After spending the last year in a lot of prayer, seeking counsel from friends, research and purusing many blogs we have very clearly felt the Lord calling us to begin Amelia’s education with homeschooling. (Deep breath!) I have a multitude of reasons, doubts, fears, etc., etc., etc. that could put a quick stop to this thought but God has brought me to a place where He has very clearly told me this is what He wants us to do and so I must do it out of sheer obedience to Him. I know if I were to back out of doing it that I would be disobedient. I do not know how long this will be for… God may lead us to place Amelia in school for elementary or middle school or not until high school. We have no idea. Like every single area of our lives we just take the moment for the moment and go with it. So that moment is right now and right now God wants us to begin Amelia’s preschool year with homeschooling.
I am very excited about this (and very nervous as well). I have always loved school and learning and books and Amelia already has shown this same love as well. I already want to teach her (and re-learn for myself) simple topics of science, history, math, geography, etc. But that excitement will have to wait for another few years (Lord willing) while we focus on some more basics of ABCs, 123s, drawing, colors, shapes, etc.
After much research and prayer, God has shown me that every homeschoolers life, schedule, curriculum, progress is different. I know not to stress out because what I’ve planned is different than what someone else has planned and so with that I need to do what will work for me and Amelia and the dynamics and structure of our family and all in alignment with what God is willing for us for that time. I know some basic guidelines for me in planning our upcoming homeschooling year that He has already shown me is:
* I do not want to buy a prepackaged curriculum – This is not for me. I am too much of a “I need to research absolutely every minute detail of every little thing out there and compare each and every one before I decide on one” type of person. And there are entirely too many packaged curriculum out there for me to do that and I find from the research I’ve done that there are some aspects of one curricula I like and some aspects I don’t like and I know I would not be satisfied with that. So I also like to take certain matters into my own hands and planning my own curriculum is a way I am going to do just that. Which leads me to the next guideline…
* I am cheap … maybe that’s not the right way to say it : ) … I like to find bargains … I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars every year on homeschooling – Thanks to some encouragement from Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling who has planned every year of her homeschooling for her 5 kids for free or nearly free I know that it is possible and exciting (and time consuming and in need of dedication) to plan inexpensively.
* I love books – A lot of what Jamerrill Stewart (from the above blog) uses are free printables and ideas from a wealth of different websites. I have only begun purusing them and have found some very helpful ones out there but I have a love for books that is hard to deny. So I know I will use some printouts but as long as I can get my hands on good, cheap and useful books that are equivalent I will most likely use that; so it’s a good thing…
* … I LOVE thrift stores! – Part of the reason I am surviving small town living (there are actually many things I am enjoying about this) is because Monte Vista has 2 thrift stores! Yes… 2! This is huge considering that equates to the number of grocery stores they have (Safeway and Jack’s Market) and considering downtown is the span of 1 block : ) I could go on but I will stop here : ) And I have found in Alamosa (17 miles away) this summer they are running a book fair each month of recycled library books for $1 or less each!!!!!! I cannot tell you how many good books and resources I have found through these venues that will complement my now expanding homeschool bookshelf.
* I am organized and a planner and I like structure throughout my day (at least as much as my kiddos will allow) – This automatically helps me feel some sort of calmness through thinking about homeschooling. When I have a plan in place I feel like I am making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:17) and I can sense from both the kids a different aspect of obedience, calmness and peacefulness when there is routine and they have an idea of what’s to come next. Our days filled with chaos and nothing planned just leave each of us stressed out, cranky, exhausted, irritable towards one another, and the list of negative things can go on and on. This has been a huge area of growth for me as God has been teaching me to lean into Him on these chaotic days (as all of us know that no matter how much or well you plan… life will always happen, especially with 2 kids and we have to be able to adjust accordingly) and to not react in these negative ways but to “put on” the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Whew! That is just the beginning of my mental planning for what it will look like to teach Amelia preschool at home. Just writing all of this out has me thinking of all the other blog posts that need to be written for my own mental sanity and to make sense of all of this. So I promise there will be more to come that will include “Scripture God Used to Lead Us to Homeschool”, “Preschool Plans for Amelia Age 3”, “Homeschool Resources I Have Found Helpful” and some sort of post on what type of schedule I hope to follow and possibly some more depending on where the Lord leads me to write.