"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
On September 6, 2013 both of my girls started their school year. We went in with the idea that this would be their last year in a public school. Our plan was to start them in a Christian school the following year.
Oops, lets back up just a bit. We currently have 2 little girls ages 6 and 4. Thing One, we will call her, is in the 1st grade and Thing Two is in preschool (K-4). We are conservative, Bible totin', gun carrying Southerners that the military just so happened to stick in New Jersey. I was raised in Christian schools and LOVED the smaller class sizes and the fact that Christ was incorporated into EVERY subject. I loved that beliefs, that weren't my own, were not forced on me. For example, evolution to be the main one. Now that you know that I am a conservative you know my feelings on pretty much everything else most likely and that is a entire other post.
Okay, back on track. When Thing One started bringing home her homework, particularly her Math homework, I began very disturbed. I had been talking to my friend about Common Core for about a year now and when I had started talking to her about it, it has not been implemented in our school district, but when she started bringing home that homework, I noticed #1 that she has just went back to a preschool level on her Math. Before this my daughter was adding triple digit sums in her head! She was doing what her teachers later told me was mental math. I thought it was normal math, after all, that is the way I was taught Math as a child. You know, to use my brain? Back to the story, I let the first 2 or 3 papers slide thinking this is all review from preschool right?? I then noticed that the words Common Core were in bold print to the side of the paper. Oh boy!!! This is what my friend was talking about!! I sent a note to the teacher explaining in a very nice, polite way that I was unhappy with the new common core math curriculum and that I felt my daughter was going backwards in her math. I then told her about how she was adding in her head prior to this year. She replied saying she understood my concerns, but that they were teaching the kids to show their work with circles and cubes so later they could show it with words. BLAH BLAH BLAH and all that.
Let me tell you about how Common Core was teaching my child to show her work. ;) Lets say you have a word problem like, Sam has 3 apples on a table. Lucy brings 4 more apples and puts them on the table. How many apples do you have? Now normally my daughter, after a couple of seconds, would say 7, BUT nope, she can't use her brain to come up with the answer anymore. She has to first off, which this is the no big deal part, but she has to write 4 + 3 = to the side of the math problem. BEFORE she answers though, they wanted her to put cubes or circles next to her numbers. For instance 3 cubes next to the 3 and 4 cubes next to the 4 of course. THEN they want her to count the cubes to come up with the answer or they told her to use her fingers, BUT she had to do one of the two before she comes up with the answer! So here you have my 6 year old that was adding in her head before now counting dang cubes, circles or fingers. She would be doing her math on her fingers at home and when I told her to put down her fingers and add it in her head like she used to she told me that her teachers said she can't do that anymore! WHAT?? That is what prompted the letter to the teachers.
After I wrote the letter to the teachers, me and DH started talking about homeschooling her. It is something we had thrown around in the past. I even joined a closed group on Facebook for military homeschoolers on my base. After prayers and lots of talks with my mom and friends, DH and I decided to withdraw my baby from the public school system and teach her here at home. For now, my 4 year old is still in preschool, but we did start a reading and handwriting program with her here at home so she is ready for Kindergarten next year and then we will be homeschooling her as well. We have Thing One on Alpha and Omega LIFEPAC for her 5 core subjects, Alpha and Omega Horizons for Penmanship and BJU for Spelling. She is also enrolled in a PE class on base and also a Drama class. She has tons of interaction with other kids. We have also incorporated Professor B Math. Let me tell you, that is an amazing math program!!! A-MA-ZING!!!! Thing One is now adding AND subtracting in her head again!! She breezes through math problems with ease!!
If you would have asked me a year ago if I would ever homeschool I would have told you no way. I do not have the patience for that. Thank the Lord for Omnitrition and the weight loss because of that and all natural products I now feel better than I ever have in my entire life. I feel energized! No more migraines and anxiety! I LOVE IT! It has taught me to eat clean REAL food rather than processed things. I do not eat any grains, no refined sugars!! I eat clean healthy things that God has provided! I eat Bacon for crying out loud. I fry things in coconut oil, butter, and bacon grease! Since I went off the strict phase of the diet, I have lost an additional 4 pounds eating GOOD HEALTHY fats, but that is another post. The point is, I feel great and I really do enjoy homeschooling my daughter. I LOVE that Bible is one of our core subjects and God is incorporated into every subject. I love and adore watching her face light up when she grasps a new concept or she learns about what God created! I have seen an increased interest to learn more about Christ!
She is not the only one learning. I learn everyday too. I learn patience and kindness. I have learned to put my priorities in order, Christ being #1! I have bonded with my daughters in a different way and I LOVE IT! I would love to say I wish I had done it sooner, but I know if I had, I would have given up. This is the most pivotal time in my daughters' lives and I am so glad I am the one teaching them. Me and their daddy are in charge of their education rather than giving that responsibility over to someone else and I LOVE IT! I have said that, I know, but I really do. Let me also add I know there are some people that couldn't do it and I know its not for everyone.
We have also found out that we will be PCSing this summer. After 11 1/2 LONG years in NJ, we will finally be getting out of here. YAY!
I will be posting more on my blog about all of our fun art projects and field trips coming up. Please follow us on our journey. It is going to be a blast.
Have a blessed day.