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Homeschool Ignorance is Bliss

Not knowing is better than knowing and worrying.

I did NOT know fully about homeschooling when we started; that was a blessing.

Especially because we were coming from nearly four years experience in a public school setting, it's REALLY good I was ignorant. My life was about to be drastically altered, and I had no clue. We abandoned the ideal of public school and jumped into the homeschool world of the unknown!

I'm not writing this to scare prospective homeschool parents, but rather to say:

Please jump into homeschool with a good amount of faith. Know just enough to get started, but please trust God with the rest

 

Homeschool Ignorance is Bliss

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Ignorance is bliss.

For most of us this is VERY difficult... I wanted to know answers to questions like:

  • Will my children be able to get into college?
  • How can I be sure there will be no "gaps" in their education?
  • Will they be lonely at home?
  • Will they wind up resenting me because I deprived them of traditional "school"?
  • Which math program will put my children on the best track for high school?
  • How am I going to make a transcript?

The list could go on and on.... I nearly drove myself mad before I had even started.

Now that I'm eight years into homeschooling I have learned SO MUCH.

I want to share 5 Truths with you.

But I won't share too much.

Or you might get scared.


Be prepared for your children to resist home education at first.

If they have been in traditional school for any length of time, homeschool will seem foreign. Your children won't know what to do with a lot of unstructured time. They might miss their friends.

It will take them time to RELAX and ditch the textbooks. It will take them time to trust you as their teacher. It will take them time to accept their new status as "homeschooled".

It might even take a whole year.

Don't lose heart. They will come around.

Be prepared for your children to possibly not perform well on standardized tests.

I wish someone would have told me just how SMART my kids would be. I'm not bragging, but their level of knowledge amazes me. 

That knowledge, however, isn't measure by a standardized test. As homeschoolers we don't teach to the test. We teach to our children.

A standardized test can't measure INTEREST. It can't measure creativity or self-motivation. It can't measure all of the reasons I decided to take my children out of school in the first place.

So, don't worry about it. Honestly, put it out of your mind. Have faith your children will be OK.

Forget about the test.

As my oldest is approaching college we will invest in some SAT/ACT prep classes.  We will take the tests a few times to determine where strengths and weaknesses are. 

I refuse, however, to tailor my children's education to THE TEST. 

 

Your family might be skeptical, critical, and distant - you will probably lose friends.

There is a very particular view some people have of homeschoolers. 

That stereotype unfortunately exists.  Homeschoolers don't fit in a box. Your family members will just have to figure this out in time.

Some people may openly question your choice of curriculum. They will ask you about sports, high school, prom, and socialization. They will tell you stories about homeschoolers they have "heard of". 

Homeschool Ignorance is bliss

Be prepared to be gracious. Smile, nod, and set about the business of proving them wrong.

In the mean time, stick close to the family that does support you. You really must put the negativity aside.

You aren't homeschooling to please your extended family. You are homeschooling because YOU are your child's best teacher and know what is best for them. 

I promise you - your relationship with your children will benefit in ENORMOUS ways from homeschooling. I cannot imagine what our lives would look like now had I sent my children away all day every day for school.  I am thankful for our closeness - and yes, even the struggles - because they have taught us so many valuable lessons.

You will probably lose some friends.

This one is so difficult. You know one of those new homeschool moms I was talking about earlier? She told me, "I'm so glad you warned me I might lose friends because guess what? I did." 

She told me this blinking back tears and I felt so badly for her. 

I have been there. Some friends won't understand your decision. Some friends (especially friends you had from school) will see your decision as a personal attack on their educational choice. Some friends might be hurt you don't have as much time for them. Some friends might WISH they could homeschool and feel guilty when they are around you.

Sometimes you might want to scream, "Stop Telling Me Why You Can't Homeschool!".

It's so cliche, but if they were really your friends before they will still be your friends when you homeschool. Your true friends support you no matter where your kids go to school. 

AND, you will make NEW friends. Some of my closest friends have been made in the past several years.

 

Homeschooling your children will expose every flaw and weakness you have.

And that's a GOOD thing. 

Children are Holy Sandpaper

I always remember a friend telling me children are "holy sandpaper". 

That they are.

When you are with your children 24/7, you get sanded a lot. You see yourself in them (and not always the good parts of yourself, either!) and being in such close relationship with your children can reveal so much about parents and children.

It will allow you for personal growth you never imagined possible.

Homeschooling will show you just how impatient you are.

My patience has been tried so very many times (in fact - multiple times a day). I'm NOT a patient person, but I pray for patience, ask forgiveness, and face each day knowing God walks with me. 

I have reached the point now where when I blow it with my kids (which is usually multiple times a week!) it is easy to ask for their forgiveness... and they are humbly asking for forgiveness when they blow it, too.  

Homeschooling doesn't mean you are the perfect mother who loves her kids more than the next mother. It doesn't mean you have been gifted with super academic abilities or extraordinary patience. 

It just means you are obeying the call to educate your kids at home and you are trying the best you know how! 

 

Your priorities will shift in ENORMOUS ways.

I've had to say NO to so much so that I can give my children 100% of my attention during the day. 

I think if I had been given a glimpse of what my life would look like now before I started to homeschool I might not have done it! 

You see - it is all about FAITH, and my faith has grown in a HUGE way since we began this journey. I think this is just what God intended for my family and itt just took me some time to LISTEN to Him and obey the call.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  ~Matthew 6:34

 

If you are contemplating the homeschooling life, please don't investigate it TOO much. Remember, a certain amount of ignorance is bliss. Prepare yourself - yes - but trust God with the bulk of it. He will work it all out for good.

I am beyond thankful for the huge priority shift that has gone on in my life because of homeschooling.  

 

Downloaded my FREE eBook:

You CAN Homeschool

It's my gift to you, because I know you can do this! 

 


Over the years the following books have been helpful for encouragement and practical ideas.  

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Fourth Edition)A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning(TM)For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and SchoolTeaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable PeaceWhen Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for TodayThe Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and BecomingEducating the WholeHearted Child -- Third EditionA Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To ManualThe Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical EducationThe Homeschool Experiment, a NovelPocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning(TM) : A Story for Mother Culture ®Lessons at Blackberry Inn: Adventures with the Gentle Art of Learning(TM)Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started.How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of HomeschoolingInstead of Education: Ways to Help People do Things BetterDumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 10th Anniversary EditionWeapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

 


What is something you think you'd have been better off not knowing before you started homeschooling?

Homeschool Ignorance is Bliss - 5 Things You are Better Not Knowing

Favorite Children's Books for Spring

Books are immensely powerful. 

Earlier this week I read the SILLIEST book to a group of little ones I teach, and most of them declared it was their "favorite book ever". They were all so engaged, giggling, and generally enthralled. 

We created a memory I am sure.

The more you read to your children the more memories you create. 

Some of our most fond reading memories come from books tucked in an Easter basket, read aloud outside during the beautiful spring weather, or about various animals that seem to surface when spring arrives.

I hope you enjoy this list of our favorite spring books! 

(And when you are done with this, go check out my list of easy spring crafts -- pairing a book and a craft can be fun, too!)

Favorite Spring Books for Kids

Favorite Spring Chapter Books

Spring signifies new life, hope, and rebirth.  The following books all have a special place in my children's hearts - and in mine, because I got to share these books with them.

That is why authors like E.B. White and Thornton Burgess are among my favorites for springtime reading.

The first book is my ULTIMATE favorite. I have a memory of my then 5 year old son sitting in the back of our van listening intently to the audio of this book -- during the very sad ending he was sniffling and crying - looking out the van window so I wouldn't see him cry.  

Charlotte's Web

The Trumpet of the Swan

The Secret Garden

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

The Adventures of Peter Cottontail and his Green Forest Friends

A Nest for Celeste


Favorite Spring Picture Books

I love to keep seasonal baskets of books available in our home.... we have a Christmas basket, spring basket, summer basket, etc... It makes the books seems fresh and new at the time and also helps me keep them organized! 

What's really fun is when your kids are in their teen years and you pull the basket out and they want to sit and read the books AGAIN. 


Click the books below to find out more...

Charlotte's WebThe Trumpet of the Swan (full color)The Secret Garden (Macmillan Collector's Library)The Burgess Bird Book for Children (Illustrated)The Burgess Bird Book for ChildrenThe Adventures of Peter Cottontail and His Green Forest FriendsA Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of HomeIt's Not Easy Being a Bunny (Beginner Books(R))The Easter EggLlama Llama Easter EggHappy Easter, Mouse!The Easter StoryThe Parable of the Lily: Special 10th Anniversary Edition (Parable Series)The Biggest Easter Basket EverThe Complete Adventures of Peter RabbitMarshmallowThe Velveteen RabbitThe Tiny Seed (The World of Eric Carle)The Teddy Bears' Picnic (Classic Board Books)Make Way for Ducklings (Viking Kestrel picture books)Planting a RainbowWhen Spring ComesMy GardenLike a Windy DayApril FoolishnessSpring is Here (Bear and Mole Story)In Like a Lion, Out Like a LambFletcher and the Springtime Blossoms

 


Do you have any favorite books for spring that you have shared with children?  

Leave me a comment and let me know -- we'll add them to the list!

Favorite Spring Books for Kids

Notebooking and Classical Conversations

Notebooking is our favorite way to learn.

Each week we take the Classical Conversations memory work and print applicable notebooking pages. I put them in Grant's memory work binder, and as the week progresses he completes pages that interest him.

(Remember, I do believe the MEMORY WORK IS ENOUGH... but for a child who needs a little more I've found notebooking to be perfect!)

We have notebooked through all three cycles and through all areas of the memory work. Honestly, the sky is the limit!

Notebooking not only helps a child memorize the material, but also lets them dig deeper in certain areas and have a tangible keepsake of their hard work.

Notebooking and Classical Conversations

Getting Started With Notebooking

If you are a beginner with notebooking, you might want to read Getting Started With Notebooking.  This is a general primer that can help you get a quick start. 

Our favorite notebooking resource is Notebooking Pages. We have a Lifetime Membership that enables us to download anything in their treasury --- and there are literally thousands upon thousands of pages!  

What I love about notebooking is that you only need the following:

  • notebooks (we prefer 3 ring binders)
  • colored pencils, crayons, or your writing instruments of choice
  • scissors
  • page protectors (if you want to save your work for years to come)
  • printer

Notebooking and Classical Conversations

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I get so many questions about notebooking, so I want to explain exactly how we have done this over the past four years. 

We've notebooked in TWO ways through our Classical Conversations journey.

Our first year we kept it very simple. I purchased a HUGE three ring binder and used dividers for each section of the memory work.  Then, as we went through each week of CC we printed notebooking pages that interested us (Notebooking Pages has things organized and they are easy to find) and I let my son take the lead.

The best way to show you is with this video below -- I'm laughing because the video is three years old.  Look how cute he was!  


(In case you were wondering about the nifty little memory work book you see in the video, you can download and print this from CC Connected.)

The second way we notebooked was by creating a smaller notebook for geography, history, and science. I sat down the summer before CC started and searched for pages and printed them, then put them in the binders.  Each day of the week my son would notebook through a different area of the memory work.   

Here is an example of our history binder for Cycle 3:

Grant also loves to include his map tracings (have you read my post about Geography and CC?) and other goodies in the memory work binder.

The sky is the limit when you are notebooking!

Notebooking allows for a lot of structure, yet much creativity with the weekly memory work.  

Less is More

Once I figured out that memory work really is enough, homeschool became much more simple.

We review the memory work each morning during our morning time and then Grant gets to work in his notebook.

Add a Saxon math lesson, quality read alouds, reading instruction (we recommend All About Reading!), and plenty of time for play.

I know I'm saying it a lot, but we are SO THANKFUL for Classical Conversations!

Notebooking Pages Free Resources

Notebooking and Classical Conversations

How do you reinforce the weekly memory work at home?

 

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