Love, Laugh, Learn, Teach–Homeschool Diaries

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To High School or Not to High School…That is the question

I won’t lie. This year has been difficult. Math being the number one culprit. I knew I would struggle going into teaching Algebra I, but never in my life did I think the struggle would lead me to tears. Now that we scraped through Algebra I by the skin of our teeth, I have to teach geometry next. I’m struggling. I’m struggling badly. It almost makes me not want to continue homeschooling, just because of geometry. I will have a ninth and a tenth grader next year. I cannot do that to my children.

Next comes the hard questions. How am I going to teach something I do not understand and never understood? Will I be doing what’s best for my children? They claim I will. My son even told me. “Mom, don’t quit. You always figure it out. I’m sure you can figure this out too.” My husband basically told me the same thing. Now, though, I struggle with another question. Are they right?

I really don’t know. I am glad this year is over, but next year GEOMETRY looms. If high school math was just as normal as elementary school math I would have no problem. HELP!! Now, though I have to figure it out. The rest of the year went great! They both made A’s and B’s. The only ‘B’ they made was in Algebra I. Was that my fault? I can only say yes. So I truck on with lots of praying. There will be a way. I just have to find it. Until we meet again…

Happy Trails,

~Beth

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And so the second semester begins…

“Elementary my dear Watson…”  Can you guess what book we’re beginning with? 

Yes, Sherlock Holmes. Surprisingly my kids love it. I honestly didn’t think they would. My sister-in-law gave the first two collection volumes to my son for his birthday. I decided to give it a go and see how much my kids liked it. It seems to be a hit.

I am even enjoying the books. I never read Sherlock Holmes as a kid, but am beginning to become a fan. Of course algebra and English continue, we are starting chemistry this semester too. I have several projects planned. They probably won’t like them all, but no one likes everything. Happy trails!

Until we meet again,

~Beth

A Shocker As I Walk Into the Den

It was a pleasant shock, though.

I have a German Shepherd. She is my fur child. She is the most amazing dog in the world. We have to have our outside time. Mostly it is in the morning when my kids are doing their schoolwork.

One particular morning–when FALL finally arrived–I couldn’t help but sit outside with the book I was writing and my cup of coffee. I had the screen door opened, the kids were silently working (creepy, I know) and then I heard something. I thought it was my son aggravating my daughter–normal occurrence. I was ready to get my MOMMA-NESS out and let him have it, but it fell away as soon as I walked in the den. THEY WERE TEACHING EACH OTHER.

Sister (little sister) was having a hard time understanding the algebra assignment and brother (big brother, best one there is) was helping her understand it. I felt like I needed to walk out and walk back in–this isn’t my house, I must be dreaming. I was a proudly happy mom. There seems to be more and more times like that.

In a way, I love it. In a way, I don’t. However, I can’t stop them from growing up. Remembering where we started five years ago and where we are right now, I would not change a thing! Happy trails!

~Beth

The Best Things to Hear as a Homeschooling Parent…

I will just admit I have dreaded this year in homeschooling more than any. We started HIGH SCHOOL in July this year. I dreaded it for two main reasons, one, science was never my best subject, and two, neither was math. Both of those were extremely important beginning this year, because now credits were on the line. I wondered if I would ever do them justice in teaching them, and then, my mind was blown–in one of the best ways.

My 15 and 13 year-old took school upon themselves. I write down their daily assignments in their assignment notebooks. I stayed in the room, ready to jump in and teach, and didn’t have to. They worked together, team teaching each other. MIND BLOWN! I must have done something right. I stayed with my teacher’s editions in hand to make sure they were doing it right, and WOW!! They worked together going through each step as I had taught them to early on.

I remember saying, “If you take one step at a time you will get the right answer.” They have and they did. I also remembered thinking of the wonderful song I have heard so many times in my life–“ONE DAY AT A TIME, SWEET JESUS”, written by the late Patsy Cline who was never able to sing it, but it went on to become a hit when Christy Lane sang it.

One step at a time or one day at a time in life or religion, works in all things. So, maybe I only know the answers with the teacher’s edition in hand, but so much more the worth when your children teach it because they know it! I’m not a failure after all, and maybe HIGH SCHOOL won’t be as bad as I thought. Happy trails!

Until we meet again.

~Beth

Shakespeare Begins the School Year

Ah, Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare, always have. Some of his plays I like better than others, but still, the Early Modern English language grips me every time. So we started with Hamlet. This is my all time favorite play of Shakespeare. I was even granted the opportunity to go and see it performed at the Alabama Shakespeare Theatre in Montgomery, AL when I was a junior in high school. It was the best field trip I had ever been on.

I would love to go back some time in the future. I may suggest it to our homeschool group. That would be something the kids would never forget.

We began Hamlet today. For them to not ever have read anything in Early Modern English, they actually did fairly well. After we finished the selected reading my son said, “Mom, my tongue is broken.” That made me laugh. At least now they know our English language has not always been what they have heard in their lives. Happy trails!

~Beth

We Must, We Must, We Must Improve . . . College Readiness? Really?

So, if any of you grew up during the 70’s. You know the real ending to that rhyme. HA HA! 🙂 On to the important matter, well, the important matter to some. I do not know how many times I have been asked in my many years of homeschooling–“What about college? They have to go to college. Can you prepare them for college?”

Now, let’s take a step back. College is important for some and a must for what they want to do. But, homeschool is your-child-focused. If they want to go to college then we take college prep courses as early as ninth grade. If they would rather be in law enforcement we gear their subjects and electives towards law enforcement. If they wish to have their own art studio and teach independent art lessons we gear their subjects and electives towards art-based things–art history, architecture, sculpting, painting, drawing. It depends on what kind of media they wish to pursue. If they wish to be a teacher, then we guide them in all things to be taught, and YES we prepare them for college!

We can and do prepare them for whatever future they wish to pursue. Please, for the sake of all homeschooling parents, QUIT asking us if we are doing what we are supposed to do. We are because we have our children’s backs, and GOD has our backs. Happy Homeschooling! Until we meet again.

~Beth

High School Here We Come

And . . . Done. Our 2015-2016 school year has ended. Next year . . . High School. I am not as nervous as I was. I am actually excited about it. The only bad thing is it means my children are growing up. Sigh. That is the way of life.

I now have a son who can get behind the wheel. He got his learner’s permit yesterday. I am so proud of him! It was rather nerve-wracking. We walked into the DMV and there were several people there. Might have been five there to get their license or permit. The rest were trying to get their license reinstated, and I have honestly never heard so much foul language fly out of mouths of those who were waiting with those trying to get their license reinstated. At least until the State Trooper walked back in,  everything seemed to stay silent after that.

Whew! Glad that is over. I have two more years before I have to go back so my daughter can get hers. Needless to say, yesterday was adventurous. 🙂

Now back to High School next year. I have their science we will be doing–Biology. We are going to continue with the Writer’s Choice English Grammar Program. Just have to find the ninth grade book. Working on our reading list for next year too–Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Edgar Alan Poe. A couple of books planned for next year are The Outsiders and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

We will start Algebra next year–did Pre-algebra this year. Oh, by the way, those of you, who are probably like me in thinking I can’t teach algebra. Think again. As you teach it, you will remember it. If you don’t understand it, you learn with your children. It was probably the best experience this year in our subject-areas! And yes, I really mean that!

Until we meet again!

~Beth

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