Friday, May 4, 2012

180 Days

We have reached our state required 180 days.  The kids and I have worked hard to get done in early May.  Not very many days off during the school year, we just kept plugging away.

It is a bit easier to do when you don't have to have snow days and teacher in service days, and days off for federal holidays.  I also like to encourage learning as a way of life, so other than math, they usually like reading history or doing science, art, music. Reading, lots of reading takes place in our cottage school.  After all reading is the foundation for all learning - if you can read you can teach yourself anything!

I usually start in the beginning of August and with taking some weeks at Thanksgiving and Christmas we continue through the year trying to be done by Mother's day weekend.  That is when we have our state homeschool convention.  I like being able to just focus on next year and often the kids like to start some of their books for next year too.  I have found if we are not done by the convention it is hard for us to focus on finishing up this years school work!

This year went very well.  With the exception of math the kid flew through their history, science, health, language arts.  Music and art are a constant around here anyway.  Physical Education is easy with riding lessons and lots of hiking, ultimate frisbee and some basketball.

Math is not a favored subject but they have worked hard this year, and I can see the fruit of my decision to go slow and have them gain mastery over it rather than rush through to get it all done.  They will continue to finish their math lessons this month - but that's okay.  Once they finish these lessons I may have them start their math for next year, so that they don't 'lose' any thing over the summer.  We'll see.

Not every child loves every subject and again that is okay with me as long as they realize they must learn to have a heart to 'learn'.  For example, Sarah preferred our history this year to our science, while Kyle loved the science more than history!  So every day it was "could we do science first?" or "could we do history first?"  The solution was to rotate everyday - one subject first one day, then the other subject first the next.  

This year they have accomplished Math, Science, History/Geography, Health and Safety, Art, Music, Bible, Home Ec, Physical Education.

They have been to Valley Forge, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Florida.  They have gone by train to Harrisburg (our capitol) and gone to the Whitaker Center to see an Imax movie about tornadoes.  They have been to the North Museum, Longwood Gardens, Hawk Mountain, Canaveral National Seashore, to see Joseph at Sight and Sound Theatres, Eastland Alpacas, the open rehearsal for the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra.  They have visited an Amish school.

Very important to me has been the scripture they have committed to memory this year.  

I love home education.  It has become a way of life after 17 years.  I still have about 11 years to go.  We have our evaluations later this month and then we will turn in our evals for this year and all the required paperwork for next year.  We will take opportunities over the summer to learn as well.  Rachel is going to start cello lessons next Thursday, and I am going to get Sarah started with piano again and art classes.  I love for education to be a natural flow and not a thing where we start thinking "It's time to do school, now I learn."

I am thankful that we still have the freedom in our nation to choose which form of education we want to pursue for our children.  Home education has worked well for us.  

Next year we are going to study Math (pre-algebra for Rachel), Science (we are going to study marine life), History (American again), Health and Safety, Bible, Art, Music, English, Civics.....

I'm getting excited thinking of this next year.....


  1. I hear your excitement about next year and congratulate your successful completion of this school year.

    Reading IS fundamental! I'm looking forward to a few uninterrupted hours of it this afternoon myself--kind of a rare thing lately....

  2. The excitement is how I can easily tell that you love this way of life and that it is working for your family.

    I once had a nasty argument with a public school teacher who did not approve of the choices I made for my children. I say that "I made" very lightly because I was truly seeking God's will. Having substitute taught in public schools for five years, I knew firsthand that it was a stinking mess and that was away back in the 80s so I can't imagine that things have much improved.

    Homeschooling has shown such good results that I don't believe the arguments that teacher once had would hold today. Homeschooling has proven itself.

  3. Yes, yes, yes! I love this way of life! From the very first day that I began to teach my children at home (when my oldest two were in sixth and fourth grades), it felt like such a natural way of living and learning together. I have never wanted to go back. Is it always "easy"? Well, no. But overall it is "easy" because we love I know that you do! I thank the Lord over and over that He guided us in that direction. (As a matter of fact, I may be aimless for a time when my youngest graduates...but that will be a few more years...)

  4. I have the most respect and admiration for mother's who home school their children, and if I had children at home today, I would home school them. I am glad that parents have that choice and hope it continues. With the excitement you have, I know your home school is a lot of fun for your children. I pray for much continued joy and success with this journey, for you are sowing seeds that will bring forth much fruit, the memorization of scriptures is most important.!!
    Enjoy your weekend.

  5. It must be nice to be finished! :) I was homeschooled growing up and am looking forward to homeschooling our children when they get old enough.

  6. We are getting very close to being finished with school! I am ready for a break! I have been thinking about taking a couple weeks off and then having my kiddos do one or two lessons a day until August or September when it is time to jump into it all again. Like you-we'll see!

    We normally finish close to the end of April-beginning of May. We had several days off through Feb and March because of our moving and house project. :)


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