Finding Joy in Homeschooling

I love taking the time on Fridays to look back on our week as a homeschooling family to reflect on the days with (hopefully) a bit of perspecive to motivate and encourage myself and others.

I don’t think there has ever been a week where I actually felt things just went great, all on schedule and according to (my) plans.  There may have been minutes or even a few hours here and there throughout my 17 years of homeschooling when lessons went just to plan or we were able to finish the majority of our subjects with the idyllic passsion and purpose that we as home educating people desire so much.  Don’t judge me, we have 8 kids!  We have our vision, make our plans and put our hands to the plow but it is the Lord who directs our paths.  Understanding that and being okay with that and being thankful for that – God’s direction – is how we can go about our days with joy.  Joy in the messes.  Joy in the tears.  Joy in the frustrations and difficulties because we know that it all works together for good.

Can you tell our weeks have been hard over here?  Maybe the titles of my recent posts Dear Homeschool Mom Who Wants to Quit and Dear Discouraged Mama will give you some insight.  You all know that I am writing as much for you as for me, right?  Whether I’m dealing with strong-willed kids or prodigals or illness, financial difficulties or whatever, my husband and I are in this for the long haul.  We believe that we are following God’s path for our family and we press on.

So what about school?

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from instagram @abundantlife8

Preschool & Kindergarten

My little men, the preschooler and the Kindergartener, have had most of their learning this week center around character training.  What do you get when you mix a strong-willed 5-year old with a just-discovering-his-will two and a half year old?  Use your imagination!  Academically, however, the boys are still thriving.  We just started using the Reading Horizons Discovery at Home Software (for kids aged 4-9) with our 5-year old.  We have used several of the Reading Horizons products in the past including their online program for older struggling readers and the Discovery at Home Direct Instruction materials (printed, teacher directed as opposed to being done on the computer).  He is loving the instruction so much that his older sisters wanted to play.  I set them up with an account so all three of them are testing this out.  I’ll be reviewing after we have worked with it for some time.  For now, if you think it may be something that your 4-9 year old may be interested in, there is a giveaway going on here.  There is still time to enter one of 11 free memberships!


Third & Fourth Grade

Don’t you just love 8 & 9 year olds?  They are the most capable, enthusiastic and willing bunch of kids ever!  These girls bring a lot of life and fun into all of our days.  Valentine’s Day was no exception.  Give them a bag of craft supplies and read them a story about Valentine and they are off and running – creating cards, signs and other experessions of love.  It has been one of those weeks that had us out of the house many afternoons so our focus in school has been the three Rs.  We did receive our next installment of Learn Our History DVDs:  The Adventures of Lewis and Clark.  Since we don’t have cable (or Netflix anymore) the kids love a new DVD and this resource is no exception.  I had one of those moments this week, one of those melt your heart and bust out crying moments when my 9-year old dyslexic daughter read one of our favorite books out loud – for pleasure – Madeline.  If you have a child who struggles to read, you know what I’m talking about.  All of her hard work at her NILD tutoring is paying off and this mama is overwhelmed with thanks for that.


The High Schoolers

I often write about the freedom of homeschooling.  It is true, we have the flexibility to change things and create our own schedules and I have seen it work wonders in accommodating our kids’ different learning styles.  High school, however, is still high school and the lessons and curriculum need to be finished.  There is not so much room for compromise and so here we are in February and we are fighting a bit of burnout.  No matter which program you use, Algebra is just not fun.  Nuclear chemistry may be interesting in theory but memorizing complex terms – not so much.  There has been a lot of talk about purpose and vision and finding God’s will for one’s life so that takes away from the dreariness of the day to day.  My 9th grade daughter is trying out a new online writing program called Essay Rock Star by Fortuigence that we are excited about.  Basically, you watch a short video that gives instructions for each step in creating an essay and email them to the teacher who reviews the writing, giving feedback, and then complete the next assignment.  If you have taught high school for very long, you know what a blessing this is!  I’ll be wiritng more about this product in a few months after we have worked with it for some time.

Spring is in the air with our daytime temperatures inching upwards and the cherry trees beginning to blossom.  I can almost see summer on the horizon!



How was your week?

Linking up with other homeschool mamas:

Marianne Sunderland

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  1. I’ve come to love writing these end-of-the week homeschool posts, too. Even on weeks I didn’t feel like we accomplished much, I usually end up feeling so much better once I sit down and think about how much we really DID do! It’s so neat to look back at these posts over the years, too. Thanks for sharing a peek into your homeschool!

  2. I agree about 8 and 9 year olds, it is a fun age for school projects etc. They are sponges and generally enthusiastic.

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