Good Day! Hope everyone is happy, healthy and active during this time off from regular activities. We all know what is happening around the world as we try to contain the spread of this invisible threat. I am confident in the God of everything. If you haven’t already, read my previous blog post Finding Comfort in Psalm 91 here.
So, today, I will share my favorite Brain Exercises for children ages 3-8. If you don’t know, I am a teacher specializing in the education of small children. These are all YouTube channels I have tried and found successful in my home. To read about my home school journey, click here.
Yes! You’ve read it correctly! We indeed enrolled our children ( 3 of them) into a brick and mortar public school. After nearly 3 years of home education, we decided to go a different route. Teacher burn out is real so imagine being both the parent and teacher? It became overwhelming and none of us were happy about it. I was stressed, I was tired, I was annoyed. It took months for me to decide what to do and what will be best for my children. I wanted to try an online curriculum but the risk of it not working for my children wasn’t worth it on our pockets. My husband then suggested putting them into the school district. I felt defeated. I felt discouraged. Am I not enough for my children? Am I no longer needed? These questions threatened me for months. Even after deciding to re-enroll them I felt like I had lost. I already had to deal with the questions about my children’s social life, now this!? How will I tell people I no longer teach my children? So I didn’t. Only a handful of people (that’s including family) knew about our decision to re-enroll them in public school.
So, in February 2019, I took 3 of my children to our district’s schools and re-enrolled them. I know you may wonder why 3 and not all 5.? Let’s backtrack…
October 2015, I’ve had enough of the public school system. The unnecessary conferences and calls. The car lines and bus rides. The inconvenience of the school day period! It started with my youngest. I enrolled her into a pre-k program while I taught at a school. She was only 3 at the time. I rushed her into an environment that was waiting for her to fail. She wasn’t ready for school. She couldn’t defend herself. She was labeled even though she was the brightest student in the class. What was mistaken for rebellion was fear. My then 3-year-old was terrified of her teacher. To this day, my daughter complains about the teacher. She’s 6 now, but children don’t forget their feelings toward people and yes they are very forgiving but they don’t forget. She was withdrawn from the program and I resigned from teaching to teaching her at home. A few months later, issues arise with my son and my oldest daughter. “They are bored”, said their teachers. My children were outgrowing the school. They were no longer challenged and motivated. Their grades dropped. Their attitudes toward the teachers grew. All of the calls home and notes sent, I had enough! My other two daughters were thriving but weren’t challenged enough. I took my children out and transferred my second oldest in K12. K12 provided the challenges she needed and she has been thriving ever since. The other children couldn’t qualify right away so I began to create my own curriculum. So for the next 3 years, that’s what I did. I created curriculums based on their strengths and weaknesses. It was a lot of work and I have a ton of grey hairs to show for it.
Fast forward to February 2019, 3 of my children began their brick and mortar school experience. Enrolling my 2nd and 3rd grader was easy for the most part because everyone knew us and I left with a great working relationship with the staff of their school. They were happy to have them back. I enrolled them in time to partake in State testing. My son was enrolled in his rightful grade, 3rd grade. He hated it so much because at home he was working on 4th-grade material. I encouraged him enough to where he was confident to stick it out and happened to end the school year with amazing grades! My daughter who enrolled as a 2nd grader thrived. She shared a class with many of her dance friends. My oldest, who enrolled as a 7th grader did well and didn’t complain much about the schoolwork because she was well acquainted with many of the subjects because of what I taught her at home. I was left encouraged. I felt accomplished. While they were at school, my second oldest and youngest were at home with me. Traveling back and forth to the schools was stressful and I didn’t miss that at all. I was so ready for the school year to end and they were only there for a few weeks 🙂
Testing came and gone and the school year was complete. We transferred our children out of the traditional brick and mortar schools and enrolled them all (except the youngest) in K12. Today, we have 4 of 5 of our children in an online school. We are all still adjusting to this new way of learning, but I am so happy to have my children back at home.
So how did my children enjoy public school those few months? Hear it from their words:
R1: Public school was really fun! I miss all my friends there. And they all miss me, says my Bff next door. I learned a lot. Now that I’m back at home, my fam really annoys me sometimes. Learning with K12 is difficult and hard to understand, but I am getting better.”
R3: ” Being at home with the girls again sucks but at school, the teachers were mean and unhappy all of the time. But now, I can do all of my work at once and be done for the rest of the day.”
R4: “I miss my friends but I see them at dance class. I am happy to be home and do all of my work fast. Plus the food is better at home.”
Now, I can honestly say, when my kids were at school, my refrigerator took a break. But the food was still gone fast because, after school, they were hungry. 🙂
Today, we are wrapping up our school day. They all had their lunch and with today being the day before grocery shopping, food is low so I had to get creative! :)But K12 has made my life easier now that I don’t have to worry about a curriculum and most importantly my children’s safety and innocence. As their learning coach, I am involved in their education and have access to the teachers all week long. I am blessed to have K12 in my home because I can have my children with me. We can travel whenever we want and not have to worry about attendance because schooling can be done on the road! School supplies and materials are provided and all I have to do is store everything. K12 is a wonderful option for me and I am grateful that because I did enroll my children earlier this year; because of that decision, we were able to qualify for K12. So now, I have 4 of 5 children enrolled at a K12 school. My youngest is still too young, but soon she will join them!
I take this experience as a lesson learned. Life can through curveballs and leave you discouraged, but trust the process and process have its time. Everything that was meant to be will be.
Education is an essential journey of our lives. You can’t do much of anything without math and reading. I have been privileged to teach my children and seeing them bloom is a very rewarding accomplishment. Today, I will like to share some of my favorite reading resources that I have grown to love. Read More
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I’m often reminded by God that our choice in homeschooling our children was the best thing we can do for them in this season. There are some days where I don’t think I am capable or even qualified enough to teach them. But then again, I’m reminded… why not me?!? The bible clearly states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) It is my God-given duty to train up my children in Him in every aspect of their youth so now I have to walk it out. Those days when I feel inadequate or when I’m told that my children’s social status is at risk or when I hear family talk about their children being in “Real school” I can turn to Him and encourage myself in knowing that I got this because He’s got me!
If you know my family, you know we are a very audacious family. We try to beat our own standards and have high regard in knowing that with God all things are possible. These past few months (nearly a year) of homeschooling, I can say… I still don’t have all the answers! ? I can’t give you sound advice neither can I tell you which curriculum is best for your child… all I can tell you is to turn to Jesus and He’ll reveal some things to you that will encourage you and help your child to succeed.
March will be our first full year of homeschooling. If you are not familiar with our reason to homeschool, check out this post, When Homeschooling Became Our Only Option .
With that being said, I did learn a few things about homeschooling in our year of trial and error…
This list is the condensed version of my lessons learned during our first year but it is important to know that we are all learning and growing together and individually. I am enjoying every struggle and joy homeschooling has brought to our family. I truly believed this is my ministry and when God told me to “Be The Change” three years ago still ring in my ear and it encourages me. My views on homeschooling are completely different from a year ago. It is no longer about out-doing public education but about their spiritual and academic growth while teaching them responsibility and stewardship and holding on to their innocence a little while longer.
Welcome to my blog!! I haven’t been very active this year and it’s for a really important reason!
I am officially homeschooling my children. I’ve been fighting this for over 10 years and circumstances has brought us to the very important choice to home school our children.
I am very appreciative of the teachers that helped make learning fun and I am quite grateful for the experiences (good and bad) that help make my decision easier. But it was very hard to remove my comfort zone… public education.
After obtaining my degree in Education, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to change lives and mold great citizens. For over a year and a half, I’ve been hearing “Be the Change” and I was certain I knew what that entails. Not until recently, I was faced with situations that can easily be taken care of at home or for that matter would have never occurred. As a mom, my first reaction is to protect my children from outside influences, to guard their “gates”. I became offended by the remarks and excuses educators gave when it came to my children. Comments like, “Your child has become very distracted and uninterested in class. Their grades are amazing but I’m feeling that their lack of interest would do more harm than good.” This comment I have been hearing all year!! I would hate that my A students would be labeled as interested and possibly an issue for future educators.
We are big on education and to know that this simple comment can make or break my children in the future wasn’t a risk I wanted to take.
Although I kept receiving calls and emails and my uninterested children, my parenting and home life was questioned but I still tried to pursue teaching. Twice I’ve attempted to pass my certification and both times was unsuccessful. I truly believe this was my way out. My husband sat down with me and he made things clear for me. He said, obviously teaching in the public school isn’t for you, this is our chance to home school our own children. Then, it clicked, to be the change, it must start at home! I cried! To make things even more emotional, the first day home after I resigned from co-teaching at a public school, my youngest walked up to me (not knowing what I was thinking about) said, “I’m important too. I need you too!”
I dropped my insecurities about failing the certification (and to me failing at life) and started my research in home schooling again.
Then… the questions began to fill in my head….
“Will I have the patience for this?! I mean that 5 kids at all different levels in education!!”
“Am I being selfish for wanting my time alone during the day?”
“Can I do this?!”
“I think I will give up easily! Public education will eventually become my backup plan!”
Then it dawned on me… Patience for MY kids?! Are you serious!? I was willing to teaching 24 kids at a time with different learning styles and levels but I can’t teach my own FIVE children?!
There’s always time for myself if I’m willing to make time! YES I can do this and I will!!! I became my biggest discouragement! I refuse to fail!
My children need me and I will do this!! So the decision was made! So my kids will be home schooled!
BEST DECISION EVER!!
I’m a month in at home schooling and NO it is not easy and YES it will get better!! I am constantly changing my lesson planning and even trying out higher grade levels for my children. I know how easily bored children can become so the great outdoors and trips to the library make teaching and learning fun for all of us. Right now, I’m home schooling my youngest three. The oldest girls will begin this summer!
Home schooling is convenient and we can get a lot done in a short time. Vacations can be whenever we feel like it and no one will ever be absent! I am grateful for the opportunity to teach my children and I look forward to all they will do!
Be the change starts at home! I am the change my family needed and it begins with a “yes”. Yes I am willing to do what it takes to make my children successful. Yes I am willing to give them opportunity to explore and be kids! They deserve that much!
Stay tuned for more home schooling updates and curriculum suggestions!!
“The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
― David O. McKay
Summer break has come and gone… which for us means nothing! 🙂 The beauty of homeschooling is that we can learn everyday and it’s a beautiful thing!
I’ve realized that I’ve been missing out on opportunities and advantages as a stay at home mom for years! This year has been eye-opening and full of trial and error but hey! I made it!! We all made it!! From inexpensive/free curriculum to park days with the family, I’ve learned my ropes as a home educator and I know there’s more I haven’t experienced yet and some things I could have avoided my first year that I would love to share with moms considering this journey! So here is my top 5 things I wish I knew before homeschooling!!
5. I wish I knew that I didn’t have to subscribe to EVERY HOMESCHOOLING WEBSITE known to man! My inbox has become a spam closet of all the websites I affiliated myself with over the past year. Everyday, I unsubscribe from something to find ten more sites I completely forgot about that advertises “free” worksheet links that send me to a site where a mom is advertising a book she wrote about housekeeping or how to earn extra money at home. It’s so overwhelming and repetitive! So for you potential home educators, PLEASE learn from my mistake!! There are plenty of mom groups that can send you to some form of revelation that works for your home. Start there but don’t go into the vortex of website hoarding.
4. DO NOT FOLLOW TRENDS!!! Researching homeschool routines and schedules will ruin your peace and your sanity. Because I subscribed to so many websites and reading every article provided, I compared my homeschool experience to others and in the process completely changing my life for the worst. Comparison definitely kills! It is good to look for advice but please discernment and prayer when finding ways to make your homeschool work for you and your children. What bothered me most, is trying to create the best “homeschool room” for my children so they will be excited about learning every morning. I lost the fact that my children are not pleased with posters and songs. Dollar Tree almost took all of my coins because all the home educators fancy DIYs and garage sale finds. Kudos to them for the amazing spaces, but in this time of my life and structure, it’s not what I’m suppose to do in this season. I know I am to focus on my children’s mastery and well-being.
3. This is something I knew but didn’t really put into effect because of my anxiety to be the best home educator I can be… and that is to JOURNAL and STUDY THE WORD OF GOD! As a family, we do include bible study into our school day but I’m talking about incorporating personal study time individually. I feel that I spent so much time getting my children to study (which is not a bad thing at all) that I didn’t have the opportunity to get to God for myself and having my children see me personally pursue Him. I believe it is important for your children to see you do what you expect to see them do AKA leading by example.
2. JUST BECAUSE IT’S FREE DOESN’T MEANS IT’S FOR YOU! over the course of a year, I’ve managed to save a hard drive full of curriculum that was given to me by association. I have yet to open those files!! Obviously I need to clean my computer…obviously! :/
1. Last but definitely not least… This is my number one thing I wish I knew about homeschooling is… EACH CHILD NEEDS DIFFER. All five of my children have unique and amazing gifts and skills. I’ve learned that because I tried to give them all cookie cutter education, they didn’t benefit or grow from it. In actuality, I stunted their learning because I tried to convenience their learning based on the materials I’ve gained over the year. I’ve wasted time and energy on what is “successful” to one mom instead of my own success. I tried to make my life easier which caused a lot of frustration and ignorance on my part. As the homemaker, I am to be the peace maker in my home… I didn’t create peace that I desired and those moments, I will never get back; so now I’ve learned by lesson and will do what is inspired by and for my family.
As a mother and woman of God, I hope I have inspired and encourage other moms behind me to find your groove and work with your God-given resources. Titus 2 reads, “ …teach what is good. 4 Then they (you) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” My ultimate goal is to please God and by pleasing Him, my role as a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter will be fulfilled. Home education is not one size fits all but it is for all. For all who is called and is purposed to raise up leaders and a better tomorrow. Teaching starts at home and if you’re not educating the way that works for you and yours, then you have wasted your time.
Enjoy the journey and lessons learned along the way!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
It’s been a long time since I last post and I am trying to get back into the swing of things…but I’m back!!
Here’s a small recap…
Early this year, we decided to home school our five children. This decision was based on our experience with our youngest child in preschool. You can refer to that post for the details. Anyway, we are entering into our 12th week of homeschooling and to say the least, it has been challenging yet rewarding! Our the next few posts, I will break down each child’s curriculum and experience.
Today, we will get a quick look at Rylee’s curriculum. We decided K12 was a good fit for Rylee. K12 is an online public school using Texas curriculum and expectations. Honestly, the program is little more advanced than your average brick and mortar institution but Rylee is handling it like a champ! The first few weeks was a learning curve, but we finally understand the structure and expectations of the program. Rylee is our only online learner and I know she loves the idea of being the only one in the house to do this program. Rylee’s lessons are all self-paced but being her learning coach, I like to keep up with the teachers and lesson plans given. Lessons are emailed in 3 week sections and Rylee has the ability to stay ahead of her work. I am still trying to get use to her teachers because some of them are always late sending required work and assignments which makes it difficult to stay ahead because we are almost always an assignment behind. Other than that, Rylee is maintaining her grades and received A’s and B’s this past quarter!! Go Rylee!!! If you have any questions about K12, you can refer to their website or leave a comment below!
Also you can click on the video and get an idea of what Rylee’s curriculum is all about!!