We have been homeschooling our children since July 1999. Yes, we did begin our then Kindergartner’s school experience in July. I laugh at our over zealousness now, but then we felt we needed to get a jump on his schooling. He could already read. He was getting bored with preschool and continuing to learn the colors, letters, and numbers he clearly already knew.
We were moving at the beginning of August. We would be living in a hotel for a few weeks, and knew we’d need to have something to do while stuck inside. Plus, we were expecting a new baby in early October that year, moving at 32 weeks. Yahoo! That’s every pregnant mother’s dream come true, right?
As it turned out, we moved twice in six months after living those weeks in a dirty short term housing suite situation. Our first apartment in our new city was 900 square feet packed with 2 small boys and their toys, an infant who cried for three months, a stressed out mommy with a health scare, no friends or church, and bare bones household goods. It was good to have started school early during those difficult transition days of life!
“Home” schooling gave us routine and a sense of new normal in a place that felt nothing like home.
In hind sight, though, it was Kindergarten. I do wish we could have relaxed and enjoyed more. Kindergarten should be a joyous and fun filled year, not “rigorous.” I wish we had chosen to save that “rigor” for later, rather than doing spelling flash cards in the back seat of the realtor’s van as we house hunted for the second move in our new city.
We fully expected to only homeschool for one year, get settled, and then figure out the best educational option for our children in the new location. At the end of the first year of school, finally settled in the home we thought was for a long term, we realized that we had already been led to the best option for our own children. Seventeen years later, we still love schooling our children at home, and we’ve been able to give them different experiences and a love of learning, in spite of and because of hard things that have happened.
We have graduated two children, but still have two children working through high school level work, one in middle school, and one in elementary school.
One of the areas in which we feared failure back in the early days was math. We wanted children well grounded in math and writing skills. It took about three years to find elementary level math curriculum that worked with my teaching style and was flexible enough to work with each member of our growing family’s different learning styles. We loved what we chose, but the curriculum didn’t extend into middle or high school. We had a few years of middle school floundering, figuring that out with our older boys, and while that was a completely successful endeavor, it was hard on me and my time with an infant or preschoolers in the mix. One of our now graduated sons was able to earn college credit in math before the end of high school.
Finding middle/high school math curriculum for the rest of our children that bridges well with my time constraints of teaching several different levels, trying to run a home based business, managing our home and property, and still prepares for the academic rigor we strive for in our children’s high school years in preparation for college and life is no easy feat! But I did finally find one this past year! The problem is that it is a little more expensive than we are prepared to pay. I prayed for a used, but newer version of the Algebra curriculum to prepare our girls for the next textbook I plan to keep using in high school, and I found it used earlier this summer. I needed a replacement for the same Pre-Algebra middle school curriculum, though.
We’re beginning to make progress in debt retirement. Our goal has been to pay cash for all of 2016-2017 online classes, curriculum, or supplies. My husband and I have been successful so far! Last week, I ordered all homeschool curriculum, except this one Pre-Algebra math curriculum, and we’ve paid cash for it all. We’ve paid for three online classes in full without using credit cards.
I prayed that someone would be offering the Pre-Algebra math curriculum used by our next pay period. The day after I specifically prayed for this, a woman in our homeschool community advertised the very curriculum I’m looking for in our group, and at a price point for which I was also praying.
I shared this with Dr. P last night. He asked how much it was going to be. I said “One hundred dollars, and I have no idea how we’re paying for it. We don’t have the cash for it until next week. We need to pick it up in the morning. I’ve prayed for the money.”
He said “Well, today I got a royalty check for some writing I’ve done. It is exactly enough to cover the curriculum in cash, AND still pay my self employment taxes.”
Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of our curriculum, for the finances to be available for curriculum, for tutors to come alongside us when we’ve needed them, for answers to prayers in all of our homeschool journey, and for the blessing of learning perseverance and endurance in this homeschooling race.
We’re gearing up for year 18 of Legacy Academy!
PS. We had an oven fire this morning, and now our oven won’t get up to temperature. Two burners on our stove top already burned out and in order to not spend money to replace those, we replaced the original coils back. The other two burners are smooth top. Our refrigerator died last month. Guess what we’re praying for in our finances next? Refrigerators and stoves are not just modern conveniences in a home, you know? Pressing on in spite of opposition from the appliance devil.
PPS. Did you see the Lilla Rose monthly special? These new product lines are quite beautiful!