Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's Official!

It's official!! I'm a home schoolin' mama! This whole summer was spent going to yard sales looking for stuff to set up a classroom with. We found 4 school desks, just like the ones most of us grew up with, the attached desk top and the storage under the seat for books and papers, for only $5. (Hmm.. 3 kids, 4 desks. "Honey! Let's make another baby!" sounds of heavy footsteps running away) We spent lots of time looking for school books for the kindergarten and first grade levels, and for other educational items we can use to decorate the class room. I've been on the Internet looking up laws and qualifications needed for the State of West Virginia and thankfully, we meet the requirements. I sent away for a home schooling information packet with lists of support groups and different programs. I spent hours clearing away a mountain of empty boxes that got tossed in the corner of the basement and sorting through other unpacked boxes. I dragged a shelf across the room to clear away the wall for painting and I just informed Hubby that the girls and I were going to paint this week. I think we're ready!
We got a notice in the mail last week informing us of the date the local elementary school will register new students and I got all nervous and jittery. I fretted that maybe I wasn't making the right decision in home schooling Oldest and maybe I should send her off to school. Then Mom asked me my reasons, and after ticking off all the pros and cons, I calmed down and I just know that home schooling is the right thing to do, for us. Hubby went to the County School Board this morning with all the paperwork we needed, to let them know we intended to home school Oldest and copies of our high school diplomas. We're all set!

In a way, we have already been home schooling the girls. We take something that sparks their interest and run with it, expanding on the possibilities and looking up projects we can do to further understand the topic. Oldest loves to look at a big health book we have, and I used her interest in the human skeleton to watch a chipmunk the cats caught and killed, decompose back into the ground. When everything was gone and there was nothing left but a skull, I cleaned the skull and we compared a picture of a human skull and the chipmunk skull. It was inspiring to see Oldest absorb the information and only made me want to do more, more, more!
Almost every time we head outside, there is a lesson to be learned: empty cicada shells and a big cicada to marvel at, mushrooms, worms in the dirt and baby oak trees growing from acorns.
We are doing the right thing, and it is what is best for us and our family. So, here's to adventures in home schoolin' with 3 little ones! I'll be sharing our adventures from time to time, along with the usual postings of my life.

21 comments:

Freckled Nest said...

That's awesome! What an adventure ahead... :) I don't have kids yet, but to of my friends are homeschoolin g their children, and it has opened my mind up to the option :)
They both often blog about their homeschool experiences & adventures... you might want to check out their blogs over time :)
Stefani and her 3 sons:
http://blueyonder.typepad.com/
Molly and her daughter and son:
http://foothillhomecompanion.blogspot.com/
(They're linked at my blog if these links don't fit on the comment page)
I love those desks you found! I always see old desks at thrift stores, and wish i had a purpose for them. beautiful!

:) Leigh-Ann

jenny said...

LA-- Welcome!! We are excited about home schooling! I am already a frequent visitor with Stefani at Blue Yonder which is how I found you and I just discovered Molly today through your links. Looking forward to "dropping by" the Freckled Nest and at Molly's blog, too.

Those desks are so cool! We found an old old old pencil wedged in the storage under the seat that had old popeye graphics and a date of 1956(or something like that) on it!! Did they even make pencils like that back then??? We saved it and treasure the link to the past with the desks.

Supernight said...

wow that's a brave choice, I look forward to hearing how it goes, what you teach them and how much you get out of it too!

First visit today, I suspect I'll come by again!

Krissie said...

So you're schooling all three of them together? Or just the Oldest? Why not send her to school? Too far away or some other reasons?
Do continue to post about this, it sounds very interesting. I don't think we have that option here.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Good luck to you on the homeschooling, Jenny. It'll be a lot of work, but I'm sure you'll do fine.

lady macleod said...

Huzzah! I'm 100% behind you on this. One of the rare instances from Q's childhood that I would do over is that from beginning to upper school I would have home schooled her. It is very brave, but I agree - right for your family. So forge ahead MM, hit the road of scholarly delights, go together into the unknown territories of physics and chemistry, turn the pages of the literary classics, and become one and all computer geeks.
Huzzah!

Lindystar the HOR blogger said...

More power to ya Jenny! I hope you have a good time of it. Even though I don't "Know" you I feel from your blog that these kids are lucky and will be in good hands.

I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Blogging Molly said...

Yeah for you and yours! Homeschooling is the best decision our family has made regarding education. Most people homeschool with out even knowing it, but doing it officially means so much more time with your kids. And no homework, school lunches, questionable association, teacher conferences, etc. I look forward to reading about your adventures. Perhaps we can share ideas too! Thanks to the internet, homeschoolers are never alone :)

sufferingsummer said...

I can feel your excitement...maybe it is my excitement too...just a few years down the road. You will be a grand teacher I just know it. Good luck, I look forward to reading and learning along with you in this journey.

jenny said...

Supernight-- Welcome!! It was a lot of soul searching to get this point, making sure we have it in us to home school and not wanting to deprive our girls of anything, but in the end, the benefits of home schooling outweigh public schools. Please come back and keep in touch!

Krissie-- I am going to concentrate on schooling Oldest for now, until the younger two are of school age. Middle is 3 years and Youngest is 18 months right now. I won't shoo them away if I am teaching Oldest, though, and they are free to join in experiments and projects if they want. I'll explain more on our reasons to home school in another post.

jenny said...

Coffee-- Thanks! We could use the luck! I know it might be extra work on our part, but in the long run, it'll be worth it.

Lady M-- That's the bonus side of home schooling, I get to read all the classics and participate in experiments, too!! Can't wait! Thanks for your support!

jenny said...

Lindy-- Aww, thanks! Sometimes I feel like a horrible mom, and hopefully when the girls grow up, they'll only remember the good stuff and forget that mom turns into an ogre once a month!

Molly-- Welcome!! That's another reason for me wanting to home school, not having to deal with parent/teacher conferences and having to make sure an interpreter is provided, and no miscommunication between me and them. I already went to 2 school functions for Oldest and couldnt understand a thing and felt so frustrated! Who needs that?! Looking forward to sharing ideas with you and other home schooling parents! :o)

jenny said...

Summer-- You're back!! I missed you!! :o) Thank you! When it comes time for you, you'll be a great teacher! You already are doing so great with Indy. When she is ready for school, you'll have a head start on me with all these great blogs and internet connections.. I've only been doing this a few months now and I'm so glad I found the people I have, including you! **hugs**

vintagechica said...

Congrats on making your decision and sticking to it. It is a tough one for each of us mamas I think. Looking forward to your adventures!

jenny said...

VintageChica-- Thanks!! I look forward to the adventures we will have together, teaching each other and learning. There are times I feel like I am the student and they are teaching ME. Thanks for visiting and come again!!

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh sweetie, well done. I am a bit jealous. Enjoy. N3S loved the fly pic.

Marcy Muser said...

Jenny,

Good for you! I've been "officially" homeschooling for over 7 years now (really I consider homeschooling to start at birth, so by my count we're up to 11 years), and I'm so glad I have. There have been hard moments and lots of great ones, too. Sounds like you are doing a fabulous job already; be careful not to switch so much to "school" mode that you miss the joy of discovery. :)

You might like to look at my blog sometime:

http://marcys-musings.blogspot.com

And I know you'll like this post:

http://marcys-musings.blogspot.com/2007/08/homeschooling-secrets.html

I hope you enjoy your homeschooling journey and find as many rewarding moments as I have!

Sparx said...

It's such a good idea, you're very brave but definitely onto the right thing. I have a cousin who home-schools and her kids are doing great. I was home schooled for a year and ended up ahead of everyone when I went to proper school. Go for it - good luck!

jenny said...

Dj-- Oh I am thrilled that N3S liked the pix of the big cicada! The girls had fun looking at it, too and marveled at it.

Marcy-- Welcome!! I am pleased to have another home schooling mama come by and visit! I checked out your blog and the post you recommended and those are all the very reasons why I want to home school my kids. I am not a morning person and I find it a bonus not having to get up early to make breakfast then rushing around to get ready and to take them to school on time. I'll be stopping by from time to time.

Sparx-- Thanks! We were given a list of 'requirements' that Oldest was supposed to be able to do before starting kindergarten at the school: write her first and last name, able to fasten her own clothing after using the bathroom, and something else I can't remember. She already writes more than just her name, reads basic books, showers and dresses herself, whips up her own oatmeal for breakfast.. to name a few. I think she is already ahead of her level just by doing the above. She is so independent and doesn't wait for me to help, "I can do it!" is what she often tells me. So I let her and supervise.

Why were you sent to regular school after being home schooled for a year?

Wendy said...

Bravo! We've been homeschooling ... well since my girls were born, so that's ten years ;). My ten year old has never been in a regular classroom with the exception of a couple of weeks she took violin lessons at the local school, and her two younger sisters are only 6 and 4, and aren't yet "school aged" (compulsory education starts at seven here in Maine).

Some people think homeschooling is a daunting task, but it's the most rewarding thing in the world to be able to spend time just "being" with your children.

I appreciate every day - even those days when they come up from the brook with their feet covered in black, stinking mud to show me a frog they found ;). Priceless.

I'll second what Molly said ... with the Internet, homeschoolers are never alone ;).

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