Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reflections on a Year of Homeschool

What a blessing this year has been!  I look back and I’m so thankful that God led us to the decision to homeschool Grace for kindergarten. 

This time last year, we were agonizing over what direction we wanted to take for her education.  Public school, private school, charter school, or homeschool?  We finally narrowed it down to two…charter school or homeschool.  The charter school fills up very quickly and in order for Grace to get in, her lottery number had to be drawn.  God’s hand was evident in the circumstance that she was drawn very late.  No chance to get in.

The fact that she didn’t get in the charter school gave me confidence that God wanted us to homeschool.  Homeschooling is where my heart was, and I’m so glad that her lottery number was not drawn because then I would have been really confused! 

I bought my curriculum and set up our little schoolroom.  From the very beginning, Grace has loved it.  I was worried at first because the curriculum was challenging and there were times of frustration…especially during the phonics lessons.  But we kept going, full steam ahead, and God has rewarded our efforts!  She is reading independently and soaking new books up like a sponge.  What a joy it is to see her take delight in written word!  It is truly magical when the light comes on and a child begins to read.  I am so honored to be the one to see it happen!

We also love the extra time that homeschooling has given me to teach Bible lessons, catechism, cooking, household duties, and just enjoy being together!  We have the freedom to visit the zoo, children’s museum, community events, and parks during non-peak hours.  Grace can watch me manage our household, learning how to plan and shop for the things we need.  She helps me clip coupons and is learning how to save money.  Much of this would not have been possible if she were in school 8-3 every day!

And we have loved being a part of the Travis Academy of Fine Arts (TAFA).  What an amazing program this is for homeschool students!  I have met some very wise and dedicated home educators that have been inspirational and encouraging to me this year.  Grace has loved making new friends and learning ballet!  We already have her registered for ballet, art, and drama next year.


I wouldn’t change our decision to homeschool for anything.  It feels so good to see how God has blessed our efforts.  He leads us through the times of frustration…when I thought she’d never learn the difference between a short vowel and a long vowel…to days where she begs to have school, even on weekends! 

I can’t wait to see what adventures are awaiting us in 1st grade!


Mary said...

I'm glad Grace likes to read. When she is older she may like the Nancy Drew books. When I was younger, I read every Nancy Drew book that was in the little Clinton library.

Anonymous said...

So glad you had a great year! Found your blog a year ago when I too was going through some of the same decisions with my 1st grade daughter.
We had a wonderful year homeschooling and excited about 2nd grade! We are taking it a year at a time but LOVE it so far. :-) Hope you and your family have a very nice summer.

Many Blessings ~ Jenn

cal+claire said...

So excited! It as great to see you this weekend and I hope Grace feels better!!

Anonymous said...

I admire everything you are doing in your home. I only wish I could do the same with my son! My husband is a teacher and funds are limited. Guess I will work a little longer :( You should use twitter more!

Thanks for posting!