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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why we decided to Homeschool and Our Curriculum Choices for 2011-12




I read this post by Edie at lifeingrace and it just sums it all up so simply. Check out her blog too, her style is incomparable and her writing is real. Love it.

Why the Heaslips are Homeschooling...

1. We are WEIRD.
We've never really been "normal" in the eyes of most people. We live in an "upside down" house. We've been married over 13 years and we still tend to act like we're horny 19 year olds. We've had borders/ tenants and extended family live with us since the first year we were married. We've chosen to invest our money into buying assets rather than have everything new and right now. We buy from an organic farm and we have a huge veggie garden I love to be in and can the fruits of, we try to eat meals made from scratch everyday. We research alternative choices from everything like energy consumption, political affiliations and where and how we worship. We're not afraid of the TV, movies or "questionable" books and holidays like Halloween. Our lives are not cluttered with strife and drama... we have great relationships with our extended families and friends despite the ups and downs of life... So choosing a different method of education is our normal.

2. Educational standard.
Most people I talk to (not all) think that the choice to home school is a faith based decision. While almost ALL of our decisions are faith based - our decision to home school was based primarily in wanting our kids to have the fullest, strongest education possible. We are not afraid of putting our kids in public or private schools. I know many people who believe we should send our kids to be a witness. it's not that I disagree with this, it's that I want education to be just that. No other agenda just the best education I can provide.

According to Websters Education in the general sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character, or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another.

That's alot to expect from a public/ private educator (who are usually underpaid) I like knowing that they will have a much broader education than my public education afforded me. They'll be exposed to classic literature, world history, geography, art, music, etc and that we can focus more of their energy into developing them into naturalists.

We want our boys to grow up to be WEIRD men. Men who understand the world around them and their place in it. Men who have a great respect for community, economics, investing and have a trade they are skilled in. We want them to thirst for knowledge and wisdom and to know how to get it and use it well. Furthermore, I want our kids to be a living witness no matter where they are, or who they are with. The best way I can do that is to BE that witness to them and my world all the time. I also want to say this. I am not dismissing the many gifted educators in the schooling systems. I believe that they are skilled and gifted and trained to teach rooms of many students from many backgrounds and levels of ability. I am grateful that I have the choice and opportunity to school my three boys, and ONLY them. Knowing their specific strengths and weaknesses and knowing that I don't have to divide my time with another 15 plus students.

I also want to say that I NEVER thought I'd be home schooling. I don't have the patience or the discipline and I am lacking in many areas. However, I do know that NO ONE loves my kids like me, and that no one else will be as passionate for their success in life as me, and no one has been given the amount of grace for them as I have.

3. Socialization
I am not worried about them not being socialized. We have a very large network of families, friends, faith communities and local home schooling networks. I am excited that they will be learning how to socialize with all ages, in many many different environments and truly believe it will give them an edge on the rest of their peers as they enter into maturity.

4. TIME
The final area that I want to mention is the area that both scares me and excites me the most. So many moms I talk to look forward to the day their kids start school almost as much if not more than the first day of summer. While part of me shares this sentiment because who doesn't need a break?

However, there's a part deep inside of me that feels like it's going by so fast and I'm missing so much. I want to be "present" for as much of their lives as I can. I like the fact that we can just BE a family in simplicity and grace. That it affords us time, flexibility and the chance to include dad who works so hard to support us. I like that we can use our family times and vacations as part of the whole experience, rather than "squeeze" things in when we can.
I've worked in ministry part time through most of my boys lives so far, and there are things that I know I need to bring correction to in their behaviours (mostly because we were so busy and i felt so guilty that I just let things slide). I know in my heart, that the season of letting things slide is over. I'm really eager to begin to MOTHER my kids wholeheartedly everyday, all the time.

Having said that, I know it's not for everyone and we are just starting. I am committed to this for the near future, but am also open to it not working and seeking another alternative. Right now though, this is it.

I'm linking this post to a few Home School networks and would love your feedback on not only the above, but especially the curriculum listed below. J
Not Back to School Blog Hop
Our Curriculum for 2011-12














Carter (JK-SK)
Reading/ Writing
Primary Arts of Language; The Phonetic Farm
Handwriting Without Tears; Before 5 in a Row
Math
Social Studies
A Year of Fun Just for Fives
Science
The Nature Connection; Nature Activities for Early Childhood
Phys. Ed
Family Time Fitness; Gymnastics/karate; Skating & Swimming
Bible
Promiseland; Awana
Art

Maxwell (grade 1)
Reading/ Writing
Primary Arts of Language; The Phonetic Farm; Five in a Row
Math
Math U See - Primer
Social Studies
Science
The Nature Connection; Super Science Concoctions; Abeka 1
Phys. Ed
Family Time Fitness; Gymnastics/ Karate; Skating & Swimming
Bible
Promiseland; Awana
Art
Draw Write Now
Lucas (grade 2)
Reading/ Writing
Primary Arts of Language; Handwriting Without Tears
All About Spelling
Math
Math U See - Alpha
Social Studies
A Pioneer Story; Canada, My Country
Science
The Nature Connection; Super Science Concoctions; Abeka
Health
Abeka
Phys. Ed
Family Time Fitness; Gymnastics/Karate; Skating & Swimming
Bible
Promiseland; Awana
Art
Draw Write Now

3 comments:

Estelle said...

I love this! Everything you said is right on! :) I see homeschooling becoming a popular choice for alot of people in the future...and not just a religious choice as it has been in the past. While public schools are great and work for alot of children, there are many children who are not benefiting from the "system"...and it's our responsibility as parents to notice this and make adjustments accordingly. Nice work, Tammara! I can't wait to see how your boys thrive in this environment! :)

Brenna said...

I really enjoyed this! I love your reasons for homeschooling and I love that you recognize certain needs you, your children and your entire family have and how you can better meet those needs. It's possible you've read my post on why I'm passionate about public school. I had hoped at the time to hear from other perspectives, but nothing ever came of it. Maybe you'd consider letting me post a link this on my blog? ;)

Tammara said...

Thanks guys! Brenna, you are more than welcome to link this. In fact I'll maybe try to go back and do it for you :)

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