Back-to-School - Supporting one another at the start-of-year

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:35 pm

Re: unbelieveable start

Unread post by sandi »

We are doing 1850 Mod and having a great start over here too!
His Child,
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Re: unbelieveable start

Unread post by 705emily »

We are loving ECC here! We are in week 3! Enjoying Kingdom Tales, Hero Tales, and the focus on geography! We had fun making our "World" cake--kids loved it!! And (while we didn't do the worm thing), we have made the "tropical rainforest in a jar." It feels good to be back in school!

Have a great year in MFW everyone!!
Irmi Gaut
MFW K, MFW 1, Adventures, ECC this year!

'And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in Glory!'
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:55 pm

Our first week of MFWK

Unread post by kanderson »

I just wanted to let everyone know we finished up our first week of MFWK, and we absolutely love it. My ds is so excited to learn, more so than I ever imagined. He really seems to grasp the concept of creation, he's been telling everyone who will listen about what G-d did in those first 5 days. Even my dd(3) joined in for a creation notebook lol. I am so excited to have found this program at the beginning of our homeschool journey. It's amazing how G-d equips us with the right tools at the right time. I feel so blessed to be able to raise up my 3 dc with this program, it's exactly what we were looking for. I know this an uber- optimistic post, but never in a million years did I think I would be a stay at home mom of 3 children who homeschools, G-d really knows our hearts and always leads us in the right direction, even when we don't realize it. Sorry, to ramble.... I'm just so excited and also glad there is forum for MFW to keep in touch with all of you for encouragement, as there aren;t many homeschoolers in our area. Thanks for listening (well reading, lol.)
married to dh since 2001
ds-9 ECC
dd-6 1st,
ds-4 MFW Pre-School/ Rod and Staff,
dd-2, into everything!
one in the arms of Jesus
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: Our first week of MFWK

Unread post by ManyXsBlessed »

Wonderful news! Having a great first week is always awesome!!! Remember to come back and read this post on the tough days. ;) We haven't had a tough day yet with MFW and we are going into week 5! =) Loving it!
Mom to 3 boys (12, 10, and 7) and a baby girl
MFW EX-1850, Winter Promise LA, Apologia Gen, Teaching Textbooks, and A Beka
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:41 pm

Re: Our first week of MFWK

Unread post by DaniWestRN »

We just finished our first month in MFW K. It has gone well here too. I do cut back on the activities though and focus more on just the reading plan cause DD is a young 4. But I know she is learning! :-)
Danielle, Mommy to DD#1- 3rd/ECC, DS#1 -2nd/ECC, DD#2- K, DS#2- pre-K, and DD#3- learning to toddle
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:42 pm

Re: Our first week of MFWK

Unread post by hollybygolly »

So glad to hear that!! :) We're going through it a second time and finding it just as sweet and doable as the first time. Such a gentle and effective way to start the journey of education. God bless you!
Have a blessed day loving our Savior-Holly
Mommy to: Annie and Lynne (11), Maely (8), Gracie (6) and one precious one waiting in Heaven
Completed: MFW K; 1st Grade; Adventures; ECC
Currently using~MFW 1st grade (again!); Rome to Reformation
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:48 pm

Finished WK 3 of ECC / WK 1 of K / Day 2 of 1st

Unread post by lauramb »

That's right!

My 5th grader just finished the 3rd week in ECC.
My Kindergartener finished the first 5 days of the Intro.
My 1st grader just finished his first 2 days of 1st.

We have had the best time. I was SOOOOO nervous about this year. And, while we're not into all three curriculums full-fledged, yet, I still see awesome things lay ahead. We are going to be able to do this. My 1st and K students are both "older" for their grades, so they are more or less doing review right now.

My 5th grader is not complaining (like in years past). He loves doing Science pages out of the Living World book. He enjoys all the reading we do in the atlases and other books. He LOVES Kingdom Tales!!!!!! Not ever wanting me to stop at each chapter.

We did the worm experiment and all my kids thought that was cool!

For the first time we have gone on nature walks and done sketches. For these first three weeks we go outside and I have assigned them something to sketch in their new sketch books. Even the 4 year old does this (she's my pre-k, tag-along).

My K begs me to start his lessons before 8:30 every morning, and because he already knows all his letters and we're basically doing the Bible portion right now, his lessons take 20 minutes. My 1st grader enjoys "his" time with mommy doing handwriting practice (he's already had a year of handwriting, so this is review). He loved making a pottery jar today (the 5th grader asked to be involved in this today, too).

But I'm just SO pleased that this is all doable and my kids are loving it. I have taken all the science and art out of 1st (we'll do those next year). We do science in ECC together and will do the K science too. All four kids do the crafts in ECC.

I just get so excited about each and every day. I'm waiting for the newness to wear off (for me and the kids) but it doesn't look to be fading anytime soon! I look forward to the next few weeks, months and the rest of the year!!!

Thank you MFW and the Hazell's for this wonderful curriculum!
Posts: 67
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Location: United States

Re: Finished WK 3 of ECC / WK 1 of K / Day 2 of 1st

Unread post by KimberlyND »

Congratulations! It sounds like you are doing great. It's so nice when the children are enthused, isn't it? We, too, are doing ECC and just finished our second week. Love the Kingdom Tales!! And I love that it doesn't take all day to do this curriculum. I like the way dd(4) learns right along with ds. One day she said she would say her verse, too. In fact, she learned it before ds did! But she is an auditory learner. I'm enjoying it because I never had one before!

Kimberly in ND
MFW user since 2007, gone through K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR, Exp. to 1850, & 1850 to Modern Times
Using ECC 2014-2015 with an 8th grade son and 4th grade daughter
Have been HS for 19 years and graduated 3 dc.
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Just finished Week 1 in 1850-Modern

Unread post by SandKsmama »

Just finished Week 1 in 1850-Modern - And you all were right - it wasn't overwhelming at all! We had SO much fun singing the state songs - I think I'm singing "The northern border of the united states" in my sleep now, though! Science was wonderful. Bible is *awesome*...we already do Community Bible study, so I am always tempted to skimp on MFW Bible, b/c our time is so limited, but I decided this week to just try doing the readings from A Young Person's Guide to Knowing God, and I'm SO glad I did! Last but not least, I was blessed (and convicted!) to pray for our president with my children today. I was reminded that political views aside, he IS still the President of the United States, and it's important that I teach my kids to respect that office, no matter my personal feelings about the one occupying it. The letters they wrote President Obama were very sweet. My 6 year old wrote "Go, President Obama. You rock! My name is K... W... I am praying for you. Please write back. Love, K...". Then she drew a picture of the White House :-)

Anyway, my schedule is still nuts, but MFW is awesome and thank the Lord that it's designed so my family can have an excellent education and also have a life!
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!
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Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:49 pm

ECC - Day 1

Unread post by Hsmamaof2 »

We had the best school day today!! Day 1 of ECC (1st edition) went wonderful. I am so excited about this school year. :-)
Thank you My Father's World!!

I invite you to visit my blog to see my post about today:
~ Suzanne in FL

Wife to Bob, 14 years; Mom to Matthew and Zachary
Using ECC this year with a 3rd and 1st grader.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Day One... Dude! Not so easy.

Unread post by Julie in MN »

HeyChelle wrote:OK, so day one is pretty light. We were done in a little over an hour. Two kids going through kindergarten and one through Adventures. My Adv kid is doing her reading now.

I'm exhausted, one kid is crying, and the toddler is annoying me. le sigh. Don't they know they were supposed to act like perfect angels today??? lol
Is this your first year homeschooling, or first year with MFW?

Either way, if you made it through the transition, congrats to you! We don't start up until the day after Labor Day, but I always dread the transition in sleep schedules & being productive in the mornings (even when my kids were in public school).

And here are some fun ideas for the first week of school, if you need them:

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:51 pm

Re: Day One... Dude! Not so easy.

Unread post by HeyChelle »

My first year with 3 kids - 3rd grader, Kindy, and preschool (cause she must be in the mix so I can keep an eye on her. Before, I just hs'd my oldest and tried to keep the little entertained and out of the way. I think that was much easier. :-)
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog

Re: Day One... Dude! Not so easy.

Unread post by cbollin »

HeyChelle wrote: I'm exhausted, one kid is crying, and the toddler is annoying me. le sigh. Don't they know they were supposed to act like perfect angels today??? lol
It's ok mom..... you did fine. Time for some rest and relaxation and ice cream (for you). Treat yourself and ignore the kids. You did great!
LOL just think, in a few more years, this will all be a blur.
((hug)) and giggle giggle.

oh wait, is there where we are supposed to say something about Todd Wilson's homeschooling cartoon books, and/or MFW's Occupying Preschoolers Workshop?

Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Day One... Dude! Not so easy.

Unread post by dhudson »

One of my good friends and I tease that if we haven't made a child cry during the school day then we haven't been trying hard enough. ;) I think that the first month or two of the school year can be a really difficult adjustment for both students and Mom. Give yourself time and as the Hazell's suggest, try a rolling start only adding a few of the subjects at a time. We've been doing this for the past two weeks with an "official start" next week. This gives us time to get used to the schedule of school and gives us a much easier start. I also make sure and plan a few fun things for the first couple of weeks - go to the pool, get a new book at Borders, get an ice cream cone, etc. for the days when we can get school done diligently without tears.

It'll be okay, we all are in the same rocking boat! :)
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Pacific Northwest

Re: Day One... Dude! Not so easy.

Unread post by Marcee »

Hugs to you:) I don't have any advice, but what the ladies have said is def. motivating to me! I'm sure I would have posted the same thing after day 1. This was such a struggle when I attempted to Hschool before. I found some fun ideas on a blog for beginning the year that may be helpful.
First Day of School Ideas
“A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.” ~Smiley Blanton

Marcee married to Chris (12 years)
DD Keelin (10)
DS Raice (8)
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by dhudson »

OklahomaJamie wrote:I really love the curriculum, and my 5th grade, 10 yr old son acted like he really did. But when it comes to doing the stuff, all he wants to do is whine and argue! He didn't think he was gonna have to write! etc etc. We finally got to Week 1 day 3, the nature walk! I just new he'd love it. Was I wrong, he didn't want to sit on the grass, it was hot, etc etc. He writes sloppy so that he can just get it over with.

This is all fun to me... if I could have been taught like this as a child, wow! He is ADHD (medicated). I try to let him stay active when he's working, but can a child really understand when they're singing about pooping and stuff at the top of their lungs while doing grammar?

Maybe I made a mistake thinking I could do this. I heard my husband talking to a relative the other day about the projects I get "all into" and this is my next project. I don't know what to do now..

Help and prayers please,
It's going to be okay, the first month or two in the home school year are always difficult. I've been home schooling for going on 9 years and the first month is always the hardest. We all deal with it and if this your first year at homeschooling then it's going to be even harder for everyone to get in the swing of things.

There are some practical things you can do. I have had my kids memorize Phil 2:14-16 "14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe ." God does not want us to be whiners and complainers. Once that verse is memorized then I hold my kids to it. If they do whine, they get more work in school (an extra math problem, more copywork etc) but if I see them shining like stars by not whining then they get a marble to put in their marble jar. Make a goal - say 5 marbles and you'll take your student out for ice cream or a small toy or they get to watch that movie - whatever. You will see a difference in school if you do not allow whining. Of course, this means that I am not allowed to whine about school either. :~ I know to some that this will seem harsh but I've found that not allowing bad attitudes in school time have made our lives much smoother. My kids also really enjoy getting those marbles to work for a special treat they've negotiated for 20 marbles to get them into a movie, 5 more for an icee for that movie or 30 for a book they've been wanting. I think having the positive reinforcement really helps, too. Be sure and teach the verse first though - we want to do this because God said so, not just Mom.

Take heart, it will take a bit but the first weeks of the school year are usually the worst. Yesterday, my dd had to do 2 extra math drills and an extra copywork for her attitude but today she was up and at it early with a willing heart and is now happily playing outside.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:08 pm

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by NJCheryl »

First let me offer you a hug and a prayer. I am starting my third year of H'sing next week. My oldest was a second grader when we started. I think it is difficult when they come from the public school system. It seems that their idea of home school is getting to stay home and do whatever you want all day. When they realize that is not the case, they are disappointed. And remember, kids are kids. My son (starting 2nd grade) is so intelligent and has a great time when we are learning, but if you ask him about school, he says he doesn't like it. I think they hear their peers complain about school. It is not "cool" to like school.

I would also like to encourage you to have a heart to heart with your husband. Explain to him your reasons for wanting to succeed at this, and ask him for his support. That is so important.

And I love that verse that was shared. I am definitely using that with my 3 whiners!

Try to relax. It does get easier.
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by TriciaMR »

First, remember Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me. And Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Turn to your heavenly Father and rely on Him.

Second, I agree with Dawn about not allowing the whining and complaining. Philippians 2:14-16 is a great passage to memorize together. For my kids, I had to fill a cup with 20 "chips" and each time they whined/complained/cried inappropriately I would take a chip away. This helped them make an immediate connection to the behavior. If they had 20 chips at the end of the day, they got a rewards. If less than 15, there were consequences.

Third, most "experts" say it can take up to a year for the student to adjust to mom being teacher AND mom. Character training IS school. If you need to, stick with the 3 R's until the character comes along. Pull out Proverbs, Phil. 2:14-16, Ephesians 4:32 and use them for your Character training. Type up the verses on the computer and put them up on the wall. Point to them, quote them when appropriate, read them every day.

I think I would find out what his expectations are... "easy, no writing, etc..." Then, correct them. Say, "I'm sorry that you had these wrong expectations. We are still doing "school." You will still need to write, you still need to learn your math facts. I expect you to always do your best, use your neatest handwriting, and not complain." Give him higher goals... "You know, if you write something about Jesus or God, but no one can read it, you haven't done any good. We want you to be able to use your abilities and gifts for the glory of God. Rushing through something just to be done isn't glorifying God.

I would say he doesn't *have* to sit in the grass. If you have a camping chair or towel or blanket to bring, bring it.

Praying for you.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by gratitude »

Hi Jamie,
Lots of hugs! The first year is hard, and my kids never have gone to school. I have read that pulling them out of school is a transition for the student and the mom. It challenges everyone to take on new roles in the home. It challenges the student to do school work in an environment they associate with play. Even coming from life with an educational emphasis to life with curriculum was difficult at first.

I wanted to suggest a book that helped me last year. I found it at a Christian bookstore: "Homeschooling for the Rest of Us" by: Sonya Haskins. The book talked about how the first two years of homeschooling in many ways are about working on the relationships. I would agree. My parenting strengths helped our homeschool, and my parenting weaknesses became glaring problems once the school work began. I had to work on my own weaknesses to help their attitudes become efficient and effective during school time.

Home schooling is worth it. It isn't fruit that blossoms after one week. After a year of learning at home with curriculum I see fruit in my kids that wasn't there before. We recently met up with a friend whose kids are in school. She was amazed at how much our kids wanted to learn during their trip to the aquarium. Her kids from a private Christian school just wanted to get it done and get it over with at ages 11 & 9. She also noticed, as a public school teacher, our kids ability to focus & play for long periods of time & the peace they have with one another. This though is the very early fruit of A LOT of relationship work during the past 1 -2 years.

God will give you the strength you need & the wisdom of what your ds needs as you make this transition to what I see as a true blessing from the Lord to teach my children about Him.

Blessings & lots of hugs of encouragement. You can do this! :-)
Posts: 119
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Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by BHelf »

I've been there, done that. Some days I'm still there doing that. ;) But we're into our 3rd year of HSing now. My daughter was in public school for Pre-K and K. We began HSing her for 1st and now she's in 3rd. Our first 2 years, I enjoyed that I was at home with my children (I worked out of necessity before we started HSing) and that I could teach my DD...but honestly there wasn't a lot of academic type teaching going on. It was a lot of learning how to be a family with Mom at home and learning about authority, discipline, etc. (It was learning for me as well as I'm not a disciplined or scheduled person. I still haven't learned this lesson very well in all honesty.) I will say though, that for the most part my DD's attitude has improved dramatically towards school with the beginning of this school year. That's not to say we don't have our bad days (cause we most certainly do) but they are way better than the last 2 years. Like another poster said, I think they feel that since they're at home they should be allowed to do whatever they want. It's an adjustment they have to make.

As far as what your husband said--my husband had those same type concerns before we started HSing. He expressed them to me each time I brought up the idea of HSing with him. He and I both are guilty of being super excited to start a "project" and then letting it fizzle out after awhile. He was so worried that our children's education would suffer because of us. It took him a long time and lots of prayer but he is now even more sold on the benefits of HSing than I am--and that's saying a lot! Pray about it and talk with him. Ask for his help if he sees that things aren't going the way you and he thought they would. Tell him he is just as much a part of your son's academic success as you and that you can't do it without him.

So, know that you aren't alone! I know I always tend to feel that everyone else's HS lives are perfect: their children are perfectly behaved all the time and wake up eager and anxious to start school without a complaint and to top it off their houses are spotlessly clean and ready for guests at zero notice because their children willingly do their chores and the mom never ever has to raise her voice. :) I'm sure that in reality, more people's lives look like mine--they just don't tell anyone else about the bad parts. LOL
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by meagabby »

You can do this. Hugs and prayers coming your way.

There is a reason you chose to do this and your husband supported you enough to withdraw from public/private school.

The verses shared are good places to start. Trust in what you are doing not the results at the moment. It will get easier. You are in a transition as well as your child.

I am a "project starter" and for a few years in the back of my mind I wondered if I was doing everything right or doing it like the people that I had placed on a pedestal that I thought had it working the right way. That was wrong.

Realize you do not compete with public and private schools, you simply teach at home, your way, your schedule. (if you have requirements, you still have control within those rules)

You have a wonderful opportunity to get to know your child and form a great relationship. The textbook time will take less time that he was used to being away. You can fit in a few board games, educational movies, library trips to find books on topics he's interested in and other great things to get used to being together.

I pray that you will follow your leading to homeschool and not be diverted by negativity.
I pray you have a wonderful year and continue on.

Loving learning with MFW!
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:49 pm

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by narrow4life »

Remember homeschooling is NOT just about academics. We school our children at home so that we can disciple them. The troubles you are having are not the curriculum at all, but rather character issues. One of the first things I discovered when homeschooling is that if your child has not learned to obey, it will not be a fun thing! I would suggest backing off on the curriculum and focusing on character. "Shepherding Your Child's Heart" is a great book with advice on how to train not only their behavior but their heart as well. You are definitely having heart issues with your son. These will not go away without much effort and prayer. Some people just stick their kids in school and ignore the problem or deny it and say "I can't. He just won't listen to me." No one grows from that.

Homeschooling is not easy but it IS good. Focus on the heart first and foremost and then maybe slowly add in school. Make sure your son knows it is not an option. You must have consequences for disobedience and goofing off and be consistent. Again, I would back off on school, explain the expectations, start gradual and enforce whatever expectations you have. Please don't give up. It is well worth it.
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:04 pm

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by lisaha »

Everyone has great things to say to you and I can ditto all of them! :)

Every year I have moments when I wonder if I can do this, and then good days happen and I rejoyce! I see the children growing in faith and relationships with eachother, I see them caring for others and I see wonderful teen homeschool children in other homeschool Christian families. Homeschooling is a calling from God. It's our work for God! :) He will lead us and give us strength.

I had a friend who has an ADHD child. She did not want to medicate him, but I think this advice will work even with the meds. For her child she had him go out and help milk cows before starting school. All of that work and activity had him ready to sit down and do school by later morning. He did WONDERFULLY then! :) Now you may not have cows, but running laps around the house, doing a workout video for children ex... just might have the same effect! :) I know my son needs to get up for bathroom breaks, snacks, water breaks, running laps around the basement and sometimes running around the farm 10 times "just to get the wiggles out" during school. Sometimes I say "no", but I often say "yes" bc I know he needs it or his brain will be gone. We have also quit some subjects and wait a day bc his brain shuts down, but he is only 2nd grade. He also knows that if he doesn't keep up with his sister when he takes all of these breaks that he will not be allowed snacks bc he won't have time for them, and he would have to do school in the afternoon instead of play or go outside on the farm. So most days, even with the breaks he works hard to keep up with his sister's work. I do have to be serious and take away his fun afternoon when he doesn't keep up, but that has only happened a few times. :)

Anyway, God is with you on this! :) Pray to Him and He will help you along the way! :)
God Bless!
Abigail 4th grade, Joshua 2nd grade, James K, Toby 3, Levi 23 months and EDD 11-19-10
Posts: 350
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Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by RachelT »

Wow, what a lot of support there is here! I am glad you have received so many encouraging replies. We all need this from time to time. Today was our first day "back to school" after having several weeks off. Even though my children have been homeschooled for four years, my son still did lots of complaining and whining about things today. My daughter (has never attended another school and she was excited and in a good mood! I think this would be a big adjustment for both you and your son to make. However, just like when I was a teacher in a private school, I think he is testing you to see what he can get away with, not that he is a bad kid at all, he's just trying to find his boundaries and maybe needing to get a clearer vision for what you will be doing and what your expectations are for him. YOU CAN DO IT, because GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO IT!!!!!!

The first year I was so nervous (and I was a trained teacher), but I had a dream right around the beginning of our school year and it was a clear picture of Jesus walking my children across a bridge, holding their hands. He is really the one leading our homeschool. Maybe you can think of that picture.

I pray that you will gain lots of wisdom and ideas to try and that you will settle into a routine soon and feel more comfortable with it! My son has inattentive ADHD and learning disabilities. School is harder for him and it's harder for me to teach him, but we are both learning a lot (those character issues) through this process. Melinda Boring at has some great advice, helps, and things to try for these types of students. Crystal directed me to her a couple of years ago and I got to hear her speak at our spring homeschool conference this year. She is really helpful and down to earth if you even need to call or e-mail her for ideas.

Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Oh, Jamie, we can probably all feel your pain because it's been our pain at some point. Hugs and prayers.

You've already gotten some excellent support. I just will add some random thoughts about practical things as I go through your post and think back to when I brought my kids home from public school. Sorry in advance if I tend to get too wordy.

1. Many of the things you mention are parenting and relationship issues that would be there whether he was schooling at home or outside, and although it may seem tempting it really wouldn't solve the problems to send him away. It would just leave the problems unsolved and getting worse, without you seeing that.

2. I could talk for a long time on how little academics I saw going on in the classrooms when my kids were public schooled. But even more revealing was talking with each of my kids that first year that they came home. I found out that an outside classroom wasn't really encouraging my kids to do their best, and my kids had often been more concerned with getting it done or doing what everyone else was doing rather than actually obeying or learning.

3. When I first brought my kids home, I set up the "structure" of our day but I didn't force schoolish work on them for sometimes a long while. The structure helped them "get over" the fact of school once, rather than fighting to get started each day. But the flexibility showed them that it could be fun. We played math games, took field trips, and decorated notebooks for my artsy child. Soon a little schooly stuff sounded more interesting.

4. I make it clear to my children that I am willing to listen to suggestions for improvement but not to criticisms, because I am human and my feelings can be hurt. There is no "I hate this" allowed in my house, but I am willing to listen to ideas - "Can we do this in chalk on the driveway instead?"

5. A major point at my house is that I am responsible to be the best parent I know how to be. That usually gets kids thinking and I even find that as they grow older, my kids are actually stricter parents than me. A parent must teach a child and protect a child and prepare a child for adulthood as best they know how, and I think kids want that. I am one of those who does not blame things on God but lets my faith speak for itself, while I only speak about my own responsibilities. And one of those is my children's education, which is very flexible at home but is not negotiable.

6. The second major point at my house is probably that we all need to work on how to reduce temptations in ourselves. I have never felt I would be able to eliminate sin in my children, no matter how hard I tried, but only help them identify and deal with sinfulness. I guess I think that if Adam & Eve were born sinless, and they had a perfect father, and they still sinned, that my kids will sin, too. So it might seem like I am lenient with my kids' behavior, but actually I am working hard on it. I admit to them that I am sinful and pray every day for God's help, but my job as a parent is to try to prepare them for dealing with that within themselves, creating strategies to avoid the temptation to do wrong, and remedies when they have caused pain to others, including me. I don't know if that makes sense, but in general I am thankful to homeschooling for giving me the opportunity to work with my children as I had always imagined, even if it has been painful. You may have a different understanding, but the wonderful thing is you now have this opportunity to take the time to teach your child as much as you have always wished you could. You won't be wholly successful, but you'll be a lot more successful than if your child was gone all day, every day.

7. You can't do everything every year or with every child. And some children are just more difficult than others. I think it helped me immensely those first years to set goals. I used a little book by Teresa Moon to observe and evaluate at the beginning of the year, and then set goals. They might be specific like try different cursive programs or solidify math facts, but often were broad goals like training ourselves to pray together every morning, and improving accuracy in details, or even character issues. Then when I had to evaluate what battles to pick, I could look to my goals for the year and let go of the things that were not high on my list. It was also very encouraging as the year progressed to see how far we had come -- you can easily forget how bad it was (I guess that's a good thing!).

8. Boys - they often like to move. So how do you decide if singing loudly helps with grammar? I ask what he just read or what I just said, and if he can't tell me, then he must stop what was distracting him. Usually it comes down to noise being distracting but not movement. My ds did most things on the floor with a clipboard and many times draped over a giant exercise ball. This was up into 7th grade. In 8th grade he transferred to juggling a lot of the time :~ He also likes standing up, writing on a big marker board or a giant laminated map, using a chin-up bar, and lots of singing in school. Yet I am pleased with what he has learned and he tests well on our required yearly exams.

9. The other part of distractions is that it sometimes makes things take too long. Eventually, I will just take the page away and say that we have spent enough time on it, and it can be finished after school hours. It usually only takes once or twice a school year to get over that temptation.

10. Potty language is not pleasant to me as a woman. I usually act clueless and ask if kids realize what the different words actually mean, discussing them in medical/mother speak, and then request/instruct that we will find better words to play with. I encourage kids to play with words that two year olds couldn't easily play with. We like puns and such at our house. I heard Diana Waring say once that teaching your children some actually good jokes is good public speaking practice :) Reading books aloud in goofy voices is also fun, even up into Shakespeare. And Crystal taught me to let my son narrate using puppets. I guess I'm saying to redirect rather than squash his goofiness ;)

11. Not liking something that they "ought to" like is just a little thorn in our sides. It is going to happen. It happened to us on nature walks plenty of times. But in the end, they were looked back upon fondly. Kind of like those happy Christmas cards taken in the cold at the park, where you don't mention that it took two hours of crying and screaming behind the scenes, and then the child says, "Oh, I remember that, it was so fun!" You just put a wry grin on your face and feel glad that you tried to be a good parent.

12. About the writing, I've seen it work both ways. I've seen some parents just say, "We're going to write until writing becomes easy." And it does for them. I've been the other parent, saying, "Well, I don't think Socrates made his students write. Wanna just talk about it?". Or if I'm feeling more modern, "Wanna use google images and create a page, instead of coloring?" I did have my youngest copy the Bible verses that MFW assigned over the years, but he typed pretty much all the rest. He didn't type something every day until about 6th grade, and then it was only about a paragraph most times. I think if you really work with a sentence of his each day, it will be an excellent education and a gift that classroom teachers could only dream of providing for each student.

Our kids are our "project" -- and that's a good thing 8[]
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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