We are in the midst of our tenth year homeschooling (wow!). We do much of our learning family style, or all ages together. From the kindergarten learner through the high school freshmen, we are diving into history together. We love using audiobooks and read-alouds and hands-on projects to make history come alive. Some days it may be hard to distinguish whether they are playing or reviewing history. This is why we homeschool. The younger children are also using the same science curricula. The areas dependent upon skills, each learner is a class of one, and using what fits them the best.
Before our first blessing was born, we knew we would homeschool. I am so thankful that this is an area that my husband and I were in agreement about before we even began dating. This is one area the Lord really blessed us in. With two first-born children – with their strongly-held ideals and passionate beliefs, to not have to compromise and figure out this area of our family is huge.
How We Came to Homeschool
I became interested in homeschooling my future children while attending university to be a teacher and working as a substitute teacher. That time spent in classrooms both as a college student and as a teacher were eye-opening to the changes in the education system since my childhood. I was also newly saved. With both my desire to raise my future children in fear and admonition of the Lord and the desire for the best education possible, it was clear, homeschooling was in my future. Little did I know then, without being married or having any children, that my desire to keep our family close, enjoying our time together, would also be of great importance. All of these are God-given desires, and in seeking His will for our family, were met through homeschooling.
When our eldest daughter was 5 – AKA ready for kindergarten, another reason was realized. Learning was difficult for her. We came to realize she has dyslexia. Because we were homeschooling, we were able to tailor her curricula to her specific needs and learning style. We were able to fulfill our charge as her parents in instructing her about God; we were able to be the best teachers by using a curricula that is literature-based, even though her own reading-skills were slow in developing; we were able to be together as a family throughout the day and in all areas of home-life.
Learning Family Style
As our family grew, the academic needs of our children also grew. Our simple, relaxed style of “doing school” also changed. We continued to tailor the curricula for skills-based subjects (math and language arts) to the needs of the specific child rather than utilizing the same thing their older sibling used. For all other subjects though, we learned together, family style. We are also able to mesh together our homesteading chores and projects with our learning.
Our favorite curricula that has been the one resource we have stuck with for all learners throughout all of our years is Mystery of History. It is sound curricula covering all of history, Creation through Modern Times, in four volumes. The author, Linda Hobar will be one of the speakers at the 2016 IAHE (Indiana Association of Home Educators) Convention in April. I am so excited! Attending the homeschool convention is better than a day at Disney World for me. I love listening to the speakers, walking the aisles of curricula and resources, and talking with others who educate their children at home. Whether you are contemplating home education or are a veteran homeschool family, you wont want to miss convention. If you are not blessed to live in Indiana or nearby, find out when your local convention is being held and make plans to attend. In addition to the resources and encouragement for your family, learning about the needs of homeschooling at large in your state, the legislative challenges and other areas of concern are benefits of your local organizations – support them.
Called to homeschool
I am thankful that here in Indiana, we have great freedoms in how we homeschool. Doing life together, as a family, has been exactly what I dreamed of and nothing that I expected. We enjoy being together; working, learning and playing side-by-side. Being the primary teacher of our children has not been a job or a task on my (never-ending) to-do list, but an extension of being their mother, a joy and exactly where the Lord has called me to be.
What if we are called to do otherwise? What if the Lord makes it clear one or more of the children should go elsewhere for learning? We seek to do His will above our own desires. It is not in my plans that my children attend the local school for high school, for example, but my plans are meaningless if they are not in line with the Lord’s will. Things can change, and if we come to a change, we will change. It is good to never be so set in your ways (no matter how wonderful they may be) that you resist change and seeking the Lord’s best.
Come and meet the IAHE Social Media Team!
We are all excited to meet you and share our love of homeschooling with you.