I had the privilege of attending an excellent Christian school for K-12 and loved it. I hoped that someday I could send my children to a similar Christian school. Didn’t really care for the idea of homeschooling. It seemed like lots of work, I didn’t understand it much, and the kids seem abnormal or immature or so talented musically that they seem to come from Mars or just socially be on a different planet… 😉
When I became a missionary, I knew homeschooling came with the job, but didn’t think about it until Caleb started growing up. I’d heard of a couple of companies–ABeka, BJU, and a couple of other names. Of the few I knew, my presupposition was that ABeka was the best and the cheapest. But with something so important and costly (in time and money), I wanted to make sure that my presupposition was correct before I committed myself to that company for 20 years. 🙂 That’s just the way I work. I want to research ALL the options to get the best, the cheapest, the one that would fit my children and me the best.
I sent out questionnaires to several homeschooling ladies I knew to find out what they used, why, how they liked it, etc. I started cataloging their responses and learning about new options I hadn’t heard of before. I started hearing about classical education. What I heard sounded great, but I didn’t really understand it. I wanted to research that more as well.
Around the same time, two books were sent to me about classical education, Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn and The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I am so grateful to the Lord for those books! They changed our philosophy of education, and thus have changed my life and will change my children’s as well. I read them, portions of some of them, repeatedly. By the time I “finished” my research (which still continues) and made my choices, it had taken many hours through about three months of my time. I began my research somewhere around the beginning of 2012, and even now enjoy reading and learning, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever really quit “researching.”
This shows that God has done a work in my heart. Coming from being cold and unexcited about homeschooling, now I am so excited about the decisions Seth and I made together for our kids. I now feel that my kids have a chance at a better and more fun education than I got (I never imagined that I would think that!) And I’m passionate about telling homeschooling friends (who ask! :)) about my research and what’s out there, in the hopes of saving someone else some time (and because I love it). What a change!
I’d love to know more about your curriculum choices; I made notes before when you mentioned some choices. 🙂
Yay! Someone else to talk to! 🙂 You can read what I chose for this year here at https://itavitaafrican.wordpress.com/our-homeschooling-journey/2013-curriculum/ . Let me know if you have any specific questions!
Thanks so much for mentioning the books that helped with your decisions. Looking forward to hearing more!
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Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
It’s the little changes that make the greatest changes. Many thanks for sharing!
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