Please note that this page will change and update as the more I learn I will share with you. When I find new websites or links I will also update them too. Links and buttons to other valuable websites and resources are at bottom of page. These websites have encouraged me alot.
Please know that anything on this page is my opinion and options that I felt was right for my own children and our household. They are not to convict or persuade you in any way. Pray and research before you make any decisions. Ask plenty of questions, just remember what someone else does may not suit your home or children. The option is completely up to you. Only you know what is right for your home.
I started this blog when I started homeschooling. I knew when I was pregnant with my first child Dakota, I wanted to homeschool. I was scared to get started though. So I emailed and got with one of my cousins who lives in TX. They have 5 children, and I said, “If she can do it, I can”. She gave me the encouragement that I needed. Did every day go sun shiney and smooth. NOPE!!!! There were days when nobody wanted to get out of bed. There were days somebody would wake up on the wrong side of the bed and be a grouch all day long. Sometimes I wouldn’t have everything all together or organized right. Some days would just end in a melt down. Don’t get caught up in a dream or fantasy that its like Cinderella and everyone lived happily ever after. You will have good days along with the bad. Everyday will not be perfect in the real world when they go out and get jobs either. Never get down on yourself or start comparing what you do to how others do it. I use to do this all the time. I would say, “Man, they have it all together, or why can’t I do that, or, why didn’t I think of that.” You know, pitty party thoughts. Thoughts like this made me feel insecure, uncomfortable, and I started beating myself up about things. I would loose my self confidence in what I was doing. I just had to sit down and realize, I don’t have to do it “exactly” like so and so does their school. As long as my kids were learning and getting an education I was proud. Don’t fall into that trap. Pray and ask God to keep your eyes focused on the prize…THEIR EDUCATION.
Here is what some of our days looked like:
I used Abeka Academy Inc. based out of Pensacola, FL. for many reasons. First, they are Inc., that covers you legally in case of law changes in the future. Second, I chose the option to keep records and report cards, this comes in handy for if they ever decide to switch to public school, you have proper proof of grades and documentation. Third, I chose the dvd program, where the teachers are licensed and it is video taped in a live classroom setting. This way the child feels a part of the classroom. Also, I did not feel comfortable being the teacher myself due to my not so perfect education. I was afraid I would not do a good job or not teach the correct academics. Also, sometimes your children get to where they tune you out, if you know what I mean. I wanted them to learn to respect discipline from some one other than their parents. Forth, I did not have to be overwhelmed with having to search for curriculum, proper academics for a particular grade, buying books here and there. It is all done for you. Everything comes in a package for the grade level you purchase. Everything is put together for each subject for you the home teacher or evaluator, and the student. It was so easy. I felt very comfortable with this decision. The best thing about homeschooling is you make your own schedule, plan your own days, and you know your children better than anyone else. You know what they need and can give it to them. Not to mention you have stored up alot of memories with them. I have loved the time I got to homeschool and be with my children.
However God can intervene and bring about changes in our lives that we don’t understand or don’t want to accept. As in our case in the yr. 2010, Dakota, my oldest, started attending public school for the first time. It was the only way he could play football. He ate, drank and slept football. That was his passion. I did not want to rob him of his passion for the game. He wound up playing all through Jr. High and High School with alot of wonderful memories.
So far, TN and OH are the only two states left in the U.S. that does not allow homeschoolers to participate in public school activities and sports. After much prayer and finally having a peace about it from God, we decided to let him go. I could not crush his dream of playing something I have seen him so passionate about. The only reason why I was comfortable with this is I already knew all the teachers because half of them I go to church with and the other half go to our sister church. Let me add at this point that it was not easy for me at first. The first few weeks of school, I cried everyday and was depressed, until I came to terms with it and got use to it. To do this, I just told myself that they could teach him Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, my job was the hardest. I had to teach life lessons and moral values. To me, I have the hardest part. There are days when the boys come home and tell me about something that has happened at school. Well, I try to help them understand and give them some guideance as to how to solve this the next time it might arise. Or, sometimes I just have to say, “Im sorry, life isn’t always fair.” This is a lesson to learn by all because when you get in the real world, life is not always fair either. I had to learn to loosen and let go of some apron strings. I did not like the idea of them learning some things at such an early age but I guess the sooner they learn the better. Some things I can’t teach them, they have to learn by their own experiences and situations. They always know if there is something they don’t understand or they don’t know how to deal with, they can always come to me or daddy. We will not lie, or hold back any details. We will be honest and they know they can trust us. However, they don’t always come to us. They are pretty independent now and they like to handle things on their own. Sometimes they ask me not to get involved, and I have a hard time dealing with this. I’m the MOM I want to “fix” all their problems. But, I have come to the realization I can’t always do that. They have to sometimes make their own mistakes to learn. I spend alot of time on my knees in prayer for my children.
I don’t always agree with everything that goes on in a public school, and believe me I have voiced my opinion on some things, but some things we just have to accept. Life is not always fair. Also, my pastors wife helped me realize something too. Their daughter is one grade lower than my oldest and she said, “Tracy, I don’t like public school either for our child, but I have prayed and God has given me a peace because our daughter can be a walking testimony and witness to other children at school. Ask God to use your children as well.” I never looked at it that way. Now, have they got caught up in some drama, yes they have. But they have gleaned from it. My kids are not perfect they can get swept away by something that sounds and looks good, but they belong to God and I have to trust and believe his hands of protection are on my children. Starting from the day they are born, it is how they are raised in the home that makes the difference.
It is a wonderful school that is open to parents to participate in their childs education and activities. They stay in such good contact with you concerning your children. So really, I’m still involved in my childrens education, I’m just not the teacher at this time. I help where help is needed and work with the teachers if we see a problem. I’m very thankful for this. I’m not left out in the cold. If they are home sick from school, I still get to home school them. I will call in the morning and will ask to get their assignments. We work on those permitting they are able, and they turn them in when they go back to school. I love those days, not because they are sick but because they are home again and I get to help.
I feel as though I have grounded our boys in making wise choices. If they don’t, we have solutions for that if you know what I mean! Ha! I’m comfortable with this. Their dad played for and went to the same school. Their dad is real proud of the fine young men they have become.
Dallas decided as of 2011 that he wanted to attend public school just like brother. Once again I did not want to hold back an ambition of my childs, so we let him go too. He did wonderful, and just like Dakota, I got to participate in anything I wanted to in my childrens class and education. Although he went and tried it and did fantastic, he hated it also. I think it was because he was so young and was use to being with momma. He is a mommas boy big time. The timing was not right. Fast forward to 2014 and he is entering Jr. High, he was really thinking about going back. He struggled with this decision all summer. He wanted to go very badly so he could play football too and be with his friends. I knew it was bothering him and he asked me if it would hurt my feelings. I told him it would not. He was struggling with not wanting to hurt my feelings and be away from me to wanting to be with his friends. I let him make this decision all his own. He is more mature now and is doing great. His teachers love him and his personality. He is still the class hero. Me, I’m a little lonely and miss him here, but I’d never tell him that. I’m proud of both my boys and their accomplishments.
There are pros and cons to homeschooling and public school. Neither is going to be perfect. There are things I like about public school and things I do not agree with. This again is something you have to pray about and find a peace with.
If you do decide to home school, make sure you research and follow the homeschool laws in your state, each one may be different.
Also, there are links to several websites that refer to homeschooling on my home page. Be sure to check them out.
I hope you enjoy your journey of homeschooling or public school decision. There is nothing better than getting a good education these days.
Home School Buyers CoOp
The Happy Housewife
The Homeschool Mom
The Home School Magazine Freebie Page
Raising Real Men
Franklin Springs Media