Although, I wouldn’t have told you that a few days ago. I’ve spent the summer avoiding the thought of homeschooling starting this fall, and when I’ve been forced to think of it I find myself in a state of absolute dread. In my more panicky moments I’ve been googling private schools and Christian schools and even considering our local public school (which I finally determined is C.C. Caruthers, which is not as bad as it could be, but still not great).
I’m not 100% sure why I am so completely terrified of homeschooling Justus. It may have to do with a massive fear of failure. I’m not a consistent person, and I struggle with longevity. I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s really important to me that both my kids learn to read well. I’m not organized enough. I have a Juno monster living at my house. It could also be because every time we attempt to do arts and crafts one or both of my kids end up in the bathtub and I am left flustered with paint in my hair and a disaster in my house! I just find the whole thing totally overwhelming.
So you may be wondering, why on earth are you intending to homeschool? Well. I’m not going to tell you. 🙂 Didn’t expect that, eh? I just find this topic far too sensitive and personal and possibly hurtful, because my reasons may make you feel like I am judging your reasons for choosing to send your kids to public school, which I’m not. So I’m just not going to even go there! It’s enough to say that the reasons I am pro-homeschooling are significant enough in our eyes to choose it even though I am absolutely terrified.
One thing I will say is that from this moment on I will NOT be ashamed to say I am homeschooling. I keep finding myself making cheesy excuses to random people defending my decision, and that has just got to stop. I even did it tonight when I was shopping for new glasses… “well, we don’t like the school in our area and I don’t think he’s ready yet for school anyway….” “he’s too sensitive still…” “he’s too little…” blah blah blah. NO MORE. I want my kids to hear me speaking positive reasons for why we homeschool, instead of defensive responses that make it seem like Rusty is in someway deficient. He’s not. We have loads of positive reasons for choosing homeschooling.
Anyway! What I really wanted to blog about tonight is an answer to a prayer I didn’t even pray. 🙂 A dear friend (and mentor when I was growing up), has been quietly and carefully encouraging me about homeschooling in general, and nudging me towards one curriculum company in particular. I didn’t want to think about homeschooling and curriculum, so I politely tried to skim over the subject and was very non-commital about the whole thing. She finally sent a catalogue home for me through our husbands, and it sat around my house for days before I finally grabbed it in desperation one morning to read while I ate breakfast (I cannot eat breakfast without reading something – ANYTHING!).
Well, within an hour I was on the computer ordering a complete JK curriculum and feeling excited about homeschooling for the first time ever! The curriculum company is called Heart of Dakota, and I ordered the program Little Hands to Heaven.
Simple daily plans have the work already done for you. Quick and easy activities require little or no preparation and use only materials you’re likely to have on hand. There is no literature to gather. Simply use your Bible or purchase one of the listed Bible storybooks.
Lesson plans are written so you can use the program with multiple ages at the same time. Activities can be done in one sitting or throughout the day. A choice of resources is provided. Engaging lessons are filled with ideas that get kids moving, exploring, and playing in a meaningful way.
Little Hands to Heaven is a complete preschool program that includes:
letter sounds and motions
early math skills
But the BEST BEST BEST part is this:
Little Hands to Heaven is a collection of 33 units based on stories from the Bible. Each unit has a theme centered around Bible characters. The activities in each unit coordinate with the daily Bible stories.
Justus, Juno (because it’s for ages 2-5, so we can do most things all together), and I are going to spend our first year of homeschooling studying the Bible every. single. day. The curriculum looks so easy and fun and just amazing. It seems like the perfect thing for who I am and my strengths and weaknesses, and the best possible way we can start our homeschooling career. No matter what else Justus learns this year, it cannot be a wasted year because he will be learning the Bible.
I emailed my girlfriend and told her what happened (that I ordered and am excited, etc), and she was like, “well, I wasn’t sure why you kept coming to mind and why I felt like I needed to show you this stuff and encourage you, but now I’m really glad I did”. ME TOO! Thank you!!
So… our homeschooling adventures are about to begin, and I am FINALLY ready, willing and thrilled to be a homeschooling momma!
And because I am who I am, I’m giving you a slightly less gentle nudge. Go to the website and check out the curriculum. It’s amazingly affordable, and would be a wonderful choice for even a pre-school child who is going to public school eventually. What better foundation could we provide for our little ones?