New School Year Hopes and Dreams

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Christy - Staff
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:09 pm

New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by Christy - Staff » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:43 am

Let’s share our hopes, plans, and dreams for this school year.
  • Why did you begin homeschooling and is it the reason you continue?
  • What do you hope will happen this year?
  • What works well that you want to intentionally continue?
  • Are you trying anything new – small or huge?
  • What was a challenge last year that you hope to find answers to?
  • Is God saying anything special to your heart that you would like to share?
I encourage many of you to post. You may have an idea or encouragement that someone else needs. Or if you are in a difficult place, someone may have encouraging words for you.
Christy Callahan - MFW Customer Service Team Lead
Wife to Mike (homeschooling dad)
Mom to 5 blessings and foster mom to many

Christy - Staff
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:09 pm

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by Christy - Staff » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:17 am

I'll get us started.

We began homeschooling because we lived in a large city with a terrible public school reputation. I was a fairly new believer and wanted the best for my children, but homeschooling was new (and weird) to me. My daughter was in private school for her first 3 years, but transferred to public in 3rd grade. That lasted 1 year. In 2000 I left my full-time job and began our homeschooling journey.

While my 2 oldest have graduated, we still have 3 school age at home. As most of us probably are, I'm praying this will be "the best year yet." My boys are excited about learning and my preschooler is constantly moving. :) I'm praying for confirmation of salvation for my 3 youngest since they have not made that public yet.

I'm the full-time working parent right now so dad is the primary educator. But what I'm working harder at this year is spending time in the evenings to check in on progress and do all I can to keep them on the right path.

We are using All Aboard the Animal Train this year with the toddler. It's so fun! We also have the science kit that goes along with our science materials. This has been a huge blessing to have easy access to. No excuses to skip those hands on experiments!

Last years challenge was staying on schedule. I guess that's probably always a challenge.

I'm on a journey to get closer to God. To understand the Bible more. To be the best He can make me. During this journey I'm feeling the constant desire to bring other moms along on this journey with me. I want moms to feel close to God, to really know what's in the Bible, and to be equipped to be the best He calls them to be - which is more than likely not what He's calling me to be. We are all different and we need to embrace those differences and use them together to reach more people with His love.
Christy Callahan - MFW Customer Service Team Lead
Wife to Mike (homeschooling dad)
Mom to 5 blessings and foster mom to many

TriciaMR
Posts: 1009
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:31 am

I began homeschooling because my daughter had a medical issue and she would need to go to the bathroom every 2 hours. I figured I'd have to teach her what she missed, anyway, so why not homeschool (and I had plenty of friends who homeschooled).

Anyway, by the time she was halfway through 3rd grade, we figured she is probably dyslexic. If she had been at public school, she wouldn't have gotten help until she was 2 to 3 years behind. We switched to using All About Spelling and her reading finally took off. This year she is a senior in high school, has CLEPped two courses, and is taking English Composition 2 and College Algebra at the local community college. She will have met the minimum requirements to get into the local university, so I am graduating her in December. She is also taking Spanish at our co-op, studying music theory and piano, doing about 10 hours a week of dance, studying for another CLEP, etc. Keeping her on task is the biggest challenge.

My twin boys are 8th graders, and we are doing 1850 to Modern Times. My biggest challenge is preparing them for high school level work. I'm now more comfortable adjusting curriculum to meet our needs. For example, since we do Awana and have verse memorization and Bible study with that, we don't do the Bible portion of 1850 to Modern Times. And we've added Vocabulary Cartoons 1 to improve their vocabulary. They are doing lab class for physical science at our co-op, and one of them is also taking an acting class and a writing class. Since he is doing the writing class, I'm not having him do Writing With Skill, but the other one is. Our biggest challenge is getting to Spelling every day (one of the twins is also dyslexic).
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

manyblessings
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: Nevada
Contact:

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by manyblessings » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:22 pm

Why did you begin homeschooling and is it the reason you continue?

I began homeschooling many years ago because I wanted to continue to be the one teaching my children about the Lord, and the other things they needed out of an education, I believed, should be founded on that. I still believe that, and am so happy to be teaching my youngest child now that the rest are grown, and watching her grasp deep truths as well as basic knowledge.

What do you hope will happen this year?

I hope to see my daughter grow in wisdom and stature, and to be an example for her in my own life and character.

What works well that you want to intentionally continue?

As much as I want to stay on track with the plan in the curriculum, our days go best if I allow my daughter to sometimes decide what to study. Her ideas matter, too, and I can always pick up where we left off in the curriculum another day.

Are you trying anything new – small or huge?

What's new for me is taking my time. As a new homeschooler 20 years ago, I was so frazzled and worried about my child keeping up. If I could do it over again, I would have done his first few years so much differently-with more free time and delayed academics.

What was a challenge last year that you hope to find answers to?

Managing my time. It is something I have struggled with for years-trying to find the balance among homeschooling, self-care, family life, housekeeping, etc.

Is God saying anything special to your heart that you would like to share?

Give your children, and yourself, grace. Homeschooling is not a race :)
Lourdes
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
Past: MFW K, ECC, AAAT, VOD, GCA
2018-2019 LGS

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:54 pm

Why did you begin homeschooling and is it the reason you continue?
I began homeschooling because my husband had just graduated from college and we knew we would be accepting a pastorate somewhere mid-year. We loved it so much we just kept doing it. I thought when we finally settled down somewhere we would enroll the kids in school. But homeschooling just became the core of who we are. I guess that is why we continue. Because it has become who we are.

What do you hope will happen this year?
My oldest will wrap up her last credits and dual enroll in a local community college.

What works well that you want to intentionally continue?
Besides our MFW curriculum, I would say our current schedule is working well. All independent work up front while I work with my K and 1st graders and then all our MFW family cycle work in one large chunk while the younger boys play together. I would also say that Math U See is working well for us, with MFW language arts.

Are you trying anything new – small or huge?
No, pretty much everything is the same as previous years.

What was a challenge last year that you hope to find answers to?
The challenge last year was all new curriculum, and the answer was dont fix what aint broke.

Is God saying anything special to your heart that you would like to share?
Leave the holes to me. I was always sweating the small stuff. Seems like its all worked out in the end.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

TXGRL
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:33 am

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by TXGRL » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:54 am

My family has always pushed private school, dh's family pushes Catholic School, so we had conflict from the start; 3 yrs of private preschool and daycare had ds facing Kindergarten with a teacher that wanted the kids reading by week 6 or failed and he wasn't even close; then I did the math, my entire salery was going to preschool, daycare, and fuel; so we decided that I would stay home and teach ds myself, just to catch him up, so I did 6 months of pre-k and ordered the Kinder curriculum ds would have used in private school. Then my husband and I got back into church and a relationship with God, probably for the 1st time, and I don't feel led to put ds back in a conventional school setting, I also do not feel led to continue with the worksheet heavy curriculum we started with for my super smart and wiggly ds.
Hopeful that MFW is the solution to effectively teach ds while allowing him to be a kid and continue exploring this marvelous creation.
As far as feeling led to share: I have a 3 yr little brother with mild to moderate autism and my step-mother didn't want to tell me that they were enrolling him in their neighborhood public pre-school, because she thought I would hate that choice; she didn't call me for baby advice for a similar reason, my dad told her about me nursing ds and making his baby food and she thought I would look down on her formula can and pre-packed food, we have to stop this, she made the choices she felt best for her family, that's all any of us can do. P.S. You should have heard us laughing when she finally told me and I told her some of the ugly things I have been told about homeschooling, plus lil bro is improving so much in school and his mamma has a chance to unwind so the have more quality time and less tears.
Married in 2008
Ds in 2011
Seeking God's plan for more dc
MFW 1st 2017-2018
Abeka K 2017 (nontraditional calendar)

bethinga
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by bethinga » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:30 am

  • Why did you begin homeschooling and is it the reason you continue?
We began homeschooling because my husband worked far away and only had weekdays off, no weekends. I realized our child would rarely see him anymore when he started K. Private school was also very expensive and I'd probably need to go back to work, even though I felt that I was just finally getting the hang of being a stay at home mom. It broke my heart to think of no longer spending my days watching my children meet milestones and make discoveries. So I discussed homeschooling with my husband.

Well, he was not on board, fearing weird, unsocialized kids (which he remembers from his church growing up). So I began to pray, "Ok, Lord, you've put this on my heart. You have to convince him because I can't." I began to journal every time the Lord brought another reason for homeschooling to my mind, instead of continuing to tell my husband, since he was not interested. And I kept praying.

One day, I don't remember how the topic came up, but he said something about homeschoolers sitting at the dining table all day. I told him that homeschooling had changed a lot and reminded him that our city had a large community of homeschoolers. But, I also remembered, I can't convince him, only God can. I said, "I'm not going to try to convince you anymore, but I have been journaling about it, if you ever want to see that." He said, "Okay, I'll read it. Send it to me." (It was in a PDF which I could email to him.) So I sent it to him, and then forgot about it.

He called me from work later that day and said, "I read your journal, and those are all very good reasons. I don't know why I've been so resistant; I think I just had an ideal in my mind about our routine once the kids were in school. But if you want to try homeschooling, I'm behind you 100%!"

Wow, guys, I was so shocked! What's more, he's been my biggest support and encouragement all these years (in our 6th year), even through my own doubts and the doubts of those around us. Praising God daily for this blessing. I had decided I wouldn't try it unless we were in agreement, and God gave me better than that!

My husband's works schedule is a little better now and he works closer to home, but we've come to love the homeschooling lifestyle. We have so much freedom in our routine, especially to travel in the off season!
  • What do you hope will happen this year?
I hope that I'll get better at going with the flow. I've always had a difficult time with natural interruptions: holidays, sickness, travel. I need to be okay with not doing everything on the list, and being "behind" sometimes. Because, truly, we are never really behind- we're doing life.
  • What works well that you want to intentionally continue?
I highlight everything we've done in the TM which gives me a great sense of accomplishment, especially on the weeks we couldn't get to everything. It's awesome to see a page full of yellow highlighter; makes the skipped items seem smaller.

Also, I've finally been able to work in foreign language on a regular basis, as well as instrument practice. I want to keep those up for sure! It's amazing to see how much they advance when we're consistent.
  • Are you trying anything new – small or huge?
I'm doing Bible first, math second, and history third. Everything else is gravy, in my opinion, so it's working well to get the important stuff done first. (Especially since history covers many aspects of LA, too.) I'm also alternating subjects they dislike with stuff they do like; learned that from a friend. It works SO much better than trying to get them to do all their hard work before the fun stuff. A lot less tears here this year!
  • What was a challenge last year that you hope to find answers to?
My daughter has some dyslexic tendencies, but since she's improving so much, we're just watching it right now. I've learned some ways to help her by researching online, but have not sought therapy yet. She's reading really well now (last year was not fluent). She's in 3rd grade and reading on a 4th grade level. Her spelling isn't great (2nd grade level) but improving every day. And she still reverses b's and d's, and occasionally numbers. But if that's the worst of it, I think we're ok for now. I hope to determine this year that she's continuing to excel without therapy; otherwise, we need to seek help.
  • Is God saying anything special to your heart that you would like to share?
Sharing something personal here, but I'd encourage homeschooling parents to be SURE to take good care of themselves. I have been struggling with anxiety issues the past year and I finally sought help last month. Medication was the right solution for me, and I'm not ashamed to say so. I prayed God would give me a clear answer on whether or not to try it and He did. I finally feel like myself, and I truly think my kids are happier too. I didn't realize how much my intensity affected those around me until I was out of the "fog". I'm so thankful to be clear-minded and experiencing joy in the little things again. I'm much more able to cut loose and play with my kids, and I'm not getting so overwhelmed by the ebbs and flows of life. Take good care of yourselves, Mamas and Daddies.
Beth in GA
Mom to a boy and a girl
Using MFW since 2012

bethinga
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by bethinga » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:01 am

Also, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who've replied so far. It gets lonely sometimes as a homeschool parent, so things like this are such an encouragement to read! Even though we have a pretty healthy, busy social life, I still feel like I go long stretches without talking to other homeschooling moms at times. Coming here to read things like this really makes me feel like I'm not alone in the unique challenges of homeschooling.
Beth in GA
Mom to a boy and a girl
Using MFW since 2012

Sallylourn
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: New School Year Hopes and Dreams

Unread post by Sallylourn » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:33 pm

My husband and I have always agreed that we wanted a Christian education for our children. We found a great, very small Christian school, that my oldest attended from kindergarten to 4th grade and my second child attended her first two years of school. I was expecting my fourth child their last year there, and I wasn't working as much as before, and money was getting pretty tight. We knew it would be extremely hard to afford another year of Christian school. I never thought I would want to home school, but I didn't like the idea of sending them to public school, so I reluctantly said, "I guess I'm going to have to homeschool." Surprisingly, it didn't take me long to start getting excited about homeschooling. Now, in our second year, I can't imagine stopping, even if money wasn't an issue. I love being able to spend so much time with my kids, and I love that their evenings at home aren't filled with homework!

This year, I hope we will grow closer as a family and that my two oldest kids will learn to be kind to each other and love each other more.

One thing I've found that works well for me is putting all the kids' assignments that they can do independently on a marker board each day. They can do the things on it in any order, and it helps them to be productive while I am wrangling my toddler.

This year, we are a part of a synergy group for the first time. We are just with one other family, and we've known them before either of us had any kids. It's nice for the kids to do school with other kids once in a while, and its good to spend time with a like-minded friend, although we have two active toddlers to keep busy on those days!

A challenge from last year that has continued into this year is having time for my preschooler. I am trying to do VOD with her this year, and it is challenging to get everything done in the way I'd like to. I've also found that when I do take the time to do preschool with her, my older kids find it practically impossible to pay attention to their own work because her preschool is so fun! She craves attention and wants someone to play with her constantly which can't always happen. Meanwhile, my toddler loves to run around scribbling on everyone else's papers and books! I try to remind myself not to wish away my last baby's babyhood, but it definitely presents a challenge to homeschooling.

I can't say that God has laid anything specific on my heart to share, but I am so thankful for MFW and for you on this board sharing with me!
Sarah, wife of Steve
Mom of Timothy (12), Talia (9), Violet (5), and Lydia (2)
2016-2017 ECC (first year homeschooling)
2017-2018 CTG and VOD
2018-2019 RTR and K

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