Sunday, March 15, 2009

So, where were we?

When I left for Houston last month we were talking about how I use AmblesideOnline’s curriculum, and I had about three posts planned in my head, but unfortunately I didn’t write them down anywhere, so I lost them. One of them, I think, was probably to encourage other moms not to take anything I’m writing here as The Way To Homeschool, but rather as food for thought — what is working for one family at this point and hopefully will give you things to think about about as you come up with your own ideas.

I say “at this point” because the way we homeschool has changed a lot over the years and what worked well when I had only little ones isn’t doable now that I have older ones too, and what we’re doing now probably isn’t much like what we’ll be doing in ten years when I have only older children.

It’s funny thinking about how much our reasons for homeschooling have changed over the years. At the beginning we did it because I wanted to give them a certain kind of childhood which wouldn’t have been possible if they’d been in school all day. Originally we meant to put them into public school at the beginning of fourth grade, but the year our oldest would have started was the year we had moved to Virginia and were expecting Baby #5 — a long-expected baby, given that there were nearly four years between her and the next oldest — and decided it would be best to keep her at home that year too so she could enjoy the new baby along with the rest of us. She used the Robinson Curriculum that year, and I think it was just right for the time, but after that year I only continued using a few elements of that method.

That year saw a pretty major shift in our thinking such that we decided never to put our children into the government schools (note the not insignificant change of terminology), but the next year we considered putting the two oldest into the school run by our church. For various reasons we decided that it didn’t fit our ideas of how children learn and what they should be learning, so we continued teaching them at home for the next two years (and had another baby).

The year after that, we moved to Texas, had another baby, and looked into the Lutheran school for the three oldest. That school fit better with our ideas, but honestly it would have been a huge financial burden, and I admit being very discouraged because I was feeling so overwhelmed. That year our children were 14, 12, 10, 8, 4, 3, and 7 months, and I was, to put it mildly, exhausted.

Well, I’m out of time for now and we’re having out of town guests this week, so I might not be able to continue this right away, but I did want to check in, and ask y’all what I’m supposed to be blogging about.

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