Looking back it's amazing how much my heart was hurting as a mother,
and how in a few short days,
homeschooling has changed that completely.
On Monday night, January 7th 2013,
I decided to homeschool my 6 year old first grader.
I called her public school the next morning and told them she would not be returning.
Then I went online to the government website and reported to the
state of Wisconsin that Elle would now be homeschooled.
And with the click of a mouse, it was official.
Was the school horrible?
Was her teacher a nightmere?
No and no!
We loved her teacher.
But Elle was being bullied.
She was having excessive anxiety over going to school every single day and
it was getting worse and worse...
and then on Monday night she opened up to me and I realized how bad it was.
I saw my daughter hurting.
I saw my daughter in pain.
And I decided enough was enough.
I had seen her cry enough.
On Tuesday morning we bundled up and headed to the nearest
Dollar Store, where I stocked up on lots of fun dry-erase boards,
reward stickers, art supplies, pencils and a few workbooks.
(The rest of the workbooks are from Target!)
Since Elle is in 1st grade,
the most important things are that she is a fairly confident reader by the end of the year
and can add and subtract confidently.
So with that being said, I bought several workbooks from Target that focus on reading,
spelling, addition, subtraction, and phonics.
I have decided to be curriculum free for the rest of the year until 2nd grade.
That means I won't be buying a full curriculum to teach Elle.
Instead we will use the workbooks and focus on unit studies
and embrace a hands-on learning style.
What is a unit study?
It's something my mom did with me when I was homeschooled.
Every week Elle gets to choose a topic of interest to her and we
learn about that topic all week long through activities,
books, songs, games, videos, etc.
Elle picked a few things she wants to learn about -
painting, pizza (Italy) and rabbits will keep us busy for a few weeks.
In the future I want to try the Charlotte Mason homeschool method...
it is more hands on, nature oriented, than strict book work.
When we got home from our fun shopping spree we turned our kitchen into
a homeschool classroom.
We hung up educational posters, a few learning charts and dry erase boards.
We organized our new school and art supplies.
I made a pot of coffee, and sat down with my daughter.
We prayed and we began.
So far I feel as though this time with Elle (and Rielynn,
since she joins in with us) is filling that void in my heart as a mother
that I felt.
I feel like this is the best choice I have made for my children in years.
Every morning we listen to "Revive our Hearts" while we have breakfast and clean up.
We have our Bible time next,
and then we do our work books until lunch.
After lunch we have tea time -
I make tea, and we sit down with the tea pot and cups and I read out loud
(currently: Little House on the Prarie.)
Afternoons are unit studies...
since we are learning about painting and famous painters,
we looked at library books on masterpieces of art,
and then we painted canvases with tempora paint...
another day we practiced the "Impressionism" style with watercolors,
and today we will be finger painting.
All of this time with my daughters...
my heart is soaking it up.
I am getting to do the fun things I have craved with them.
God has literally changed me overnight from a having a great
fear of homeschooling to a great passion for it.
How will I work every night, also run my business, be in full time school myself,
Well, I can't.
So I am in deep thought and prayer over what needs to change so that I can do this.
I know it comes first.
The girls come first.
So I am praying that in the next few weeks I will have clarity on how to do this all.
I love my business, I am so proud of it.
But my children need me.
So I am in prayer.
"Education is not the filling of a pail,
but the lighting of a fire."
(this is our homeshool quote! I love it.)
So in less than 24 hours,
we became a homeschool family.
Even though I myself was homeschooled,
this all feels like a whole new exciting world to me,
and I think I'll be blogging along the way.
I'm sure it will be messy,
I'm sure I will make mistakes,
life is messy right?
All I know is,
yesterday I had a moment where we were playing this song
Elle and Rielynn were dancing slowly,
and I saw my daughter laugh,
I saw her eyes sparkle.
She was at home.
and in that perfect moment,
She was safe.