Monday, August 25, 2008
I mentioned in my post about the curriculum we're using this year that I'd like to have a weekly post about our schooling, but I wasn't sure how what that would be. Well, today I was looking at someone else's blog and saw Homeschool Memoirs, a weekly themed blog assignment for homeschoolers. Although I'm almost too late for this week's theme, I wanted to jump in as soon as I could so I'd be involved from the beginning. So this post will go up today, then tomorrow the new one for the next week will come out - so you'll get two of them within a week! Sorry!
This week's theme is All About You, so I guess I'll tell you All About Me - or at least the homeschooling part about me!
I'm Susan, married to Wes for almost 24 years, and we have three children - Sam is 19 and entering his sophomore year at West Coast Baptist College; Andrew is 17 and entering his senior year of high school; and Beth is 15 and entering her sophomore year of high school. We are originally from the Carolinas, spent 14 years in Texas thanks to the US Air Force, but we now live in North Vancouver, BC, where my husband is a pastor.
We first began homeschooling when Sam was four years old. My mother-in-law had homeschooled my husband's youngest siblings, and she passed along her A Beka kindergarten curriculum to me. We homeschooled Sam until my husband took a position on staff of our church, after which the church started a Christian school - with my husband as administrator! By that time, Sam was in 2nd grade and Andrew was ready for kindergarten. We put them both in school, and two years later Beth started kindergarten. All this time, Wes had been going to administrator training through School of Tomorrow (ACE), and was learning a lot about what the Bible had to say about educating our children. Long story short, God convicted him that we should be educating our children ourselves, and the summer after Beth's kindergarten year we decided to homeschool. He talked to our pastor, who was very open to our homeschooling as long as Wes didn't lose focus of the Christian school, and in the fall of 1999, we started homeschooling all three of our children. We're beginning our ninth consecutive year of homeschooling this year.
We've tried several curricula, but finally settled on Switched-On Schoolhouse. It's worked well for us, with some minor tweaks here and there. This year we're even trying something new - entering our non-SOS subject lesson plans as a New Subject in SOS, so that they are incorporated into the automatic lesson plans and grading. The actual lessons are still in the books, such as Saxon Algebra I, but the titles of the lessons will pop up on their SOS schedules as a reminder to do the lessons and to keep them - and me! - on track for the year. It sounds like a lot of work, but once I figured out how to enter the titles efficiently and then assigned the subjects, it was simple. For instance, I entered an entire year's worth of math lessons in about 20 minutes!
We've homeschooled through 2 1/2 years of traveling to raise support for our church ministry, through my diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, and through our move to Canada and starting a church. Through all these circumstances, we've found that educating our children is about having a plan and being flexible. I have to have a plan. But I also learned that we didn't have to have a table and chairs and a strict schedule to get school done; it happened wherever we happened to be that day, and some days, it happened according to how I felt physically - in the early days of my illness.
I'm looking forward to sharing our homeschooling with you this year! I start out enthusiastic and organized each year, which usually falls apart somewhere along the way, so I'm hoping that participating in this will help keep me going strong - and hopefully encourage another mom or two along the way.