Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Troubled Start (Guest Post)

Nishoni Harvey from Becoming a Humble Homemaker is back for part two of her 3 part series, What I Have Learned From Homeschooling. You can read Monday's post here: The "Tortured" Student

When my oldest child was finally old enough for pre-school, I was very excited with the prospects. My husband and I had discussed our plans to homeschool before we even got pregnant the first time. I knew I could it… at least I thought I could… After all, I had successfully wrangled fourteen three and four year olds while teaching a pre-school class, managed twenty first graders, taught Kindergarten, and I had taught Art to Grades 1-9, and they actually learned! Surely I could teach ONE CHILD! …Right? I soon learned that teaching one on one was much different than teaching in a classroom and that being a homeschooling mom was much different than being a homeschooled student, but I love it and would not give it up for the world.

I wanted everything to be perfect. I spent hours creating the perfect schedule, researching the perfect curriculum for our family, and making sure the year would be flawless. In the end, I figured out none of this mattered. I soon abandoned most of the things I had worked so hard on in my perfectionistic way. Here are some of the things that I wish I had known before I started out.

1) Have a schedule, but remember you do not HAVE to stick to it. Your schedule will simply be there as a guide. Instead of a “schedule”, per se, we use more of a routine. We have certain things we do at certain times of the day, but these may change depending on the weather, my children’s attitudes, how fussy the baby is, or how everyone is feeling that day. Our schedule usually goes like this:

7:30- Everyone up with smiles on!
Morning Routines (dress, hygiene, make beds, morning

8:00- Breakfast Time/ Clean up

8:30- Memory Verse, Bible Drills, and Fun Exercises
(Wii games, movement songs, or just
running around outside)

9:am- Hit the Books

* We set the timer for 20 minutes. If my second grader finishes her work in one subject before the timer goes off, she gets the rest of the time left on the timer for free time! If she does not finish before the timer goes off, she switches to a different subject and comes back to that one later.

9:40- 5 minute break

10:35- Snack and a 5 minute break

12:00- We work together to make lunch as a family.

12:30- Lunch Time, then 10 minute break

1:30- 5 minute break

3:00- School is out! Snack!
(Any work not completed during school hours is done after supper for homework.)

Like I said, this is not set in stone, and may get switched up for any number of reasons. We do try to stick to it as closely as possible, since my children are very schedule oriented.

2) Find a good curriculum, but this is also JUST A GUIDE. Make the curriculum your own. Change it to better fit your children and your home. Each child learns differently. Adapt the curriculum to fit YOUR child.

3) Some days you will not get it all done! That is okay! One of the joys of homeschooling is that YOU are the boss. YOU determine the schedule. You can make days up, or you can work ahead. There WILL be days that all you get done that WHOLE day is dealing will a child that has chosen that day to test his or her limits and see just how far he can push you. Just take it in stride. Do not fret. It will be fine… even if you have to repeat a day’s work tomorrow.

4) If you mess up, it is okay. Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps, learn from your mistakes, and try again, but remember that there is no one set way to homeschool. Different people do different things different ways. You, your children, your family, and your situation is just that—YOURS! No one else can tell you what is normal for you. No one else can set that standard. Do not be hard on yourself. Just because you do something different does not make it wrong. Take a step back to look at the “problem”. Maybe it is not a mistake or problem after all. Maybe it is just how YOUR family learns best. As long as your children are having fun and learning, how you and your husband choose to reach the goal of an education is the only opinion that matters. Everything is not going to be perfect, according to your views or anyone else’s. Do not worry about it!

Do you have some things you would like to share about your homeschooling start? Do you have any ideas, advice, or questions?

"Nishoni L. Harvey is a saved, sanctified, and soul-winning Baptist. Her husband, Matthew Harvey, and their three young children serve faithfully at Hope Baptist Church in Harrison, Michigan, where they are active members. A graduate of Landmark Baptist College, Nishoni loves teaching, writing stories and poetry, playing her instruments, and being a homeschooling Mommy.

Nishoni's love for writing started as a young child, at which time she wrote imaginative stories that kept her family in suspense and eager for each new chapter to be completed so they could know what happened next in each tale. She went on to write for the "Blacksburg Times", a newspaper, as a teenager. She further culminated her writing skills by taking a course through the "Institute of Children's Literature" and by gaining her Bachelors in Secondary Education with a major in English. She continues to write often and is always in search of ways to use her talents for GOD.

You can visit her over at Becoming A Humble Homemaker where she blogs about life as a homeschooling homemaker. You can also find her on Facebook.

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