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*This post originally appeared on our homeschool blog, Benoit Academy.*
Our Homeschool Journey
My husband & I decided to homeschool way before we were even married & had kids. Neither of us was homeschooled nor did we ever know anyone who was. We felt that with the way the schools were & with the area that we lived in that we would rather teach our own children. We did meet 1 family (a mom & 2 daughters) who worked with us at the time who was homeschooled & planned on homeschooling their own young children. We were married soon after & along came J12 almost 2 years later.
We didn’t have internet at the time & so I was basically on my own when it came to homeschooling. Because I don’t drive it wasn’t easy for me to just go out & meet other homeschoolers. We had moved so I didn’t have contact with the mom & daughters that we had worked with before. Having a 1 income family makes it hard to just buy curriculum. I was able to borrow an old Hooked on Phonics program (old, as in cassette tape old!) when J12 was 4 1/2 years old. Within 1 week she knew all her letters & was taking off reading! I didn’t have to do the whole sight words & phonics thing with her because she just *got* it! She is very much like that with everything now…show her once & she’s off. I didn’t realize how much she had spoiled me being my 1st child! For her Kindergarten year I used mainly workbooks I found at the dollar stores & also had a ton of support from my family so they would buy workbooks/supplies as well. We were (& are) very blessed!
Within the next 6 years, we had our other 2 children. We were able to have the internet off & on within that time which turned out to be a GOLDMINE for homeschooling resources! I was a researching fool & would sit for hours lost on the internet! The times I didn’t have the internet are when my stepmom would download all sorts of stuff & load them on CDs for me. Also, other family members were buying/collecting whatever they could to help us out. I can’t tell you how awesome my family is when it comes to homeschooling!
I have always put together my own lesson plans for each child each year (which wasn’t all that hard at 1st since it was just J12 & then L8 eventually) using all the free resources I could find. But after awhile it gets stressful & time-consuming…especially when now I have 3 kids to plan for! Last school year I was planning & scheduling 3 weeks of school work for each child & then taking the 4th week off to plan & schedule again. That was frustrating & very time-consuming! I decided I needed a change for the next school year. So after some research & planning, I had chosen all of our subjects/curriculum for the next school year from the free resources I had saved up.
I had found Easy Peasy during this past summer but already had the school year planned so I just bookmarked it to save for another year. The kids were gone for a week during the summer so I used that time to plan & print & organize the WHOLE year for all 3. I didn’t actually schedule out what we would be doing each week since it does not work out that way no matter how hard we try!
I did decide to go the file box route & give each child & myself a folder for each week (36 total) & keep them in a file box numbered by each week. Easy I thought…I was so proud of how I was so organized & ready to go for the school year. If we miss a week then we can just pick up where we left off! If we get off track a day or 2 then we just move the work leftover from the end of the week to the next week’s folder! Yeah right……after about 2 months of the curriculum choices NOT working, I had to scrap it. ALL of it. 🙁
I decided to take a week off from school to get my thoughts in order & do more research. I had discovered Pinterest over the summer so I had a TON of stuff pinned. That’s when I came across Easy Peasy again. I tried it out with the 2 younger ones & then we just eventually found our groove.
Even with some stress here & there, & believe me there will be days of screaming & crying (from me!), I would not change our decision to homeschool for anything. It is one of the best decisions we have ever made!
This year we are going the unit study route whenever possible along w/ Easy Peasy for J12 (can’t seem to keep her challenged) & a separate math & reading program for M6 & L8. Loving it!
6/25/17 – This past school year we used A+ Interactive Math with Kid Baker & The Son. The Teen used Khan Academy for hers. Other than that, we did a mix of Discovery K12 & whatever else they were interested in.