Pondering…

Over the past few days I have been looking at what our family looks like now compared to a little over a year ago. Last August, my wee guy was entering his second year of Primary Montessori school and my older two were entering a new school for our family. We decided to try a new school because it has been changed to a magnet program, which sounded phenomenal and right up our alley. We also knew that at public school there would be many services available to our family that we needed at the time. My wee guy did okay in his second year. He worked through a lot of emotional challenges. He was not the happy kid at school who we experienced on the weekends but he was okay. My oldest did not transition well from a Montessori school to a traditional school. My middle child made the most of the transition but she did ask over and over if she could be homeschooled. You all know how this story ends, we pulled the older two out last year and now are homeschooling all three.

Last year was a roller coaster of a year. We were still driving back and forth to pick up and drop off my wee guy. We were still figuring out how this homeschool thing works and I was a mess trying to make it all perfect. Well, it didn’t turn out perfect but we are in a much better spot. For 85-90% of the time, we all get along. School work happens even when we don’t mean for it to happen(such as, while we are going for a walk and the kids begin a discussion about something we discussed earlier). My wee guy has very few melt downs (in fact, now when he has one-we have to think about what to do-whereas, a year ago melt downs were a daily experience). My middle daughter is challenged in school and enjoying the new friends she has made. My oldest is more confident in himself than I have ever seen him.

So many things, people and opportunities have gotten us to this point. My DH, although he was not sure about the homeschooling thing at first, trusted me enough to let me try it. My friends have been a constant support and have continued to keep in touch even though this is very difficult these days. The instructors at Latta Plantation sparked a fire in all three of my kids about the wonders of nature. Sims’ tutor last year changed our child’s life. She gave him the tools and he has taken off with them. The opportunity for me to take classes at The Rankin Institute has helped me to teach my kids in ways that work well with each of their individual needs. The Lake Norman and the Internet homeschool networks keep me in touch with who I am and give just the right amount of help when needed.  I almost forgot-Learning Ally! www.learningally.org.  This is a fabilous resource if you have dyslexia.  It is allowing our family to enjoy a lot of books!

This past week, we all experienced something new.  We took our first homeschool trip without the dads.  We went to Asheville, NC.  We camped at Lake Powhatan and learned about bears, cougars, wolves, foxes, making fires and camp ground etiquette.  Then we experienced the complete opposite and visited the Biltmore House where the kids learned about high society.  It is an experience that none of us will forget and is yet another reason I have fallen in love with homeschooling.

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