*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 were 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 were 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 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 in the internet! The times I didn’t have internet are when my stepmom would download all sorts of stuff & load them on cd’s 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 chose 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 weeks 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. (Check out our final curriculum choices in the other posts to the right.)
Even with some stress here & there, & believe me there will be days of screaming & crying (from me! LOL), I would not change our decision to homeschool for anything. It is one of the best decisions we have ever made!
This year (2013-2014) we are going the unit study route when ever possible along w/ Easy Peasy for J12 (can’t seem to keep her challenged) & a separate math & reading program for M6 & L8. Loving it!