Many people ask me the same questions when they find out we homeschool:
- How do you do it?
- Do you take state tests?
- What curriculum do you use?
How do you do it?
My best answer for this is I have no idea! I wrestled with the decision to homeschool for three years! I prayed about it, thought about it, researched it... You see, as much as I would like you to believe that I am the perfect homemaker with the perfect children all properly dressed lined up in a row, with polite mannerisms, I am not that person. There are many days that my house is a complete disaster. There are days that I do nothing but holler at the kids (I HATE those days). There are days when I can't even find my left shoe, let alone something important. There are days I can't seem to get anywhere on time.. (I HATE to be late)... I am NOT organized. At. All. Remember, I'm reading Homeschooling at the Speed of Life: Balancing Home, School, and Family in the Real World with CDROM and One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good???? In fact, when I told my husband I thought we should homeschool, his answer was something like this: "How are you going to do THAT??? You are SOOOO not organized!"....... Hmmpf
That's my answer. I don't know how I do it. But God does. He will equip you to whatever He calls you. I believe that to be true. I've seen it over and over and over again. Heck, I got 2 babies in less than a year, and continued homeschooling, and continued everything else!!! How? But God.
Do you Take State Tests?
No, we are not required to take any standardized testing. However, that does not mean we don't. What I have done with my kids, is I have them take the Stanford Achievement Test every 2 years. That helps me to know that we're on the right track and still progressing along according to other peoples' standards. And, each time, my boys have tested several grade levels above their own! No I'm not tooting my own horn, just reiterating the But God thing again :) And now as we enter the High School Realm they will take all the same tests other High Schoolers take- PSAT, SAT, ACT etc...
What Curriculum Do You Use?
I don't use any one particular curriculum across the board. I use a mixture of several based on what fits us best. I'll go through each kid:
She's only 18 months old, so very little formal schooling at this point. However, she's exceptionally bright, so I'm starting to work with her a little. We do a lot of drawing, coloring, playdough etc. We'll do some preschool style art projects over the year too. We read a LOT of books. I'm considering using a new curriculum from Heavenly Homemakers called "Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve". It looks really good, and it's pretty inexpensive too....
He's doing a mixture of 6th/7th grade this year.
- He attends the Encourager Home School Enrichment Program on Tuesdays and they take care of P.E., Science, Creative Writing, Spanish, and Art.
- We also attend a CBS Class for our Bible on Thursdays.
- At home he'll do Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra,
- Daily Grams Guided Review Aiding Mastery Skills Grd 5: Grade 5 (Yes, Grade 5, because we started it last year and didn't finish it, so we're finishing it this year and there's really not a HUGE difference in the grades),
- Explorations in Literature,
- Switched on Schoolhouse TEXAS TX HISTORY,
- and in April he'll attend the one day class at Teen Pact at the Capitol.
9th Grade... Already!
- The only outside class I have him in this year is CBS Class for our Bible on Thursdays.
- He'll finish up Daily Grams: Guided Review Aiding Mastery Skills : Grade 7 from last year,
- Wordly Wise 3000 Book 6, Grade 9 Student Book,
- Fundamentals Of Literature,
- Starting Points: Where Our Thinking Begins, a World View Primer for Building a Biblical World View,
- Rosetta Stone Homeschool Spanish (Latin America),
- Cultural Geography Student Text (3rd Ed.),
- Exploring Creation With Biology - Full Set with Tests and Solutions, I need to buy Exploring Creation with Biology 2nd Edition Companion CD-ROM (Version 8.0) still,
- Algebra 2 A Teaching Textbooks Complete Curriculum,
- Write Shop 1 Basic Set (Teacher's Manual & Student Workbook)
- And in April he'll attend the 4 day class and Speech 1 day class at Teen Pact at the Capitol.
My basic thought on homeschooling is each family should do what works for them. If your family needs more structure, go with something that affords that. If your family needs less structure, go with that :) There is so much stuff out there for homeschoolers, that you can do it anyway that suits you!
I spend time in the summer putting our lesson plans together, and we start in August and finish up by the first part of May. We're really done with school by then, so it works best for us to do that :)