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Is it enough???

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:02 am
by tiffanieh
Hi Everyone! It's been a while since I posted last...I've been successfully homeschooling both my boys now this year only and really felt like we made the right decision with HOD. However, I'll be moving right along and then I'll overhear some conversation from other moms or a friend will tell me what their children are doing in school and then I get all sideways thinking I'm ruining my child by not expecting as much from him as his peers at the local school are doing.

For example, I have a very young kindergardener and a 1st grader, so I chose LHFHG as our curriculum so that I could combine them. We do no spelling words or any type of grammar...yet just yesterday a mom was telling me the craziness of what is expected of her daughter who is Ethan's same grade, at the school he went to last year. They have to know all the parts of speech of a sentence (Noun, verb, adverb, adjective), they have 10-15 spelling words per week and are writing lengthy creative writing assignments.

On one hand, the logical side of me is thinking WOOOH Nelly, that is just too much for a first grader. But then the nervous, 1st time homeschooling mom, is thinking am I doing a diservice to my son by not doing what his peers are doing? What if something happened to me and he'd need to re-enter school...he would be so far behind.

Do any of you worry about this stuff?????

Thanks for your thoughts.

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:26 pm
by Candice

I am so new at homeschooling so I don't really have any words of wisdom to offer as far as your topic, but I definitely would be interested in other's opinions on this. Thought I would "bump" your post back to the top since I have a feeling it got lost at the bottom of the page! Can anyone shed some light on this great question from Tiffanie? :D


Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:17 pm
by lmercon
I think it is perfectly normal to worry at times about whether we are covering enough with our little ones. I was a ps teacher for eight years, and there is a sense of panic that the students aren't going to learn what they need to learn. Therefore, more and more is pushed on the youngest students. It's crazy for first graders to be learning formal grammar. By the way, they are not "learning" it. They are "memorizing" for the moment and then soon forgetting it because it has no meaning to them. When I get nervous about not being rigorous enough with my child, I remember the wise teachings of Charlotte Mason. She advocated a gentle style of learning that engaged the imaginative, inquisitive minds of children. Children learn when they make connections. They don't learn by being force-fed a diet of endless, meaningless facts. So, my advice would be to take comfort in the fact that you have picked a wonderful curriculum, written by an author who understands children and how they learn. Enjoy the wonderful moments of hs. Your child will learn more than you can imagine because he/she will see your example of life-long learning and the enjoyment that comes from it.
By the way, all those poor first graders being dragged through formal spelling, grammar, and written composition are the same kids who will all be hating school by third grade. You child will still be in love with learning and eager to explore more.

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:22 pm
by Candice
Wow Laura, very well put!


Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:25 pm
by water2wine

It is so hard when we comparison shop this way and we all do it. We always compare the strength and best things to the worst in our head of what me maybe might be missing. :roll: It's definitely enough but something that really helped me (and I have said this a million times so if this is a repeat sorry it was huge to me) but I made a list of what I felt I wanted/ needed to have to give a good education and next to it a list of what I believe God would call me or is calling me to teach. It was the most amazing eye opener. All the things I questioned went away and what came to the top was actually all the things that HOD does have us focusing in and all the things that we are now focusing on in our school. But the main thing it did was made me realize what God is most concerned with in my mind for my family we are hitting. Now I ask myself every time when I have those feelings if I took that path could I still honor God in teaching my children the way I am now and could I still give them the life skills I think ultimately not only lead to happiness and success and finding His call which can to me only come from taking the extra time we spend in Bible and character and picking a program that so aligns with what I think God has for our family to teach our children. How much of that is the other guy who can recite the Gettysburg address getting?

I want well prepared kids. I want them to be ready for any call God has for them and I do not want how I educate them to hold them back. But one thing I know for sure if I neglect the Biblical training and character training anything else I add to it is for nothing. There is so much you can beef up or tone down with HOD and if you want to that is perfectly fine. I am the major adder I know CM would not be happy with me. :lol: But the great thing is you have what really matters covered and in that there is so much more than just the basics.

Can I share what my someone said to me about raising her child who will be a doctor in a few months and was classically educated in a school for genius kids. "For all the success she has I realize I have failed her. I did not teach her religion and although in her school she learned many religions she did not learn who God is. Now I have to live with that decision and I know she can never have true happiness with out God. Soon she will have her own kids and again I will have to live with my decision of having her Latin and all that other stuff over taking the time to have her learn about God."

Just a little food for thought. Enough is a matter of what are your real goals. :D Hope this helps in some way.

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:01 pm
by happyhomeschooling
Tiffinie, I am a very new homeschool mom too, and I don't chime in on a lot of posts, cause I'm usually the one
asking all the questions :oops: . I have had those same concerns too, like when my nephew same age as my
daughter, names off the continents in his sleep :lol: . I think oh man where am I going wrong, I mean my
daughter knows those things just not in her sleep.

The other day we were doing our Bible Study (we are in LHFHG) and we are studying Jesus death and ressurection, and I
was explaining to my dd that before Jesus died we were seperated from God and when he died and took all of our sins
he reconciled us again to God, and it was as if the Holy Spirit just infused her with the revelation (at a 5 year old level of course)
and she raised her hand and very seriously said "Amen mom Amen". We sat there and talked about the significance of Jesus' death
for a good half hour, at her promting. I don't think we even did our math that day, but I thought wow so what! What she learned
that day will be a testement to our Lord! And what a blessing it was for me to witness. I have faced some very hard things in my life,
(as we all have) things that could
have been the end of me, it was not my educatation that got me through it, now don't get me wrong education is very important but
education alone does not make us who we are or always prepare us for what we will become.

And Laura's point about the Charlotte Mason approach is priceless, we do not follow scope and sequence of what the public school, or
charter schools follow, I have the book "Charllote Mason Companion" and that is my scope and sequence. I use to try and keep up with
all the kids I know who are ps, but now I just stick to the good old Charlotte Mason way, which is why I absolutly adore HOD so much.
What a blessing this curriculm is and how blessed we all are to have it and for our dc to benefit from it!
Blessing to you, and to all of you who are so willing to take the time to respond to those who need
to be encouraged, what a great board this is!


Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:47 pm
by Marty D
Wow Lesley,

What a great post! Thanks for sharing and reminding us what is really important.

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:28 pm
by ncmomof5
Thanks for the posts, Laura, Lesley and water2wine. These are great reminders. It's easy to get caught up in scope and sequence, but I know that's not where God's heart is. So I need these little nudges to keep me on track with what God wants to do in my homeschooling. Thanks again.
In HIs love,

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:26 pm
by trustinghim
I am also homeschooling for the first time, so don't have anything very wise to say. I just wanted to add, that when I see my children playing in the backyard really enjoying themselves, playing, discovering, pretending, my heart feels so much joy. They have plenty of time to learn the academics, but these tender years fly by so quickly (so I am told :wink: )
I also think of all the time we have to spend on their character training, how we can work on "behaviors" as they arise, what a blessing :)
The other thing that can never be replaced by school is the relationship our children have with each other, and with us. I love to see my children playing together, and sometimes think how sad it would be for my younger children if my oldest was at school (she tends to come up with most of the great ideas for their games)

So, I totally agree with you, that it is so easy to "freak out :shock: " when we hear about what children are doing at school, but I always try to remind myself at ALL they are doing at home.

In saying all that, if we did ever have to send our children to school for any reason, I am sure it would not take them long to "catch up" and it lots of ways they are probably miles ahead.

I really appreciate hearing all the replies to this post, and for the opportunity think about it again, because I find it so easy to look out to what " the world" is doing. It is so easy to look at all the things school does really well, and forget all the things we do really well at home.

Thanks for sharing :D
Love Deb

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:27 pm
by trustinghim
P.S Gee I hope the pink font wasn't a bit over the top, it just looked like such a nice fun colour to try :D :D

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:20 pm
by MamaMary
I am enjoying this topic. I completely understand your concern. I will tell you what helped me. Approximately 8 years ago I used a program called "Five In A Row" and simply added math and phonics. (HOD wasn't around yet) School would take less than 2 hours, but we would naturally follow bunny trails by going on field trips, reading extra books from the library, renting DVD's. I would float between being at total peace and then all of a sudden freaking out, worrying that we weren't doing enough. At the end of the year my oldest son (who is now 17) went up 2 1/2 grade levels in general information!? :shock:

What I realized was that more was not better. It just crowded lots of information. I don't want to Fill A Bucket, I want to Light A Fire so that my children are lifetime learners. My 17 year old now works through rhetoric, math. logic and literature. He is far more intellectual than I was at his age and I think that is because he has been allowed to fall in love with learning, with lighting that fire and not filling that bucket.

Now I use HOD with my three younger sons and again we are done in just a couple of hours. Because of my experience with my oldest son I can now relax and enjoy the simplicity of learning together. We are having FUN reading together, doing our projects and building forever memories. I praise the Lord that as a home educator I don't have to worry about the status quo. I can just ask the Lord what HIS plans are for my children and walk in them. I hope this encourages you :D

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:08 am
by trustinghim
[quote="MamaMary"]What I realized was that more was not better. It just crowded lots of information. I don't want to Fill A Bucket, I want to Light A Fire so that my children are lifetime learners. My 17 year old now works through rhetoric, math. logic and literature. He is far more intellectual than I was at his age and I think that is because he has been allowed to fall in love with learning, with lighting that fire and not filling that bucket.

Yeah, great point MamaMary!!!!! Let's pray we will all be fire starters, not bucket fillers :!: :!: :!: :!:

Love Deb

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:16 pm
by my3sons
I'm enjoying reading through the responses here. :D I was thinking back to my ps teaching days, and reminded of how I realized that what I was doing with them at school would never truly be enough - though I came early and left very late making plans - and though I spent every moment I could with dc trying to teach them to the best of my ability; it would never be enough. The reason it was not enough was because it came at a high cost. The high costs were not enough time with their parents, not enough time with siblings, not enough time to play, not enough time to learn to manage their time, not enough time to run and move about freely, and most importantly - not enough time to pray and spend time getting to know more about God. We are giving our dc a well-rounded quality education by providing them with not only "academic" based learning, but life learning as well. This is irreplaceable. It cannot be created in a classroom - believe me, I tried. When it all comes down to it, homeschooling gives our dc a chance to practice their hand at "life". Academics is a part of it, but by no means the whole of it.

Opportunity is what we have in homeschooling. Opportunity to seize the moment. We can pray with our dc when they are hurt or afraid during the day, we can teach them manners as they eat at the table with us (visit a cafeteria of only dc eating with little adult supervision and notice the difference :wink: ), we can correct their math right away and help them stop poor habits before they form, we can socialize our dc by supervising how they treat their siblings, and we can do many other countless things. I have had the unique opportunity to compare and contrast ps and homeschooling since I have done both. Homeschooling done with love and perseverance wins hands down. HOD has our academics covered - it's the rest of life's lessons I need to teach my dc that keeps me asking "is it enough?" Great thread - I'm enjoying the responses here so much!

In Christ,
Julie :D

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:29 pm
by tiffanieh
Wow! Thank you guys for all the wonderful responses!!! You all are absolutely right and actually yesterday I had one of those really good days with schooling that was just a confirmation and reminder that I am absolutely on the right path with my kids. At the end of the day I know that God will help fill in the areas that I may fall short. My kifsare really learning about God in ways I never truly understood until adulthood. They would never get this type of education outside of the home, even in a private Christian school!

Thanks so much again for the boost of confidence and the great reminder of what we are doing this for!!

Re: Is it enough???

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:13 pm
by mansmom

You are right on! I think our children are the lucky ones! I sit in amazement at the conversations I can have with my 8 year old about amazing is that? She can talk about it...she can use the verses that we are is just a part of her day as math is....I LOVE that...I LOVE HOD!!!!