Well, this is my first blog, so, have a little mercy on me while I figure this thing out :)
Around the beginning of this year, I really felt God was calling me to home school my 3 kids. My thoughts EXACTLY were, "you must have me confused with another mom, a better one, a more organized, and creative one.... I know you're not talking to ME!?!" I prayed, and prayed. I slept on it, and went back and forth with the idea. I mentioned it to a few people, friends who I knew would give me their honest, educated opinion, who knew me and the kids. I wrote out what I perceived as pros and cons, and compared. When I started to feel like I could actually do it, I started to talk with other homeschool moms. Some were single like me, some were not. Some were homeschooling teens, and some young children. Some women were using Abeka, and some weren't. Some women were schooling 1 or 2 children, and other women 4 and 5 children. I realized in talking to other moms, that you don't have to fit in a certain "homeschool mom- box" but that our differences is what makes it even more beautiful and amazing, and that our differences are beneficial to one another. I have learned so much from other moms, and it's so neat how they are all willing to tell you what they wish they would've known....
SO!!! You decide to home school and "break the news" to everyone. Now what?
I looked on line, many late nights, reading about different Christian curriculum, different learning and teaching methods. Mind you, there are only 7 billion different curriculums.....
So in my frustration of not yet finding a program, I felt fit our needs, I kind of gave up, and decided I would do it independently using the "Charlotte Mason" method.
God is so good, even when we are not faithful, HE IS!!!
I went to Oregon to visit my BELOVED family, in June. In a conversation with my cousin, I asked her what curriculum she uses, she told me, and I made a mental note. I came home a few weeks later, and immediately hopped online to check out the program.
*AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH* (that's me singing angelically)
I found it!!!!!! I loved it!!!!! It was EVERYTHING we wanted/needed, and much more!!!!
By the way, Thank you Heidi, you don't realize that you were holding the answer to the question I had been asking GOD to hurry up and answer. Sometimes I forget, it's not MY timing, but HIS.
So, I found out about the Arizona Families of Home Education convention in Phoenix, and HAD to go.
My wonderful Father-in-law flew in from California to hang out with the kids in Phoenix while I attended the conference.
When I first walked into the huge building I was a little overwhelmed and stood back for a minute to soak it all in. THERE WERE THOUSANDS OF HOMESCHOOL MOMS, DADS AND KIDS, EVERYWHERE.... what a beautiful sight. After gathering my thoughts, and stepping out into the 114 degree weather to relieve my goosebumps, I was overjoyed. Smile from ear to ear. I KNOW God has called me to do this, and I KNOW he will carry us through, in His strong loving arms.
I walked up and down the rows and rows of vendors, anxiously waiting to find the booth for "My Father's World" (the curriculum we are going to use).
On my way, there was so much more to take advantage of, women willing to speak one on one with me about the difference in learning styles, how to identify, and tailor to each child's needs. I met a lovely young lady who was 12, had written a book when she was 10, and just finished the publishing, and release of it. She has been home schooled by her mother and father, who were both their to show their pride and support, while their 12 year old daughter sold and signed the very book she had written. VERY EXCITING to see, and I of course HAD to buy one, so I could share it with my kids at home.
I met another group of young kids Isaiah's age and younger, who are also HS'd, and just recently moved FROM Oregon, to New York, which is kinda irrelevant, but just because they were from Oregon, and had taped their film there, I was more partial to them :) They taped a film in the wilderness of Oregon, an all child cast. "little rascals meet pilgrim's progress" is the catch to the movie (I forgot the title, but we are going to watch it tonight, and I'll get back to you on it). I enjoyed meeting them and talking to them. They were SO proud of their production, and just gleaming from ear to ear that people were watching and buying their movie...
It's hard to explain the courage, encouragement, prayer, and advice I was given by WONDERFUL women of God, who shared the same goals as I did, to educate and love our kids OUT of school. One woman said, and it was also written in her book, " we must remember Home school is NOT school at home" but that it is focused education with the family. Our home is not our classroom, rather the WORLD is our classroom.
Although I would NEVER want to live in PHX or any city that size for that matter, there are SO many resources and programs (free ones) for home school families there... it was unbelievable.
I met another author who we were ALREADY a fan of, purchased a couple of his books, and he signed them to each of my kids, individually, they were SO excited when I brought them home.
I wrote a letter to a martyr in China, praying she will receive it, and be encouraged. I picked up a few materials for the kids to do the same thing, so they can learn about persecution, and that it is still going on big time, in our day in time, just not so much in our culture.
I attended a few speeches, all were packed with useful info, tips, and ideas. Testimonies that were encouraging, and inspiring. Women speaking of their journeys and what they've learned, sharing it with all of us. I cried, laughed, cried more (shocker), and was just totally uplifted, and encouraged.
Let me step off track for a minute (what I do best), although it is so not true, I always imagine "home school kids" in REALLY long denim skirts, long straight braided hair, with a horse and buggy for transportation. Well to my surprise, I didn't see a whole lot of Amish families there, but families that look like mine. Nothing against the Amish, it's just that I am SO not Amish.
So, I have a goody bag they gave me, the curriculum for Isaiah, preschool stuff for the little ones, and a refreshed, encouraged heart. Not to forget, some really cool and funny t-shirts about homeschooling.
I know this is what I am supposed to do, i know I will trip up, but I know God will be right behind us, before us, beside us and in us through the whole adventure.
Looking forward to the conference next year :)
I AM ENCOURAGED AND BLESSED!!!
I have tons of books I am going to be reading, and I'm sure there is going to be so much info I want to share with you all, so stay tuned :)