She Did It! WE did it!!

FINALLY. Our first year of homeschooling in the bag!

Homeschool Graduate | Decorchick!®

Y’all homeschooling is hard. I know no one said it would be easy, but let me tell you again. It’s not easy. It’s exhausting. But it is fulfilling.

Randy did most of the teaching the second semester since he’s home now.

Daddy-Daughter

He did a wonderful job and I’m so thankful he’s here to help.

I am not sure though that Sonlight Curriculum was the right choice for Kindergarten. It’s pretty intense for a young 5 year old (she has July birthday). And I sort of have a love-hate relationship with it. I love the daily plans written out for you of course, but with me being the type of person I am, it really bothered me if we didn’t get to every.single.thing. But I also love how it comes with pretty much everything you need for the entire year.

Most days we did get to most of it. And some of the books we had to read would not have been my first choice. We got half way through “The House at Pooh Corner” and then stopped it because it was just hard to read! We just picked up another book that was much better. But that still bothered me because IT WASN’T IN THE LESSON PLAN.

But that’s the beauty of homeschool, is the freedom to choose what’s right for you and the child. But there’s something about those darn lesson plans that make you feel a bit inadequate if you stray from it a little. At least I did anyway.

And if any of you homeschoolers use Sonlight too, you might relate to this. But whenever they had that “optional” box in the lesson plan, well, we didn’t do ANY of them. And that bothered me a bit too. Obviously some people do them because it’s listed in the plan. But I’m not sure if they are necessary or not. I guess that would be considered extra credit in a regular school?

With that said, I did love how everything was written out for us each day. I know I don’t have time to make lesson plans, but I think we may need something that’s a little more fun for Emma.

I’m not saying we won’t choose Sonlight for 1st grade, but I do want to look at more options. So I am definitely open to other suggestions!! The reading involved is a lot yes, but I know it’s helped her vocabulary and has been a good stepping stone on her learning to read. She is a smart little cookie. :) And she loves math and science the most.

We are very proud of her though, and heck, we are proud of ourselves for making it a year!!

Kindergarten-Diploma

We will take homeschooling year by year, and for now, it’s still what we feel is the best option for us at this time. I do love the freedom, that’s for sure. And I love having her home. I will have to make it a point when we start in the Fall to get her into a few more activities and be around other kids more because she does miss that from Pre-k. That’s just something we will have to be more pro-active about and make it a priority. This first year I wasn’t too worried about it and I wanted to find our groove. But now we know what she likes and dislikes, so we will work from there and try and meet her needs in that aspect.

So if any of you have any other suggestions on other curriculums to look into, please let me know. I really just want to weigh all of our options. And there are tons.

Thanks for tagging along with us this first crazy year! We are ALL ready for SUMMER!!! :)

xxoo,

Decorchick!®

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Comments

  1. Big Congrats! Mostly to Miss Emma but to you all really! It takes a lot of dedication and hard work from all involved. I raise my hat to anyone who can homeschool and make it work. I would never have made it unless my son had wanted to excel in Soap Opera’s, Daytime TV and laundry. haha. j/k barely.

    Hope you guys have a great summer! :)

  2. Congratulations to all of you! I know that I would have been terrible at trying to homeschool my kiddos, so I am in awe of parents that have that dedication and determination. Congrats!

  3. Oh my gosh, we are so much alike! So, we were wanting to start homeschooling this last year (also a Kindergartener) but were a little on the fence. I’m a reader of your blog so I read all of your posts about HS and then you sent me to The Handmade Home and I read all of her posts about HS and ya’ll pushed us to make the jump this past year! We also went with Sonlight and just didn’t like it. I too did not like Pooh Corner!!! It was RIDICULOUS to read!!! I would read it and think, what kind of grammar am I teaching him when I don’t even know what they’re saying!!! My husband is actually the one that teaches him because I work outside the home fulltime. It’s been working for us so far. We’re going with Abeka for 1st grade and are excited about it. We have a couple of friends who use that. This year we’re joining a co-op one day a week so we’ll see how that goes. Love your blog! :-)

    • Hey Eva! That’s awesome y’all went for it last year! And that is SO funny you thought the same about that book. Debra just commented and said “The Lexile score on Pooh Corners is 5.1 (5th grade) with an interest level of 3rd thru 5th grade. No wonder you abandoned it!” hahaha, so at least we aren’t crazy for not liking it!

      I’ve heard good things about Abeka too. Please keep me posted with how you like it!

  4. The Lexile score on Pooh Corners is 5.1 (5th grade) with an interest level of 3rd thru 5th grade. No wonder you abandoned it!

  5. Congrats! That first year can be harder than the rest, but it does get easier, promise. I’ve hsed for 17 years, two down and two to go. (I’ve always thought they should play “Celebrate” at the graduations and have the moms dance down the aisle! Haha.)
    It took me three, yes THREE years to realize my boys weren’t getting anything out of Sonlight. I felt good because we were checking off the boxes, but it didn’t really work for them. They are both experiential learners so once I realized this (TY Lord) we did so much better. My boys are two years apart so when I had them both we always did unit studies and LOVED them. I would look at Five in a Row (we didn’t read it 5 days though) if you’re interested in this type of study. It’s age-appropriate and very family-friendly. All the books can be found at the library and are classics. I could go on and on but I won’t. Feel free to email anytime. ☺️

  6. We use Oak Meadow curriculum and this coming September will be our fourth year using it. Kids find it fun and I like that it goes with the rhythm of the seasons in the early years. You are so right, it is hard, exhausting but so rewarding.

  7. Bridget Harthcock says:

    Congrats to you all; I admire homeschool moms!

  8. Michelle L says:

    We have been homeschooling for 8 years now. It is difficult the first few years, but it definitely gets easier as the kids get older, can read, and are more self sufficient. We started using aBeka for all subjects and used it for a few years. I like that everything is spelled out for you, but it can sometimes seem like too much. We now use My Father’s World and love it. It is easy to use when you are teaching multiple kids and I have really learned a lot myself. We now have an eclectic approach and use several different companies for different subjects. If you have questions about anything feel free to email me. Homeschooling is a great adventure and it has been great to have my kids at home.

  9. Congratulations!! It is a huge accomplishment and you should all be very proud! I’m a long time reader and first time commenter. :) I’m a second generation homeschooler. When I think back on my homeschool days I know I learned from curriculum
    but I think I learned the most just from living life with my family. The field trips, the service projects, the relationship building, the character training just by example . . . . That is what stands out to me. You are giving your children a very precious gift (YOURSELF!) and don’t let any perfectionism steal your joy. :) You are doing a wonderful job! I have also learned a lot from “The Libertarian Homeschooler” on Facebook. She’s awesome. Our motto here is that we are training in righteousness and learning along the way. We are not trying to recreate a public school setting with a Christian twist. We are just practicing discipleship.

  10. Yay, so glad to hear! I am sure that it is a lot of work, but it is totally worth it. P.S. She is way too cute.

  11. Hi, why are you homeschooling at all? Your kids miss a lot of things they learn when being together with others, e.g. different opinions and most of all different pupils they probably would not have met otherwise. Are they not left alone by the other kids, that go to regular school, having no friends with this group?
    In Germany homeschooling is not allowed, as the kids should learn the common education lessons, that have been created by experts. They should get to know to a wide range of other kids and families and make friends with them. It is important for a kid to get to know to the world outside its own family, I think.
    Greets from Germany, Alex

    • Hi Alex,
      Homeschooling has grown exponentially in the last decade, not only in North America but also in the UK and Australia. I strongly recommend that you do some research on the subject matter. There is an abundance of Homeschooling Curriculum available to those of us who chose this route that is indeed developed by experts. I encourage you to look up the book How Children Learn at Home by Allan Thomas and Harriet Pattison. Also, children are always learning even before they are considered ‘school age’. This does not stop once they become 5 or 6 years old. Learning is something that is lifelong and does not just happen inside a “School.” Also, the demographic of families who choose to home school are indeed quite educated themselves. The idea that homeschooled children aren’t socialized is also a myth. Homeschooled children are able to communicate and conduct transactions with members of society not just with those that are born the same years as they are.

  12. We just wrapped up our 5th year of HS with A Beka. Can’t recommend the phonics program enough. If you like the structure of step-by-step lesson plans, you might like A Beka, also. HS is definitely an adventure. :-)

  13. Congrats on the first year! If you don’t mind me asking, did you feel isolated at all? I’ve started looking into homeschooling my daughter (although she won’t start kindergarten until 2016) and I worry that we might feel isolated (although we do plan on joining a co-op that meets once a week in addition to our “normal” activities). Homeschooling seems so, so, so awesome and I have read that socialization usually is a non-issue, but it’s the one thing that concerns me. :)

    • Hey Kristina, no we didn’t feel isolated at all! I think if you are doing a co-op once a week that will be great. And yes, that’s a total myth about the socialization! My kids are completely normal. haha

  14. We just finished our first year, too! We are also part of a co-op with great classes so my kids are able to be with other kids each week. I truly love what homeschooling provides for my kids!
    http://Www.lilliesloveliesbydgt.etsy.com

  15. We’re big into the eclectic approach as well. My kids do Horizons Math, Rod and Staff for Grammar and Spelling, Apologia Science, you get the idea. I research different programs and pick what seems best for my kids. Yes, it seems like more work because it’s not all in a box, but in the end, my kids do much better with it. This way I can tailor the subjects to fit my kids.

  16. That’s cool that you are using Sonlight–after my mom pulled me out of school in 3rd grade and began homeschooling me we used Sonlight all the way through high school. It was a tougher curriculum and we didn’t do all of it–I think twice we split up one year into two years so we could get through all of it and still have a life. But I loved it! I loved all the great reading and the poetry and it really made college quite easy to handle (as easy as it can be). It really pushes homeschoolers to high standards. I probably won’t use the official cirruculum with my own children until they are older, but I look forward to doing it again. Hope that helps!