One month feelings

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today marks one month of homeschooling here at Sunnyside! I thought I'd share with you how I've been finding it as my role has now expanded somewhat to include "teacher".

Almost as soon as we began home schooling, I saw a change in the children - a peacefulness. Zai began to come out of his shell & I truly feel that I've got my boy back. Zai was always eager to home school, so was very excited to begin. He's a hard worker & quite willing to try all the exercises I set for him. Ellie on the other hand did not want to home school. She loved the social side of school & had made some nice friends. We were pleasantly surprised however when after a week of home schooling she told us that her friend wanted her to go back, "but mum," she said " can I please stay being home schooled? - I don't want to go back to big school". I have also seen her blossom so much. She has also grown academically. I think the limited distraction has meant she can fly through her work - in fact the other day she surprised me by picking up a book that I thought was much too far above her level (she had never heard it before) & reading it perfectly!!!

So I have been encouraged by their academic & emotional growth, but my absolute favourite time of the day has been our devotions each morning. We start our school day with devotions & I have so much fun coming up with activities to compliment our lesson of the day. I've just loved watching their spiritual lives blossom through this!

I have always loved "teaching" so it's not a big stretch for me to fill this role, however probably the time taken out of my day is the most difficult part. Until our workbooks come (hopefully next week - post takes a long time here) I've had to do lesson plans for each day - I endeavour to do this in the evening so this takes some time & creativity (I do enjoy it a lot though!). Also just the morning hours being filled means that I have had to reorganise my day- but then, I expected that.

Most days have been fantastic - every one's ready when the bell rings (yes,corny I know, but I do ring a bell- saves me yelling at the children to come inside as by this time they are always playing outside) at 9am & all lessons are completed & checked before we have lunch. However there have been the more difficult days as well - usually when we've had a late night the night before. These are the days when we have tears & tantrums & learning is very, very difficult - usually these are the times the twins want to be right there "helping" as well. I will say that these have been minimal so far, but definitely we've had those days.

Dave & I were discussing home schooling the other day & we both agree it is one of the best decisions we've made for our children. We just love the freedom, the positive changes & the peacefulness in our household that have come with it. Instead of dreading Mondays, we now look forward to each & every day.

As for the local community's reaction (something that truthfully was a factor in us taking so long in deciding), well, I think they just think we're strange. Thankfully home schooling is growing in Australia & most people have heard of someone who home schools, so it's not a completely new concept for them (although we are the first in this area). Since we don't have the correct bloodlines, I don't think we'll ever truly be considered "locals" - so they just think we're weird city people.

Looking at this photo- maybe they're right!!! LOL

Probably the thing I do wish the most for is that there was someone else close by who also home schooled. I'm thankful that we have the home school group that meets once a month (at the city an hour away), however the closest other home schoolers are 3/4 of an hour away & I think the isolation has probably been the most difficult factor for me - this was also expected.

Overall for our family, I truly do believe we were meant to home school. Why we took so long to come to this decision - I don't know - it's just us, we always take a while to think & rethink & rethink decisions. I am so thankful to God for this opportunity to spend more time with these beautiful children that He's blessed us with - I really do see this as such a privilege!


Sandra said...

Wow, hasn't the month flown! I'm really pleased to hear how happy you are all with the decision and are seeing such great results. Keep it up!

Mum-me said...

It's great to hear your thoughts about how the homeschooling is going as I've been wondering about it.

It looks like a lot of fun, and the idea of not dreading Mondays certainly appeals to me. Hope those school books arrive soon as it seems they will make your job a little easier.

BTW I really like that photo at the top of this post. And the last one of the children playing in the puddle makes me wish we had some! (puddles, that is.)

Mummy McTavish said...

I love all the photos. It sounds like all the hard work is getting rewards! Praying for your books to come!

Saminda said...

Renata, this post was just beautiful. I loved reading it; it fully echoes so much of what I too am feeling right now!! Your first line about the peacefulness- yep, my children too. :) I am LOVING homeschooling. Just having them close to me has relaxed me and filled me with so much joy!
I love the photos of your children playing outside. It is a beautiful farm.
Um, speaking of your beautiful farm..... I actually just read your post out loud to Stuart (it's nice to share other people's homeshooling journeys too!) and guess what he said? He said "why don't we go for a bit of a trip in the summer holidays, and go down and meet those guys?" !!!! I said I would love to....... so, maybe it could happen? I'm sure our kids would have a blast!! And meeting you in real life would be amazing- kind-of strange but so great! Anyway, we'll see how the year pans out, but would you be interested in some fellow-homeschoolers from the sunshine state popping in on you?? Let me know!
Thanks for sharing this post,

Elysia said...

Aw that's great Narn!!

Glad you made the decision and it's going well.. haha, no more stressing about whether or not to do it :)

Pics are gorgeous.. sure beats sitting in a classroom all day!!

Love you
EJ xoxo

Skipper said...

Awesoem stuff Renata! I'm so pleased it's working well for you and your kids. I am loving hearing about your days and your lesson plans! I love seeing pics of your smiling beautiful children

xx Leah

Bobbie-Jo said...

I'm so happy you guys are all doing well. Sounds like you've really got a groove goin'. As for the twins trying to "help," that's just expected!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

Glad you made the right decision for you and the family!!

Yes ZAch did break the scaphoid "at the waist". The smaller portion of bone went undetected for a month so was soft when we found it. But that isnt why it didnt heal with the first graft. Not really sure why it didnt grow bone on the bottom like it did the top. One of those questions no one can ever answer. We are very thankful to see that there is new bone growth with this surgery. Praise be to Him!

Aunty Sel said...

That's good Narn,
Glad your all having fun.
Are you gettin rain down there?

Grandma said...

Ohhhh!!!! This post makes me feel all sad & sorry for myself...seeing all those gorgeous photos of the lovely ones, makes me realize just how much we miss them all. Think we might have to fit in a visit to you sometime soon!!! Oh, yeah, and your post was good too. Give 'em all a big kiss & hug....Love Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Cassandra-ann said...

Great post, i have been wondering how your going and its so nice to read the exact same things that i think about home schooling, It is wonderful isnt it, the way your children just seem to change and being right there for it and knowing that you are reason for it...

Great pics too

Cassandra xx

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