Tuesday, September 2, 2008

BFS Assignment #100 - Oh What a Feeling

Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:19 KJV
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Assignment: 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.

Going to public school, I HATED it. I was a young 5 years old (born July 1st) when I first started school and I had issues all the way thru high school with wanting to stay home. I had a good group of friends but I always felt out of place. I can count on my hand how many football games I went to and I never went to a school dance. I don't know if it was me just being too shy or if it was because I was never pushed to do those things. BUT in the end I turned out pretty darn good (if I say so myself). I never tried drugs or had casual relationships. I wasn't ever a wild child. Did I miss out on some things? Probably, but I'm ok with that.

In my family, I had a second cousin who homeschooled her children. All 10 of them! The oldest is my age - 29 and the youngest I believe is around 7 or 8. You lose track after kid #5. :) Anyways, they were always very polite and well-spoken, and VERY smart. As they got older a few decided to go to public school. Another second cousin (sister to the cousin I was just writing about) who has a child my age (born March '79) tried to get my mother to hold me back a year like she was planning on doing to her daughter. She kept saying how she knew that us girls would do better in school if given time to grow a little before starting Kindergarten. My mom chose to send me on to school, while Sarah was kept out a year. I can't say the choice either parent made was wrong because it was the right one at the moment.

I first started thinking about homeschooling Gracie when she was around 3 years old. I knew that I wanted her to get a good education, but I also kept thinking about how young she was going to be when she would start Kindergarten. Where her birthday falls on August 13th, school in this area starts around August 26 or 27 - she would still be a baby to me. I approached the subject to Robby very wearily. He had extremely happy school years and was one of the "popular" kids. So he hasn't always been on board with the idea. I finally got him to agree with holding her out a year and letting me see how things went. This was only after he had gone to a vocational school state competition last April and saw a homeschooled girl there. He came home so impressed by her. He said he watched how she was so poised and well-educated. And of course socialized! He said all he could think of was one day that could be Grace. But now I'm scared, because I have this one shot to really make an impression and hopefully get him to see where I'm coming from.

How else do I feel about my choices so far? Besides scared? Worried and anxious are a close second. Oh, what have I gotten myself into?? Can I really do this? This is what goes through my head on a daily basis. I wonder if I have chosen the right path for her. All I want is for Gracie to have the best in life. Whatever that may be. I really don't want to screw this up. At times I feel really good about it. For instance, school started last Tuesday. I'm a member of a local moms group and a friend's son just started Kindergarten. This is a portion of what she had to say about his first day:

"And, she also said "Kindergarten isn't what kindergarten used to be - eating cookies, playing games and having nap time. MY kindergarten class will be at the Grade 2 level before the end of the year." Poor, poor Jonathan...And she said "homework EVERY NIGHT beginning at 15 minutes worth then working it's way up to 30 minutes EVERY NIGHT!"

Ok, so in 180 days of schooling we are suppose to jump from K to 2nd Grade? I'm all for learning but isn't that a bit extreme? AND homework after already being in school for 8 hours? Geez, no pressure on these kids, huh? These children are on an average only 5 1/2 years old. Stop pushing them to grow up so fast! I don't have a lot of support about my decision. I feel as if I'm being judged, even by strangers. When they ask Gracie if she's going to school she says "no, I do it at home" and they look confused and after I explain they act like I'm depriving her. I see it as allowing her more freedom to be herself. My family has tried to understand, I think. :) I really wanted my mom's approval. And I finally mentioned it to her about how I felt she didn't support me. She said she doesn't know how she feels about it yet. But that I had to live with my decision just like she had with hers.

So that's what I'm doing. Each day I continue to try to teach Gracie and when she learns something new and I watch her eyes light up, it is all worth it. I will keep praying that I am doing what is best and that this is what God has in store for my children and family.

Some pics....

Gracie loves arts & crafts. I think this looks amazingly like the chair on Blue's Clues.

Playing with counting bears.

Planting flowers...which sadly did not grow. :(


  1. I had all of those same feelings and sometimes still do. You are so right that K is not what it used to be. My mom will often ask me if my 1st grader is reading yet because "everyone elses" 1st grader is reading. This is now my standard answer "When she goes to college will they ask her on her admissions exam what grade she learned to read in? " "In a job interview will they ask her what grade she learned to read in?? NO! All they care is that she can...and she will when she is ready.

    Your doing great!! Keep up the good work.

    Mrs. Kerri
    BFS Teacher

  2. Hello~ GREAT post! Homeschooling is a lifestyle not just an overnight whim, so I think you're doing a great job and just take each day as it comes. I try to block out any negative comments from anyone, it is annoying though. I've only been homeschooling three years now. I noticed that in your post that I was nearing graduation when you were born! LOL Does that show my age too much?

    Mrs. Nancy
    BFS Teacher

  3. Thanks for stopping by. I know this will turn out to be a great year for you.~ Nikki

  4. Praying for you as you school. It is a hrd way to go when you feel like you have so suport system. Make sure you keep your heart open with god and your hubby.

  5. As hard as it is, as long as your hubby is on board that's all the support you need. I've had to learn that. We do have a REALLY great support group here, though, and at first I was hesitant to join in. I didn't want to feel the pressure of doing school the way others did. What I found is that everyone is different, and they are only encouraging when you find something new or different from them. I know you'll have a great year! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. What a wonderful post! I'm glad that your husband came around to homeschooling. Enjoy your homeschooling journey!


  7. You've asked all the questions that many of us have asked - should I? can I? will it be the right decision? Looking at the pictures of your daughter, I feel you have made all the right choices. She's a lovely little girl and will have so many more opportunities at home with you.

    Have a wonderful school year!

  8. Thank you for sharing...I can relate, that's for certain! I have yet to write my assignement, but please visit in a day or so to read it! :)

  9. Homeschooling is huge pressure. It's interesting that the public never has such a huge outcry if a child in public school is falling behind. If they got as upset over that as they do homeschooling, we'd have a lot less problems in public school.

    Good luck with your adventure.


  10. I am so excited for you and your daughter.
    I agree the public school expects too much too soon for the kids.
    We need to go back to letting kids be kids.
    This is one reason (among others) I am so glad our (soon to be 15) DS is home. He is still so naive and sweet. I shutter to think what PS High School would be like for him.
    Have a Great Year.

  11. I enjoyed reading your story. Your school years sound alot like mine. I didn't get into the dating, drugs, and alcohol scene.

    I'm sorry you don't have lots of family support. My parents were excited about it. With all the violence in schools these days, they were relieved when I told them. My inlaws were the polar opposite! They are slowly coming around though.

    You have lots of support with this group! Keep praying that God will guide you.

    Have a great day!

  12. I really enjoyed reading your post and could relate to many of your feelings! How wonderful that the Lord put a shining example of a homeschooled child in the path of your dh. My dh was hesitant at first, too. Your dd is beautiful-she has that bright-eyed eager to learn & excited about life look that the normal homeschooled child has! I think the most unexpected aspect of homeschooling that I have experienced is that not only are the children learning-but I am learning the most-not just academics-but life lessons from the Lord-that I didn't realize I needed to learn. LOL
    Have a blessed school year! Holly (applesofgold)

  13. I live in Florida and all they do is teach to test. They cram the kids full of so many facts and work all year at preparing them for the FCATs. I am amazed at how much homework our young neighbors come home with after working in school all day. It is entirely uncalled for if you ask me. I am so thankful we have the freedom and privledge to home school.

  14. I couldn't agree more. I just recently read that they are possibly giving math tests/standerized tests to Kinders. Isn't that a shame? What happened to the fun learning in the early years?!

    Good to meet you!

  15. I think our 5 yr olds would make great friends for each other!!


  16. Those feelings are all part of starting something "new and untried". When we first began, years ago, homeschooling was still very new. People (family included) constantly asked, "Is that legal?"

    Remember that they are not ultimately responsible for the training of your children...you and your husband are. SO their opinion can be filed away under "ultimately unimportant".

    It sounds like you're doing great! And your daughter is absolutely lovely!!! ;^)


  17. I agree with you-society is pushing these babies to be teens even before they are out of Kindergarten. Not good! I am sure it is why so many kids are burned out by the 5th grade. You are not alone-there are tons of us who support you. Your adventure is just beginning-enjoy every moment..it goes by very quickly!

  18. You are doing what's best for your daughter, so don't worry about what everyone else thinks (or says). You're doing great!! Have fun and enjoy the journey.

  19. Hello again! I wanted to add that I'm glad your husband came around. It is SUCH a help to have a husband's support! :)

  20. I have those same feelings you do about whether or not I can really do this. Will my children learn what they need in order to be productive adults. How can I possibly do this on my own. Then I stop and think ~ I can't do this on my own, but I can with the Lord's help!

    Thank you for sharing with us!

    ~ Kim

  21. Thanks for sharing your story! I love those "eyes lit up" moments! Praying you have a wonderful school year with many, many of those moments!! :)

  22. I have a son who has a close to the school year birthday as well and I couldn't imagine sending him off! Keep up the good work it is so worth it!

  23. I enjoyed reading this. Those are cute pics of your daughter. I too hated the public school, especially as I got older.

  24. I think many of us doubt our decision from time to time. During those times I cling to the promise that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. May God richly bless you as you instill a love for learning in a beautiful little girl!

  25. I had the same issues as a child growing up with my bday aug 7 I was VERY young when I started and it hurt me all the way through school. No support at home which didn't help either. Thank you for sharing your story.. It's very inspiring to read it. many blessings <><

  26. Woo hoo! You go girl, congrats on being a featured friend! What a great post and I know you will do well with HSing :)

  27. What a beautiful little girl with a beautiful name! I really enjoyed reading about your feelings. I have been doing this for a while and I still feel inadequate sometimes ;0) My guess would be that your Mom will come around to approval after just a little while of Grace being able to "be herself" and learn at her own pace. Anyway, I said a prayer that she would ;)

    God Bless, MeritK

  28. the first year is the scariest, I agree. You have a beautiful daughter. The comments will stop after a while. People just need to get used to the idea and see that it is working for her. I know that there will be hard times, but remember why you are doing this.

    I was just like you in school. My bday was July 31.


  29. Hi!
    I loved reading your post. This assignment was a great way to get to know one another!!! :)
    Have a blessed week!

  30. It is amazing what they expect a child to learn in Kindergarten... children love to learn in a gentle setting. It's almost like the parents and teachers are in some sort of competition.

    You made a great choice for your daughter and she will love it. Blessings on your homeschooling journey.


  31. I lvoed your post. It really hit some key points. I need to remember to enjoy the moments when they get it and not worry when we are working to the point. I also would have loved to have been homeschool. I just told my mom that the other day.

    Jenni a blogger friend school classmate

  32. Sounds to me like you are doing a great job. I have the same thoughts about the schools pushing these kids too hard. Funny thing is that they push them to grow up so fast & then when the get to teen years they complain that they aren't mature enough! Maybe because they didn't have a chance to be kids when they were little! They contradict themselves. Great post. Many blessings~

  33. WOW...what a great post! We have all had those same feelings at one time or another in our hs'ing journey. We just have to take one day at at time, and never lose faith that God will carry us through!


  34. I hear you. I think all those doubts are things all of us feel. We all question at sometime if we are doing the right thing. I think it has a lot to do with what is the norm and we arent doing that.

    My hubby was the same way. I suggest trying to get him involved next year and getting him to a local homeschool convention. The conferences and all the choices are sure to get him excited. Try to involve him . Thats what worked for me.


  35. I'm right there with you! I have those same feelings about am I doing a good job and is she going to learn all she needs to, etc.

    Thank you for sharing!

  36. What a great post! I enjoyed reading it!


  37. I relate to what you said about others around you not understanding and not supporting you. I have appreciated Homeschool Blogger and other online places so I can connect with moms who DO understand and ARE supportive.
    Keep up the good work!

  38. I really enjoyed reading your story. We also have a K-er and a new addition (6 months old). And -- I share some of your same feelings on the PS system these days. It's amazing how they push children. Thanks for sharing your story.

  39. Lovely blog! It looks like you are off to a great start in homeschooling your daughter! K really isn't what it used to be. Learning at home is better than any kindergarten though!


  40. We have a 'Grace' as well. Our homeschooling journey has some similarities to yours. When I was a teenager, there was a lady in our church who, at the time 'only' had 7 children. She homeschooled them and I saw in that family what I wanted in my future family. You can read about them at www.davekarpenkofamily.com What a blessing!

  41. Lots of great points here! I enjoyed reading about your homeschool journey so far.


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