Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Assignment

Here is our first assignment of the school year. Take time this week to write about YOU and your feelings of trials and triumphs with homeschooling. Touch on when you first heard about the concept of home schooling and whether you tip-toed into the idea or just jumped in and never looked back. Share your schooling as a child and how you compare it to what your goals are for your children.

As a child I did well in school. It was fairly easy for me and that lead to quite a bit of free time. Free time that was spent stuck at a desk daydreaming. Of course, over the years school got a little bit more difficult, but I was so used to doing nothing to learn that I continued with my ways. That meant there were some B's thrown in with my A's on my report card. Once, I even got a D in Latin 2. I just could not stand that class and had no idea on how to study and memorize stuff, and before I knew it Iwas hopelessly behind. Overall, my school experience wasn't bad....but it wasn't really anything exciting. I didn't feel prepared for life, I didn't feel equipped to go out and conquer anything, and I certainly didn't feel confident about who I was.

Honestly, looking back I always knew I wanted to be a mom. A stay at home mom was my chosen career path. I had an intense interest in medicine, but still felt the tug to be a mom first and foremost. God was preparing me even at a young age, but I didn't know it.

So fast forward to the year 1984. I am a mom. A young mom, but a stay at home mom! Our son was under a year old and taking a nap. I was sitting in our dining room reading a magazine. (I think it was Family Circle) I came across an article on a homeschooling family and thought how absolutely wonderful that sounded. It just hit me deep inside and seemed so right. I couldn't imagine sending my little guy off to school.

However, over the next few years I didn't hear anymore about homeschooling. I didn't read about it, didn't see it on tv, and certainly didn't know anyone who homeschooled. So, the day came that I sent my little pumpkin off to school. I had another son at home and soon added another son to the mix. I sure missed kid#1. I thought about him all day. I wondered what he was learning, what he was thinking and how he felt.

Around 1991, we were led back to church. We found a wonderful church home. My hubby came across some families that he had connections with back when he was growing up. We connected right away and wouldn't you know, they homeschooled. Several families at our new church homeschooled! Then, in my oldest son's cub scout den a new kid joined. He was homeschooled AND my husband used to be in scouts with his dad. A few months after meeting this family, the mom asked me, "When are you going to start homeschooling?" That took me off guard a bit, but my reply was, "I'm not sure. Things are going well in school. I guess if there is a problem in school, I would homeschool in a heartbeat." Hehe... You know where this is going.

Fortunately, for me there wasn't a BIG awful problem. However, things began to crop up. Oudest son was smart and spent quite a bit of time sitting at his desk daydreaming. I knew this because I was now volunteering more at his school. The teachers all loved him. He was gentle, quiet and smart. Son #2 had a little more difficulty. He was gentle and quiet, too. However, school was a little harder for him. The teachers didn't even know how hard it was because he was very intelligent and compensated. I found out that he was acing his spelling tests and math tests, but he couldn't tell you the letter or number that he just wrote! No wonder, he had a hard time trying to read.

Mike, my husband, mentioned that he would be in total support of me if I decided to homeschool. I prayed about it and almost immediately had my answer. Within 24 hours, I had met 3 more families that homeschooled, flipped on the tv and saw a news report on a homeschooling family, picked up a newspaper and saw a supportive article on homeschooling and bumped into someone that brought up homeschooling even though they didn't homeschool. I also had an incredible peace about the thought of homeschooling. So in 1993, we took the plunge. I have graduated three boys and now we have a girl. Some days have been easier then others, some years have been more rewarding then others, but I have never lost that peace. :o)

My desire for my children's schooling has always remained the same. I wanted them to learn and to know how to learn. I wanted them to know who they were and what gifts God has given them. I also wanted them to feel confident in who God made them to be. Like I said, we are down to just homeschooling kid #4 and I pray that I accomplish those goals as she grows up.

Now, I am just going to throw a few pictures at you to reward you for reading all that!! (everyone likes pictures, right??)

I was going to show some pictures of when we first put the school room together a few years ago. It was so new and fresh, but then decided to just give you the real thing. So I ran in there and snapped a few shots. Keeping it real here and letting you see the lived in look. :)

This is where we sit most of the time to do seatwork and projects. If we are reading, we go snuggle on the living room couch. This is also where we do a lot of crafts.

Here is her own little space. This desk was my mom's when she was little. :) Kid #4 keeps her personal papers, favorite stickers and drawings in this desk. Ignore the closet...it's a little messy today.

This picture is already on my blog. It's kid #4's first day for this school year. She is ready to go.


Nancy said...

Hi Tammy,

I love your story...it sounds so much like mine when I was growing up. It isn't neet that everyone you ran into for a while, at the new church, your husband's Scout friend and your older friends all homeschool...you just KNOW that God intended this for your family!


momofmhasr said...

I hope you havea great year.

Chez Nous said...

What a great room for your children to work in.

Have a great school year!

MrsTamara-BFS said...

Thank you for sharing your homeschool journey with us. I loved the pictures of your beautifully organized school room.

BFS Teacher

Jean said...

Your story was very touching. What a beautiful homeschool space you have. Happy homeschooling!


Sheri said...

You sound a lot like me-and I am glad you hung on to the homeschooling dream. Congrats and enjoy your new year ahead!

Michelle said...

I enjoyed reading your post & looking at the pics.
I also Love snuggling up. But, we snuggle up in bed for reading.
Enjoy this year.

Anonymous said...

Your school room is lovely. It is wonderful how supportive your husband is of homeschooling.

Pajama Mama said...

I loved reading your story and love your bright and cheery school room!!

What is the aqua paint color!?!? We have looked at 856,349 different aqua paint chips for our 12yodd's room!!!

Blessings, Jeannie

Rebecca said...

Hi, Tammy!

I love how God orchestrates things! How many times has He planted a seed in my mind and then sent a stream of brothers and sisters in Christ to confirm what He's speaking!

Keep listening to His voice!

Have a great first week of school!

Kym said...

Oh I love the pictures of your schoolroom!! I have known you a long time, and do you know I've never read the story of how you became a homeschooler! :grin: Loved reading it.