Wednesday, May 6, 2009

An Affair & An Apology

First, my apologies for letting nearly three months go before updating the blog!  I am still functioning in the cyber world but have neglected this site.  Forgive me, dear blog, forgive me.

Let me share with you a journey that started just a few months ago regarding our children & their education.  I've been wrestling with the idea of home schooling for about a year or two.  When we were pregnant with Zoe we felt strong conviction to send her to public school.  Brad and I had great public school experiences and I couldn't (sometimes still can't) imagine myself as a mom being at home with all our kids, all day.  I admit: I have been long looking forward to the day when I could send one onto the school bus and have a lesser load to carry for seven hours.

< God has His way with Heather's heart and plans. >

I have started reading like crazy about home schooling & education.  I have an insatiable thirst for all things regarding how children learn best.  How boys learn.  How girls learn.  Brad is loving my affair with books because it's increasing my authority as a mom & leader in the house.  He is trusting me more as I show responsibility & humility and lay my opinions & fears aside.

It is NEVER too early to start preparing & researching for your child's education.  

If you are going to send them to public or private school - GREAT!  Just make sure YOU are making the decision, not the state, not your friends, and not your experience.  If you are thinking about home schooling, challenge your motives and get advice from moms who have been doing it!  I had a serious reality check when a mom describe her home-schooling journey as one that lasted 24 years.  Geez, does that come with a retirement plan & benefits?

Here are my recommendations if you are not sure where to start:

1.  Pray & surrender to God.  He is the best teacher & educator and He certainly knows your child the best.  Entrust the future and your plans to God as if you were a complete fool with no wisdom or intelligence about you.

2.  Start reading.  Below is my book recommendation list for now.  I have another pile sitting by the front door that I got from the library.  (P.S.  All moms must have a library card & use it regularly!)  

Here's a breakdown of how often I would suggest reading a book, based on your child's age:
birth - 1 year: Read one book on the subject before their first birthday.
1 year - 2 years: one book every 6 months (that's only two a year!!)
2 years - 3 years: at least one book every 4 months
3 years - 5 years: read up on the subject every two months
By the age of five, you will have read a ton of books & will be very well informed!

3.  Ask questions.  Lots and lots of questions.  Talk to moms who send their kids to private school.  Ask how they are learning, what they are learning, and about the overall experience.  Ask a mom who does homeschooling to join her for a morning.  Learn while your child is in the car seat & you will be ready when they are tying their shoelaces. 

4.  Visit this website and listen to the radio interview.  We went to her seminar last month and our lives have been turned upside down.  Our home life has taken a 180 degree turn and we have seen:
- behavior improvement in Zoe
- creativity and desire for reading
- a level of peace and tranquility in the home I had no idea was missing

Home Sweet Homeschool, Sue Maakestad
Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education, Raymond S. and Dorothy N Moore
Boys & Girls Learn Differently! A Guide for Teachers and Parents, Michael Gurian
The Organized Home Schooler, Vicki Caruana
School Can Wait, Raymond S. Moore and Dorothy N. Moore
...more to come!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Hi Heather! Yay, an update! I'm home now, been home about a week and a half. This was an interesting post! You can probably guess my opinion on education...but I'm glad to have the advice from you super early! =)
Hope to see ya sometime!