After much thought, prayer, discussion, and research: we've decided that our family needed more together time reading great literature on the couch, exploring in nature to get to know our Creator, doing activities that are fun and includes everyone in our family. We need time to serve others as a family and to explore something a particular child is interested in at the moment.
I have always loved classical education, but I've also always loved the methods of Charlotte Mason and unit studies too. With the curriculum we've chosen in the past, we've had little time to incorporate Charlotte Mason methods or unit studies into our rigorous school program. I can admit that I allowed myself to get caught up in what my kids 'should be doing' according to this person or that group of people. I've allowed myself to believe that if my child isn't doing this specific program, that my children will not have a proper (read: rigorous or challenging) education. I bought into the lie that if I wanted my children to be successful (high test scores, graduating with college credit, and getting full scholarships): I needed to let others dictate to me what my children should be doing.
And isn't this the reason that I wanted to homeschool anyway? Didn't I come here four years ago knowing that nobody on this planet knows our children better than we do? Didn't we come here believing that God entrusted us (the parents) with their lives to teach them, guide them, and grow them into the people HE intends them to be? Do I want what the world wants for them and measures as successful or do I want them to be smack-dab in the center of God's will for their lives? I know first-hand that success is not measured by test scores, position, money, or material possessions. No matter where God calls my children, I pray that they follow Him. No matter if He leads them to the mission field in a foreign land or if he wants them to be doctors in Tennessee or anything in between: I want them to follow Him.
We desire as a family to 1. disciple our children and lead them know their Creator in a personal, life changing way and 2. to provide them a GREAT education. I don't believe that you have to trade one for the other. I want a rigorous/challenging program for my children, but I also want to instill in them a LOVE FOR LEARNING while they're young. I want to give them a great foundation that can take them anywhere, but I don't want to beat it over their heads while they're kicking and screaming and I certainly don't want to hear "are we done yet?" and "this is boring" from my first grader. I can admit we had a lot of that this past school year and I want him to be fully-engaged in what we are doing - not dreading school time and counting down the time until he could play the Wii. I wish I could have a do-over. I wish I had done something different for him this year, but I can't get that time back. I don't have the chance at a do-over. All I can do is start from here.
I began this blog a few years ago to document the time we spent together as a family in our homeschool, but we've been so engrossed with school that I haven't been able to touch it in more than a year! OY!
So it was back to the drawing-board. With my Bible open to Proverbs and my journal in my hand, I set out to find where it was that God wanted us to go. Where did He want to lead us? I didn't know, but I knew I wanted to find it. Once I started to get confirmation about what direction He was taking us, I found myself still trying to hold on to the one or two things that I thought we 'should' be doing. Isn't it just like that with our sin? We say 'Okay, Jesus, I'll follow You.', but we're still holding on to those one or two sins because we love them (or we think we do) and they make us feel safe and secure? Please do not hear me saying that if you are doing _____ program you are sinning. I just know God was leading ME and MY FAMILY down a different path and I was grasping at straws to keep things the same because I was still more interested in following what other people said we should be doing than what God said we should be doing. That is sinful and it's yucky and it is NOT a place I want to be.
So we've made some much needed changes and while I've shed some tears over what we're losing (change is HARD!): I am looking forward to what God has ahead for us! I know He's got this and I know I can trust Him with my life and with the lives of our children. Those first steps of obedience are the hardest, but we've had so much confirmation that we're right where He wants us. That is my prayer for myself, for our family, and for each of our children.
Michael and I have spent so much time talking and praying for this and we're both excited where we're going as a family and in our homeschool endeavors.
So for the 2013-2014 school year we have chosen to go with My Father's World: Exploring Countries and Cultures as our core curriculum. We're beyond excited to grab our passports and gallop the globe together as a family through fun activities, books, music, and more to make our learning come alive!
With My Father's World, you add your own Language Arts and Math. They offer suggestions, but we are going with what has proven to work for our kiddos and I love the freedom to do what I feel is best for each of them. I love that Zoe (3) will be included in our homeschool and not shooed away and told to "go play, get out of here, we're doing school!", but she'll be invited to join in and be a part of our activities. This is just what our family needed.
In addition to Exploring Countries and Cultures, here's what we'll be doing over here next year:
- First Language Lessons (Grammar)
- Writing With Ease
- Sequential Spelling
- Saxon Math 5/4
- Classically Cursive (handwriting)
and he's praying about what foreign language he wants to study!
- First Language Lessons (Grammar)
- Writing With Ease
- All About Spelling
- All About Reading Level 2
- Saxon Math 2
- Handwriting Without Tears
- My Father's World Toddler Package
- Letter of the Week Activities
- Kumon book of tracing
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.