We left the big city to move to the country, and along with the country, experience the many daily goings-on of country living. We homeschooled back in Maryland and now, this is my ninth year. I currently teach an eight grader, sixth grader and 1st grader. To make things a bit more fluid, I teach Bible, History and sometimes Science, all together. The other subjects the guys do on their own. You know, though, the academic subjects are sort of mixed in with the country living. For example, the boys take care of the animals once they wake up (this includes caring for the chickens and goats). I can set my own schedule and we loosely do school throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Breaks are taken, lunch, talking, etc. and then we usally finish up in the early afternoon sometime.
Over the years I have researched and used a HUGE variety of curriculum. Some have worked while others we didn’t even complete. Primarily, I wanted them to read early so they could start reading instructions within different subjects. I had never taught anyone to read before homeschooling. When first thinking on it I thought, there is no way I can teach someone to read. This was way back in kindergarten and I was so intimidated by not knowing how to teach Hayden how to read. Well, we learned a lot together and that year, he learned how to read. It was amazing, really, seeing him put sounds together and then words and then, reading! I even remember telling Aaron I would only homeschool kindergarten and he was cool with that. Nine years later, still homeschooling.
You know, I thought it was going to be REALLY hard once I started teaching two – Hayden and Caleb but for some reason, we got through it (or, I should say, somehow) and Caleb also started reading and putting words together. Finally, when Eli came along I REALLY wasn’t sure how to do any of it. I guess I just planned each year and dove in. Additionally, all this time, all other parents were sending their kids to posh private schools or even public ones and I never really had a lot to talk about with them while all the kids were playing outside. Still, we did our thing and they did theirs.
I remember early on (and still sometimes do) thinking I was not qualified in the least to teach my kids. Many would tell me how I am depriving them of social skills, or they would ask if I was qualified and so many other questions. I let it get to me a lot but don’t really care about it much anymore. I think a lot of new homeschool moms go through this. I certainly didn’t think myself qualified or able but then again, I wasn’t sterring this path, was I? God was always guiding and building me up to have what I needed at that time. I just cannot look back and not see His Guiding Hand upon those early years. It still is this way, actually. He is the one steering; I am the one complaining and questioning. Still, He doesn’t give up on this stubborn country girl.