My homeschooling years are through. I’ve been looking back and thinking about what I used and why. What I liked and didn’t like.
When Brian was just about a year old, I bought Hooked on Phonics. They said it could be used successfully with young children. I was eager to share my love of books with my dear little boy, so I bought it in hopes he’d be ready soon. I tried to entice him when he was 2 years old. My sister’s oldest son was then 4 years old and we embarked on making a cute little “school” room in my unused den. We put up bulletin boards, made cute curtains with day and night on them, and had all kinds of hands on things for them to play with. They were not interested! So we didn’t push.
Each year I would get out that Hooked on Phonics set and try to entice Brian to want to use it and learn to read but alas, he still was not interested. When he was 4 years old, I enrolled him in the pre-k of the school in our church. Even by the end of the year, he still wasn’t interested.
The next year we decided to homeschool him, for a couple of reasons. Since his birthday is in July, he was next to the youngest in his class. He loved playing with the kids but my sweet little boy ended up in the principal’s office 3 or 4 times that year! This was not acceptable! It also showed me that he was a follower and that could lead to disastrous results. I had some friends when I was a late teen that had gone to a different Christian school and they had told me that their school was as bad as a public school, with all the drinking, drugs, and smoking. They pointed out that kids that got kicked out of public school enrolled in private schools. The other reason was because it was expensive and looking ahead at our other children getting to be school age, we wouldn’t be able to afford it. Homeschooling is much less expensive.
I used the summer to scour the internet AOL forums for what to do. I was not panicked at all because I had that Hooked on Phonics. My dad was encouraging; he’d heard about a computer program for homeschooling on the radio and told me about it. When September rolled around that year, I started him working on learning his letters with Hooked on Phonics and printed off easy math worksheets for him to do.
I knew two other ladies that had five year old boys. We decided to get together once every other week and do some kind of educational activity with them and then just let them play. It was a good year. I was pregnant with my youngest and one of the other ladies was pregnant with her fourth child. Tiffany was born the end of May that school year and the other lady had her baby in August.
At the end of August we moved from VA to OK, downsizing from a tri-level to a single wide 16×80 mobile home. My family was still in VA and Mike was going back and forth from OK and VA finishing up some work he had there. To say we had some adjustments to make is an understatement.
Next week, I’ll talk about the curricula we used, what we liked and didn’t like.
Until next time, God bless,