Tag Archives: homeschool

It’s official – homeschooling mom-teacher of three

our homeschoolers

After MUCH debate, and several conversations with each child and each other, Hubby and I made a monumental decision this weekend.  We are homeschooling all three children now.

I’m terrified and excited.  I know it will be good for us, both as a family and individually.  This is one step closer to our dream life.  I always wanted to be a teacher, and now I’ll be teaching my children, each in the way that they learn best.  I’ve done the research, I’ve paid careful attention.  I can do this!  We can do this!!

But I have concerns, too.  What if I can’t do as good of a job with the littles?  What if I find I don’t have the patience?  The fortitude?  The whatever-it-takes to get it done?  What if we really need me to go back to work?  I’m finding there’s a lot more nerves there than I thought there would be.  A lot more questions than answers.  But I’m also confident that it’s the right choice.  With Hubby working out of town, the responsibilities to get the kiddos where they each need to be falls on me.  I’ve already taught Kyle how to read, and Kody is well on his way.  Kyle will continue to have more doctor’s appointments than most kiddos his age, due to his allergies.  And with Daddy being out of town, it’s tougher to stick to a school schedule.  Taking all of those things into consideration, we decided that the uncertainty is worth the plunge.

If I am low on patience, then I’ll schedule more mommy-time when I can get it.  I’ll spend more time visiting family, and getting out and about to museums, the zoo, and other activities that will keep the littles occupied and still be learning activities.  I’ll also be better able to participate in some of the homeschool days activities.  If we get desperate for a second income, then I’ll find something on the night shift.  (I prefer that anyways).  I’ll still continue with my freelancing, and my other businesses to create income when and how I can that way (Avon, anyone? Barefoot Books? There’s another one in the works, but until it’s a done deal, I won’t advertise it.)  I’ve learned a lot about blogging in the last few months, and will be putting some of what I’ve learned to use there, too.  I have a book and a couple of short stories in the works.  We’ll be working together as a family to submit those and learn about the publishing process (rejection letters can be learned from, too).  We will adopt even more frugal attitudes and involve the whole family in those activities (I made laundry soap a couple of weeks ago.  We were lacking the buckets to put it in, but I’ll be trying again soon… I’m also looking to take some “refresher course” on sewing… with my mom if she’ll do it (LOL) or a course from someone local… if you know anyone in/near Victoria, please drop me a line in the comments).

Tomorrow I’ll officially withdraw the littles from school and send off our letter to the administration.  I’ll have their curriculum completed by then, a la The Well Trained Mind.

Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!  What have I gotten myself into????  LOL!!!  {Breathe, Kim… it’s going to be okay!}

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Barefoot Books

You’ve seen the many income streams I’ve attempted to build to help support our family and homeschooling.  I have a new one!!!  This morning, I was watching Good Morning America, to see the Avon clip (did you see it?), and saw Barefoot Books.  This is perfect for our homeschooling family, and there is no cost to get started!!!  So, what did I do?  Yep, if you’ve been reading my blog long, you’ll know exactly what I did.  I signed up to be a Barefoot Books Ambassador. If you haven’t seen them yet (or even if you have), please check out my new site.

Have you ordered from Barefoot Books before?  What did you think?

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First Day of Kindergarten (public school) for twins

So today is a bit bittersweet.  I didn’t cry.  I didn’t clap my hands or jump up and down with joy, either.  I just sent them off to school, and watched them get excited (and not a bit nervous) as they went to meet their classmates.  The teacher actually had to ask them if they wanted to hug and kiss mom goodbye.  🙂  (Thank goodness they DID… LOL).

I’m a big proponent of homeschooling.  I can battle nearly every argument for the negative you throw at me as to why I believe that homeschooling is the best way to raise a child.  And it’s not without some trepidation that I (along with my husband) made the decision to send our smallest ones off to school.  We have seven children between us.  Two have graduated from public school with varying rates of success.  One is in junior high (he started today, too), one is in middle school, two are in elementary, and one is homeschooled.  The question could easily be raised as to why so many of my children are in public schools, and it’s a very valid question.  I’m not altogether comfortable with the answer, but here’s the breakdown.

My oldest public schooled her entire school career.  I was a young mother (barely 19 when she was born).  She started Kindergarten too early.  It was the law then, so I didn’t have a choice even if I’d been more mature.  But she wasn’t ready.  She did fine through elementary school, her struggles really didn’t start until junior high.  Again, had I been a more mature mom, more educated on the school system itself, as well as maturity levels, I may have chosen to hold her back a year in elementary.  It was never offered as an option, so I didn’t.  My daughter’s birthday is June 28th, so she was one of the youngest in her class.  My feelings now is that the age difference did her a grave disservice.  Had she waited to enter school for another year, she would have been more at the level of the other students, may not have struggled as much, and may have been more prepared for the emotional struggles of teenagers.  She still would have been 18 when she graduated.  She wouldn’t have been perceived as being older than the other students.  The older me thinks back on it, and wishes I’d known then what I know now.  I’m very proud of her for finishing school on time, bringing her grades up, and getting involved in extra-curricular activities.  She did well.  I just think I could have helped her have an easier time of it.  I believe, that had homeschooling been an option for her, she would have done much better, as she could have taken the time she needed to understand a subject before moving on to the next.  She’s a staunch supporter of public education, though, so I would have had a hard time convincing her.  🙂

My husband’s oldest graduated last year.  His mind is very well-suited for the public education system.  Extremely bright and inquisitive, he chose to homeschool one year while living with his mom, and didn’t do well.  He needed the structure of the school day, and the strong oversight of his teachers to be accountable for his work.  He has strong beliefs and values and morals, and associated with people that shared those values.  This could have made him an outcast in several ways in the public school system, but as he had been in the same schools for his entire school career, he was generally well-known and well-liked.  For him, there was no doubt that public school was the right choice.

The next oldest of our brood is the one that I currently homeschool now.  He’s just getting started.  He has been diagnosed ADD/ADHD, and is extremely inquisitive and bright.  His grades while at school were barely passing, if they were even passing.  He was held back early on, and was in danger of failing last year, so he is older than most students his age.  Although he hasn’t said it, I think that contributed to some of his problems in school.  He wasn’t a troublemaker exactly, nor was he the class clown.  But he was, according to his teachers, difficult to get to settle down, and outspoken.  Some of that is the ADD/ADHD.  Some of it is a lack of basic manners and respect for authority.  We’ve been working on both.  Getting him to settle down to study isn’t much of a problem here (although I do have to initiate it… if left to his own devices, he’ll go days without doing any schoolwork), but he focuses well and retains knowledge well.  He does get easily sidetracked, usually because he discovers something else he just has to learn about.  That is something I completely understand, and I think we’ve come up with a good system to make sure that he gets back on track, without forgetting what it was that he wanted to learn about that would have taken him off-track.  He’s extremely bright and turns every opportunity possible into a learning opportunity.  In his case, I firmly feel that homeschooling is the way to go.  He will receive a better education this way.

The next in line just started the seventh grade today.  He’s lived with his father for a year now, and is a gifted student.  Straight A’s as long as you consistently check that he’s doing the required work.  If  you don’t, his grades will slip because he gets bored.  He’s not as yet in any gifted classes, and this is the reason – in my opinion – that his grades slip.  He needs to be challenged.  He also tends to be a follower, and as of now, is not “hanging out” with a good crowd.  This causes me some worry, as I fear it may only get worse as time goes on.  I would prefer that he be either in gifted classes, a magnet school, or homeschooled.  He has no problem making friends, and is a born athlete.  Those are definitely good things, as long as he’s exposed to what’s needed to further the development of it.  As of now, public school is the only option for him.

Next is our sixth grader.  He has always lived with his mom, although he wants to live with us (and is undecided as to public school or homeschool).  He doesn’t seem to have problems in school, but needs supervision to get his homework done.  He tends to feel persecuted by his teachers a lot.  As we don’t live there, it’s hard to know the whole story.  I think, with the right encouragement, he would do well in either a homeschool or public school path.  For the time being, public school is the only option for him.

Last, but certainly not least, are the twins.  I’ve written a lot about their learning styles, and I think they will do well in either environment.  We’ve chosen to encourage them to go to public school in part due to our job situation currently.  We’re going to keep a close eye on how things go, and as we do with all of our children, will continue to encourage the home learning environment after school.  We’ll re-evaluate how well they in public school as time goes on, and make our decisions based on our current home environment and school environment.

What has been your experience with homeschooling?  Do you have all homeschooled, public schooled, or a mix?  Do you feel that there is a one-size-fits-all, or that each children needs to be evaluated and considered separately?  How do you make the determination to send one to school and keep one homeschooled?  I’d love to hear other’s experiences!

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Financing your dream life

Campaign 16 BrochureI am always on the lookout for ways to finance our dream life.  Some of them are supplemental (most of them at this point are), but I always hope that I can find something that will help to replace my income from when I worked full-time.

I write for the Examiner under a couple of different titles (see previous post for more information), have started a couple of small blogs, and now I’ve also decided to become an Independent Representative for AVON.  I’ve always loved their products, and love that I can save money by following their ever-changing campaigns, buying what’s on sale that campaign.  Now I’ve decided to try out the business opportunity, and see where that leads me.

So if you’d like to take a look at the book, please feel free to email me at

kimberlyearley 'at' yahoo 'dot' com

with your name, address, email, and phone number, and I’ll get a book out to you.  If you like to do your shopping online, then feel free to follow the link abovce to my AVON page, and shop online.  You can choose to have your orders shipped direct to you, or delivered to your rep (that’s me), and I’ll deliver personally.

If you’re interested in learning more about the AVON opportunity, drop me a quick email and let me know!!  I’d love to share what I’ve found with you!

Are you living your dream life?  What is your dream life?  How are you financing it?  I’d love to hear from you!

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FREE Homeschool ID Card

If you are a homeschooler, and interested in an ID Card for discounts, or simply for identification purposes, here’s a great way to get them.  You can print free on your computer, or order very inexpensively for a hard plastic card, printed and shipped to you. It’s free to join the co-op, and they have some great buys, too!  🙂

Enjoy!

Get a FREE
Homeschool ID Card!

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream to one who’s never seen it

After watching the 1981 film made of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, courtesy of the Victoria Public Library, Chris and I had a chat about the movie.  Now, let me preface this with this:  I caught him trying to avoid watching at several junctures and offered this alternative to the movie:  us reading the play out loud together.

Me:  What did you like about the movie?

Him:  Nothing.

Me:  Seriously, even a movie that you hate, you can always pick one thing about it that you liked.  Pick something.

Him:  The credits.

Me:  Remember school?  Want to go back?  (said with a grin)

Him:  um… no.  Okay… um, I kinda liked that it was like a fairy tale.  With like, fairies and stuff.  I would have liked it better if there was a real swordfight instead of that stupid one at the end.  I like stuff like that, armor and swords, and other stuff.

Me:  Well, good.  It wasn’t in this one, but it is in some of the other plays.  I’ll have to look for some.  (Pretty sure I saw rolling eyes at this point, but I ignore them.)  I’d also like to go to the Rennaisance Festival this fall.  I’ll talk to your Dad about it, because they have fencing and jousting.

Him:  Real jousting?  Like on horses and everything?

Me:  Yes, on horses and everything.  I LOVE the RenFest.

Him:  Cool!  I’d like THAT.  So… is my test done?  Can I go play?

Me:  sigh… yeah, I guess so.

OK, so it was a little rough.  I probably should have introduced him to Shakespeare with Romeo & Juliet, maybe the Leonardo DeCaprio version.  🙂  In fact, that may be my next one, if he hasn’t learned by then to sleep with his eyes open.  He’s convinced that he’s too young for Shakespeare.  I had to point out that my class performed this play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) in the sixth grade.  Not said:  I was 11 in 16th grade (twelve by the the end), not 13.  But… what interested an eleven year old girl is not the same as a 13 year old boy.  Another sigh.  🙂

Okay, so maybe the next classic will be Homer’s The Odyssey.  That might be a better one.  In the meantime, I have determined that he has NO idea how to read or listen to and understand Shakespeare’s speech.  So that’s something we’ll have to remedy.  I know it’s hard.  Even as a voracious reader, it’s hard to learn.  I do recognize that because I have read it so much through the years, it’s much easier to get now.  There were times I laughed out loud, and he’d look at me like I lost my mind.  I’d have to pause the movie and go back through the words to help him understand what was going on.  OK, so to him, it was 2 hours of his life wasted.  To me, it was a start.  I have a book for writing on Life in Rennaisance England.  Maybe we’ll have a day of our own, make costumes and try to talk like that all day.  Make it a little fun.  🙂  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’ve exposed him to Shakespeare, and we’ll go from there.

Afterward, he designed this with his legos.  🙂  Creativity abounds.  And he pointed out that he made some adjustments to the back, paying attention to the fact that it needed a reinforcing column.

In other news, my LabPaq arrived today!!!!  Chris and I were acting like it was Christmas Day… unpacking the box, checking out the scales, petri dishes, microscope, talking about what kind of science experiments we can do.  It was fun!!!  Definitely more interest in Science than Literature.  🙂  I can’t wait for next semester so I can get started on the experiments!!!

I’ve also spent the entire day today with Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year, How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool through High School.  As originally planned, I’ll be picking up our goal curriculum (8th grade ABEKA) in about a month.  In the meantime, I’m studying (and yes, taking notes) from this book… 6th grade through 8th.  Just as a reminder, he was failing/barely passing several classes in the sixth grade, but he should have been in 7th grade this year.  So my goal is to bring him up through 8th grade by the end of next year, just in case circumstances become that he has to re-enroll in school (public or private).  This is always in the back of my mind, so I have to be careful to be sure that we’ll cover everything necessary to at least keep him at a 7th grade level, hopefully an 8th grade, at any given time.  Anytime there’s a potential for a custody dispute, I’ve learned, plan for the “worst case scenario”.  So, anyways, I’m combining the three years (one to review what he should have learned, 7th grade and 8th grade to combine what we hope he learns by the end of next  year).  It’s been a busy day.  I’ve barely made it through my note-taking on 6th grade.  I still have 7th and 8th to incorporate.  Then I plan to take the book “A Classical Trained Mind” and incorporate it into these same years.  That will be my “ultimate” curriculum for the year.  🙂

When I’m done completing his “ultimate” curriculum, I’ll go through the same steps to create an “ultimate curriculum” for Kody & Kyle (luckily, they are going to use the same one), in case I can convince my husband to allow me to homeschool them through Kindergarden, and in case circumstances allow me to homeschool them through it (namely, he gets a job that pays well enough to allow it, and my writing income picks up enough to help with what the difference would be if I was working, minus daycare).  🙂

So, that was our day.  How was yours?  Have any tips for this homeschooling mom newbie?  🙂  I can certainly use them!!!!

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I love our homeschool group!

So, I love our homeschool group, and I haven’t even met anyone yet.  🙂

So far, I have received advice on how to not worry so much about my eclectic curriculum and trust that I will find my way (not to mention I’ll be picking up my ABEKA curriculum in June/July), have found 2 dueling partners (Yu-Gi-Oh!) for my 13 year old – one his age, one a bit younger, several girls that are his age that also homeschool, and several possible playmates for the twins as well.  We’ve scheduled a park day outing (we’ve missed them the last couple of times), passed on a field trip that I would have loved to take but just isn’t in our budget right now, and I’ve found a couple of parents that I can talk to about concerns, worries, and the joys of homeschooling.  🙂

Wow!!!  And I live in a relatively small city!!!

I love my life!

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