Wednesday, May 28, 2014

At the end of Homeschooling 1st grade

I did a post at the beginning of the year to give you an idea of how our homeschooling year was starting.

You can read it here for some background.  

We had a big move at the beginning of the year, and I had hoped to move again during the year.

We ended up staying in our current home, which made getting a homeschool schedule in place a lot easier.

Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart (or for a mom who has babies and toddlers in the house, but that is for another post).

It is a very large responsibility, and while I am thankful to have the opportunity I would not say it if for everyone.

George is an excellent student, and he made my job much easier than it could have been.

There was a lot of planning and a lot of late nights organizing.

We finished our last official lesson today.

And it felt . . . GOOD, SPECTACULAR, AMAZING . . . you get the picture.

I wanted to write out five things I have learned from homeschooling.

These weren't necessarily the only things I learned, but they were important things that I didn't necessarily expect.

1.  Deepening Relationships . . . I think I have a good relationship with my children.  I try to really talk to them and know their hearts.  Homeschooling made that relationship even deeper.  There wasn't anything about George's life that I wasn't a part of this year.  Unlike when he went to traditional school and would try to explain something to me that I couldn't understand because I wasn't there.

2.  Sibling Love . . . The relationship between my children has strengthened.  Having George at home has allowed the kids to spend every waking hour together.  They are truly each other's best friends, and not much gives a mother more joy than to watch that grow.  (It also means they fight more, but that is neither here nor there in this list of positives.)

3.  Patience. . . This one may sound obvious, but I am used to knowing that I need patience in rearing babies and toddlers.  Having patience in a school situation with a first grader is a whole different story.  I expect my teaching to make sense the first time, every time.  Unfortunately, I am not a trained first grade teacher, so this is not the case.  

4.  The Basics . . . I never expected to learn so much actual information from a first grade curriculum.  Each and every subject we studied this year taught me things I never would have learned sans this experience.  

5.  Money Saver . . . I knew we saved money by not having to pay private school tuition, but I didn't think about the little things that cost less.  George ate lunch at home everyday.  We could have leftovers or anything else that was there, and I didn't have to think about special things at the grocery store that would go in a lunch box.  We didn't have to buy uniforms or school t-shirts.  We didn't have to buy teacher gifts (although that would have been nice for my husband to do:).  There are so many little things that add up.

I will say (and I stick by this no matter how many people try to tell me different) that no one way of schooling is a one size fits all for every family.  I don't think there is only one right way, and I truly believe each family makes the decision that they think is best for their family.

Next year we have enrolled the boys in a university model school.

They are in a classroom 2-3 days a week with a real teacher and then they are homeschooled on the days in between.

I will also be teaching the 5th grade class at the school.

This will be another big change, but one we are very excited about.

After all is said and done, I like things about both models and I think this university way of schooling will be a great balance for the Bettelli's.

I am thankful for the time God has given me this year to have this experience.

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