How did you decide to homeschool? What methods did you try and bombed, and what is working great?
We decided to homeschool in 2009. We had a failed attempt with the local school system. We put Apple in for preschool and it was a mess for her and us. We pulled her anticipating putting her back in for Kindergarten, but 2 things happened. One I spent that year teaching her the things she would have learned in public school kindergarten. I was unaware that it was happening until it was too late! More importantly, God changed our hearts- mostly my heart. It just became really clear that she was meant to be here, with me teaching her. It has been one of the best decisions we have ever made! (Thanks God for showing us the right way for us!)
I got so excited when I found the workboxes system. You can google it and find tons of blogs on it! I ran straight to Walmart and got some supplies! Came home, put it all together, used it twice and now it sits in the closet! It is a terrific system for multiple children or older children. It is not worth it for one younger child that cannot work independently on most of their tasks. Also I have never actually tried "Unschooling", I just don't agree with the concept, but we have to stay very organized and have specific tasks. It is so easy for us to get sidetracked! Now I think one of the beauties of homeschool is the ability to chase what is interesting to them at the time but I can't rely only on that. I need a good idea of what we want to accomplish this year, this semester, this month, and this week. It keeps us accountable.
So what is working great for us is the organized approach. I am getting better and better at laying out reasonable goals. I keep a planning book where I write down what we accomplish each day. I have a rough outline of the things we will do the rest of this semester as well. HOOKED ON PHONICS is our superstar! Apple is almost 6 and she is working on the 2nd grade level. I cannot shout their praises enough! For math, this year, it has been best for us not to have a specific curriculum. We are working through several workbooks and it is going well. We use a lot of children's encyclopedias and reference books for information in geography, health, etc. The internet is a priceless tool. Also yard sales, curriculum sales, and consignment sales are our friends! Goodwill, Ebay, anywhere you can find used curriculum is awesome! :)
What is your favorite hobby and what is your secret hidden talents??
Hmmm favorite hobby....... reading. I'm excited to start reviewing books so I have an "excuse" to read. Honestly though I'm all over the place. I go through stages of reading, then I will get into TV shows, then I will get into FB or blogging, then I will get into movies, then I will get into having company over. I guess some of those aren't technically "hobbies" but I'm just referencing whatever I like using my down time for.
Secret hidden talents- HAHAHA! I am an open book. Don't hide much! I love to cook, I love finding a good deal, I can garden, and God has given me a gift with children. I think I'm good at all of those things anyway! :) My secret hidden "untalents" are drawing, singing, and anything involving measurement or distance. No one wants to be exposed to me attempting any of those!
Thanks for the great questions Denise! I welcome more!