Homeschooling ~ Part 2


We are going to continue our posts on Homeschooling. This is part 2 so if you missed the first one make sure you check it out. On the first one we chatted about how it all got started for us. Today I will try to answer a couple of the other consistent questions we always get...

Are you homeschooling the whole time? What does our schedule look like? What do I do with them all day?


Like I mentioned on the last post our first year was HARD!! Homeschooling while working, having little ones and being pregnant is not for the faint of heart! But like I said before if I would of known then what I know now it would of been so much smoother. My poor 5 year old was in all possible ways our testing kiddo. He was our first home schooler and I was still in my public teacher mindset... get where I am going with this? Instead of being relaxed I brought public school into my home. I needed to check all the boxes, get all the curriculum, make sure we got all subjects done and my poor little guy was so advanced already reading and writing before we started Kindergarten. He started first grade and I was a very tired mama from nighttime feedings, chasing babies and I was adjusting to being at home full time. (Which was great but definitely a difference from being with adults all the time). I continued to push him until I started seeing the joy of learning leave him and I was crushed. I felt like I was failing at this and I knew something had to change... I needed a community that home schooled as well. People I could relate to and could help me out. 

At this time we were in FL and found a two groups and a family in our neighborhood that also home schooled and had a little boy my oldest age! I was over joyed!. We did an enrichment co-op and a field trip co-op and it was amazing to be surrounded with other kids and families that did the same thing we did. When we moved from FL to Kansas the first thing before we got there that I did was research and make sure that we found our "tribe" and we did. And it was in that co-op that my eyes were truly opened to other possibilities in our homeschool journey. Homeschooling doesn't have to be treated like a classroom with checking off the boxes and getting tons of curriculum. You definitely have to do what works best for your child/children. I have very different kiddos with different personalities and learning styles and when my second kiddo started I realized I needed to change things. I needed to relax and enjoy my moment with them. After all that was part of the reason I was homeschooling them. To enjoy seeing them grow up and being part of the process.  

Our Schedule...I laugh when I even think of that word because well like mentioned I was all about the schedule and checking the boxes off. I wanted to make sure that everything got done and that they were learning at all times of the day. Well guess what learning occurs at all hours of the day whether there is a book in front of them or not. 


But just so you have peek into our life... I have four kiddos under the age of 10 and although I don't typically do school grade levels for the sake of this blog I will tell you the grades they are technically in if they were in public school although they are all working on different levels based on their strengths. I have 3 boys and 1 girl which are in 5th, 3rd, K and Pre-K.

They are allowed to leave their rooms at 8:30 a.m (After mom has had her time with Jesus and some coffee!!) and we eat breakfast and while they are eating I am usually reading them a chapter book. We do our devotions, recite our Bible Memory Verse for the month, Family Rules, and sing our Hymn that we are working for the month as well. We also sing a couple of nursery rhymes for the little ones to join in. We also do Art, Composer and Nature studies. These we don't do everyday but we integrate them into our morning at least twice a week. We do some fun picture books and then I read them Science and History. (Mind you this is all happening at the breakfast table!! All together) We call this our Morning Time and it works well for us! If you want any more ideas about Morning Time I suggest you read the book by Pam Barnhill called Morning Time Plans! 

Morning Time can last an hour to two depending on how much we delve into a subject or veer off a subject because they had a question and we decided to research more on it. When we are done with our morning time we move on to our classroom and the two oldest ones  independently work on their core subjects which are Reading, Math and Language Arts. I sit in a rolling chair and maneuver between the two oldest and the littles while they are working. We are typically done with all of our work by noon!! We have lunch and I read them another chapter book and the rest of the day are for playing outside or inside and chores. There are times where our afternoon are filled with different experiments or art projects from our studies during morning time. Those are always fun and don't even seem like "school time"
(Oh, we also go to a co-op on Fridays because to us its important to have a "tribe"; a community in which you know people are pretty much doing some of the things you are doing with your kids.) 

If you notice we do a ton of reading around here! I think that's the best thing for our kids and they learn so much more that way. Books are everywhere in our house and its a beautiful thing to be raising bookish kiddos like their mama! 

Will we home school the whole time?... as of right now the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!!! My kids have absolutely zero interest in going to school and sitting in a chair for multiple hours a day and as Christian parents we do not want them to have any part of what goes on the secular education system.  


Homeschooling is definitely not for every mama and that's perfectly fine. But if you are teetering with the idea I am here to let you know that you can totally do this but it may not be all sunshine and rainbows the first year but it does get easier and it is so very rewarding. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! I am here to help! 

I have made this post long enough... but I hope you join me next time for Part 3 (the last part) where I show you which curriculum we are currently using with our kiddos! 


Until then blessings, 
Kelly-Ann











Homeschooling - Part 1

How did your homeschool journey begin? Why did you decide to homeschool? Are you homeschooling the whole time? What does your schedule look like? What do you do with them all day?

These are just a sampling of the questions I often get from friends, family or even strangers when they find out I am a homeschooling mom. To answer the questions for you I will give you a little back story first. (But I will warn you this will be Part 1 of our homeschooling journey!)

I am a former Kindergarten teacher (I did a stint in first grade for a year and went back to my love which was the Kindy's) I was a single gal when I started my journey into education and it actually was never my plan to be a teacher, I came home from college with a Human Development and Family Studies degree and I was ready to conquer the world and work in the Department of Children Services and rescue children from abusive homes... but alas in order to do that I needed to get my masters degree and honestly I just didn't have it in me to go back to school at that moment but I definitely needed a job. So a friend let me know about a Kindergarten Assistant Position and I applied and got the job. After working with four amazing seasoned teachers I just knew this was what I wanted to do. They encouraged me and helped me take the test and voila I became a teacher. (Obviously it wasn't that quick and a lot of studying took place but you get the gist!) 

I started teaching and absolutely loved it! Loved having my own classroom, decorating and seeing little ones eyes brighten when they read their first book. You have to understand that when I started teaching, school looked a lot different, the children actually played!! They did social centers and were engaged by books, art, music, etc... and then everything changed. I know it seems like I taught eons ago and honestly it feels that way but the demands on teachers and what we needed these babies to know was to me overwhelming not only of me but for the kids. I mean we went from learning by play to sitting in a desk all day, removing art, music, social centers and even rest time. The expectations for teachers and the degree on which we were being monitored and rated was just unreal and honestly sad. 

I got married and of course we started talking about having a family and I remember telling my husband if things continued changing in the education system then we were homeschooling our own children.  Of course this sent me into a journey of researching all the things dealing with homeschooling since I didn't really know much about it and didn't know anyone who home-schooled at all. 

Well lo and behold we got pregnant and had our first baby boy! So exciting and yet terrifying that we had this little one  we are supposed to take care of and shape into a future adult!!  After being with him for months I now had to find someone to take care of him because I had to return to work (insert tears... like heavy uncontrollable sobbing tears people) It was hard but God knew what He was doing because the person that took care of him was a homeschool mom and she taught and confirmed that this was the right path for us to take with our own children.

Let's fast-forward a bit because you don't want to really know all the details. So now my little one was 4 about to turn 5 which means soon to be in Kindergarten and well at this point I am being observed in the classroom by a random person that has never taught Kindergarten, I have students that are throwing chairs and disrupting classroom, hurting other students...(did I mention I was now pregnant with kiddo number 3). I mean who can really teach in that kind of environment and I knew that I just did not want my own children to be part of that. I wanted to be in control of what I taught them based on our Christian beliefs. I did not want them sitting on a chair all day. I wanted them to be able to explore things they wanted to learn without a time limit. And I definitely did not want to miss a single growing moment of their lives.  So we decided that homeschooling was definitely for us. 

The first year was hard ya'll!! I was working and I was pregnant with baby number 3. Our schedule was crazy. My hubby at that time worked nights so he would teach Math and Bible and I would come home in the afternoon and teach Reading. We would do Science and Social Studies during the weekends.  We somehow made it work but it was tiring!! And of course we didn't have time for any type of co-ops or field trips or anything like that. I felt bad for the poor kid. I knew he craved being with other kids besides church and sports. Kids that were home schooled just like him. 

After that first year we got a surprise and got pregnant again! And so we decided that with four kiddos under the age of 6 it was time for me to stay home and do this thing full time. And I am so glad we did!! We have now been homeschooling for 6 years and things in our home school lives have changed for the better. If I would of known then what I know now, it would have definitely been a lot easier and relaxed... but I have to admit that becoming a homeschooling family has been the best decision we have made. 

I hope you join me tomorrow as I continue with Homeschooling Part 2! 

Until next time,
Kelly-Ann

Hello!!

A few years ago I started a blog for updating on family happenings that sort of fell by the wayside once kiddo number two arrived. Ever since then its been a crazy beautiful chaotic life! Four kids later, a few changes in our lives, and different season in life I find myself yearning for that outlet of writing. Mind you I by no means am a writer but I do enjoy being able to put things down on paper or on this case in a blog for everyone to read. 

I have been telling my bestie that I was going to start this venture for quite some time now and I always chicken out and put up all the excuses... you know the ones I'm talking about: "I have no time", "the kids keep me busy", "I'm too tired"... etc.. the list could go on, because let's face it as moms there just doesn't seem to be anytime for us to do something for ourselves. I have decided however to change that! So here I am! Writing my very own blog!

But what is this blog about and who are you? I am getting to that! LOL! I'm Kelly-Ann and if you haven't read the Meet Me section I am a wife to an amazing hubby who supports all my crazy ventures. Homeschooling mom of four kiddos!  I am an introvert with an extrovert mind, meaning I am not great in large crowds or the unknown when it comes to functions or activities but I do love to plan things that require me to step out of my comfort zone (and I do them because I know its not only good for me but for my kids as well). I love to travel and explore new places and I am a lover of all things Jesus, Kansas City Chiefs, baseball, photography,COFFEE and of course lots of BOOKS! Christian Fiction is my JAM!! So that's me in a nutshell! 

As you follow me along this blogging journey you will definitely get to see my personality and learn more about the things I enjoy! So this blog will be mainly about the things I love, motherhood, homeschooling, exploring and of course books! I will share all those things in this little corner of the web world so I hope you follow me along!


Until Next Time,
Kelly-Ann