling through the cracks, even in the hands of excellent teachers – all because the system is flawed.  I am not saying I have the answers, just saying I don’t want my child to fall through those cracks.

Our children have a say and they all choose to be homeschooled!  Our oldest {currently 13} obviously has the strongest opinion and is the one we discuss options with the most.  This year we did intensely discuss his schooling options now that we have moved. For a slight moment he considered going to school, but that quickly changed.  Although we are the final decision makers, we do take into account the way each child feels and what would be best for each of them. We will continue to do this and trust that as God leads we will make decisions on a year by year, kid by kid basis. It is our plan to homeschool through the end for all three kids, but we have learned that God sometimes changes our great plans!

Competitive gymnastics and homeschooling are a great fit!  Our 9 year old is a competitive gymnast who is in love with the sport and has very high goals.  While this isn’t a driving reason for choosing to homeschool, homeschooling sure helps with this!  He is free to adjust his school schedule with us and get more hours in the gym without sacrificing family time or “be a kid” time. The fact that God led us on the homeschooling path before he led us down the gymnastics path has been a blessing.  Krash is now on a predominantly homeschooled team and it is such a gift.  We travel with him for a few months out of the year and homeschooling really helps with this also!

It just works for us and we like it! Did I mention we like it? We like the freedom to get up a bit later, spend loads of time together, travel during the off seasons, and take a break when we feel the need.  We like choosing curriculum for each of our children {see our 1st, 4th, and 8th grade choices}, adapting as the year goes along, and helping them when they need it.

It is NOT always easy and many days are a total struggle, but the big picture is good. I like these people. Even though they cause me the greatest stress most days, I want nothing more than to be with them as much as possible during these years. I used to think I could never homeschool {not patient enough, not educated enough, not “good” enough} and guess what? I am not enough of any of those things but GOD is enough!

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Tot School Gathering Place Week 132

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature!

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Summer is just flying by! I hope you are enjoying every moment! Take a moment and share with us all the fun you are having with your Tot – be it through Tot School, trips, or outside activities! We’d love to see what you’re doing together! Link up your post to the Gathering Place so we can all share in the wonder of Tot life!

Are you looking for an easy activity to keep your Tots (and older siblings!) busy during dinner prep? Take a look at the activity that Mama Jamie from Hands on as We Grow had her kids do to keep them busy. Maybe your Tots will love it as well!

Hands on As We Grow

Do you have a horse lover? Check out the sensory activity that the Mama from Bitty Beginnings put together for her horse-loving Tot! It just might capture your Tots interest.

Bitty Beginnings

Do your Tots like Disney movies? Mama Andrea from Make This the Day has put together several activities focused on the Disney movie Planes. Have a look and see if they may appeal to your Tot!Make This the Day


Were you featured? You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional! Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>


Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

Tot-School-eBook

See the Tot School webpage here!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Tot School Ideas on Pinterest.


Hands on the Alphabet


 Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this! Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).



USA Geography PowerPoint Updated

USA PowerPoint

Years ago I created the USA Geography PowerPoint and used it to teach my oldest son basic facts about U.S. states.  I will be using this PowerPoint show this coming year with my youngest children {1st and 4th grade} and updated it to be used on our iPad via the PowerPoint app!  I also made a few other changes, which I will share below.

Changing the font to Century Gothic was one of the big changes.  This change allows the shows to be viewed on iPads with out font distortion.

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The other major change was making the capital city clearer.  I changed the graphics and text to showcase the name of the city more, which you can see below in the top left corner.

USA PowerPoint

 

This show is included in my Members Only PowerPoint section, which is currently a one time fee of $15.  This private section, containing this PowerPoint show and many others, is getting a complete makeover and will be increasing in price very soon {going up to $20}. If you aren’t a member of our PowerPoint section yet, now is the time, before the price increase!

The PP shows are animated, which makes screenshots a bit pointless. So, I made a little video walking you through how it looks on our iPad, it will look the same on a computer too. I just used our iPad for this video.

 

I also made a tutorial for how to get PowerPoints playing on your iPad.  If you are already a member and interested in using PP shows on your iPad, this is how!

 

What about Android? We don’t have any Android devices but there is a PP app in the Google Play store here.  So, it should work the same.  Sadly, Kindle Fire does not support the PowerPoint app, so it won’t work on a Kindle Fire. We have one and I tried.


Grab your lifetime membership for $20.00!   Click here to see other PP shows included in Members Only PowerPoint.

Members Only PowerPoint Shows from 1 1 1=1


See the rest of our USA Geography plan here

United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary



Exploring Bats ~ Bats Lapbook and Unit Study

Bat Unit Study

This summer we are trying out a few unit study options for Ladybug and Lapbooks were something I wanted to try with her.  I let her choose her first topic, and although it is not what I would have chosen, she enjoyed it because it is what SHE chose ~ BATS!

We got our printables from:

Here is a peek at her completed lapbook…

Bats -8288  Bats -8293

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She loved learning to draw the bat.  She made a few small ones, and then made the big one that she ended up choosing for the back of her lapbook.

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Coloring is still a favorite, this also ended up on the back of her lapbook.

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Learning about echolocation

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Diurnal and nocturnal animals…

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Carnivore, herbivore and omnivore animal sorting…

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Below she was painting the bat printable craft, she still loves these!

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These are the books we used for our study, all but Stellaluna came from the library.  The National Geographic Kids Bats one is the one we used the most.

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After completing this study she told me she didn’t like the Lapbook as much as I thought she did.  I was a bit disappointed as I thought I might have found her sweet spot!  We are going to try a notebook method with some of the Lapbook printables for her next chosen theme – OWLS!  Stay tuned to see how we do that one and if she likes it!



Bible Verse Printables Letter S

S is for Servant Printables

Our Raising Lil’ Rock Stars Bible Verse Printables for the Letter S are available to download for free! S is for SERVANT! This set is based on Matthew 23:11, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” 

Here’s a peek at the work she did at home.

Coloring ~ She hasn’t wanted to color lately but she asked if we could color the picture together so of course we did! I love coloring time because it gives such a great opportunity for discussion. 

RLRS Letter S -8185

 

Cut and Glue the Verse ~ this is a great word work activity for her, identifying words and sounds she knows, as well as the Bible verse as a whole. She uses the printable that has the light gray matching words on it. I cut this verse into strips for her instead of individual words since it was so long.

RLRS Letter S -8268

 

The verse tune printables are only available in the bundle but you can hear her singing along in the video. The tune is “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

 

The free version is ONLY for home use.  If you will be using these printables in a church setting, private group, co-op, preschool or other group you will need to purchase the group bundle here.

Download your free Letter S printables here!

Raising Lil' Rock Stars Letter S for Servant

 Scroll down until you see the graphic for letter S and click on it to download the PDF file.

Download or printing trouble? See tips here!

These printables are from Raising Lil’ Rock Stars, see more info here!

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See other letters in action by clicking the graphics below!

RLRS-Letter-A-Philippians-2-5-Bible-[1]  RLRS-Letter-B-John-3-16-Bible-Verse-  RLRS-Letter-C-Genesis-1-1-Bible-Vers

RLRS-Letter-D-Isaiah-48-17--Bible-Ve[2]  RLRS-Letter-E-Philippians-2-Bible-Ve[1]  RLRS-Letter-F-Matthew-4-Bible-Verse-

RLRS-Letter-G-Matthew-28-Bible-Verse[1]  RLRS-Letter-H-Psalm-33-Bible-Verse-P  RLRS Letter I  Bible Verse Printables  RLRS Letter J John 1 Bible Verse Printables

Bible-Verse-Printables-Letter-K-is-f  Bible-Verse-Printables-L-is-for-Ligh[1]  Bible-Verse-Printables-M-is-for-Migh  Bible-Verse-Printables-N-is-for-Neig[1]

Bible-Verse-Printables-Letter-O-Psal[1]  P-is-for-Praise-Bible-Verse-Printabl[1]  Q-is-for-Quiet-Bible-Verse-Printable[1]  Bible Verse Printables Letter R[1]