On Homeschooling

Did you guys know, I was homeschooling back in the 90’s – before homeschooling was even popular? Before there was all this technology? I started homeschooling when my oldest was in third grade and my youngest was in preschool. A lot of people thought we were nuts… but we persevered and we did it – all the way through high school.

It wasn’t always easy. There were some days, I wanted them to put their shoes on so I could take them down to the nearest public school. (That’s when we took a break from academics). Anyways,  I thought I would share with you, once a week, some homeschooling tips and nuggets from what I learned, how I planned, what I taught, learning styles and how I coped with having three children at home… all the time.

*****I would like to say that all of my kids have grown up to have essential jobs***** 

Makes me so proud of them… even though this poor mommas heart still worries (errrr…gets concerned about them).

***Another note – after the kids finished homeschool high school – I went back to school and got my Masters Degree in Special Education and became a licensed teacher for six years…. (just in case you were wondering about my credentials)****

That’s one of the reasons I began homeschooling. My middle child was diagnosed with speech, occupational and physical developmental delays. He was eventually diagnosed with high functioning autism. When he was getting ready to transition into kindergarten, the teachers decided that his goals on his IEP (Individual Education Plan) was to only teach him to recognize 13 letters of the alphabet. I was wondering why not ALL of the alphabet and how to put those letters together, make sounds and read words? His brain functioned just fine. He used to read Computer Programming manuals for fun… (books about 6 inches thick). His grandma bought him a phonics program that summer and he took off reading. And so homeschooling began in the Mussack household. (Thanks Grandma!)

At first we used a very structured curriculum… they sent us all the books that the kids needed. I sat down and did lessons with them. They would take their tests and I sent them back to be recorded. They kept all the documents and sent us the report cards. IT was good for the first couple of years – since I needed the discipline and accountability. After about three years of a structured curriculum – we moved into a less structured curriculum and did unit studies. (This is basically where I wrote up their Individual Education Plan based on what I knew they needed)

We did Biography Unit Studies, Cooking Unit Studies, Literature Based Unit Studies, Character Unit Studies, and themed Unit Studies such as dinosaurs, astronomy, Egypt, Germany, Colonial Times, the list went on. It was so fun. We had fun. No more being stuck at the table all day. They still worked their core subjects like math and language arts, but history and science and spelling and reading became so much more to them… they were studying what interested them…

That’s one thing about education… I know many are put into a homeschooling role now – not by choice – but by circumstances beyond your control. But know this – There is more to education than academics. There is cooking, sewing, grocery shopping, caring for others, cooking, taxes, budgeting, paying bills, working on the car, home maintenance, yard work, gardening, physical activity, etc. etc. etc.

I once read a quote by Charlotte Mason (the mother of homeschooling) – “The best curriculum for a well-brought up person is to give them – someone or something to love, something to do and something to think about.” 

Til next time

Happy Homeschooling

Grace, Peace and Mercy

Positively, Debbie

Here are a few resources:

For a structured curriculum – https://www.homeschools.org/what-is-class

for various unit studies
The first character based unit studies we used was from http://www.Konos.com
they are currently offering free unit studies/videos to help parents during Covid19 –
Here is a good place to get printables and worksheets and unit study ideas https://www.enchantedlearning.com/

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