Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TT~Meet Christy

Dawn’s Disaster

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Hello Dawn's Disaster Readers!

My name is Christy, and I blog at Another Step to Take. I am a
homeschooling mother, an anti-poverty activist and a bookworm, so my blog is a
bit like a homemade soup with all different kitchen scraps thrown into it. Posts
vary from topics like homemade board games to trying to look at the themes of
books I've read to my thoughts about current events.

Five Things I Didn't Expect
About Homeschooling

1) I didn't expect the question "how long have you
been homeschooling" to be a difficult one to answer. Yet it is a question I have
no clue how to answer. My oldest child is eight years old and he has never been
in school. In my community, he would have entered junior kindergarten at four
years old, so technically there's four years of school he's missed, and thus
four years in which he's been homeschooled. Yet homeschooling there wasn't any
distinctive switch in what I've done with the children. I taught them with
games, stories, songs and crafts before they were school aged, and over the time we slowly increase the amount of written work the children do on their own, as they are able. Yet I'm not going to say I was homeschooling them
at two years old either.

2) I didn't expect to be learning as much as I am.
I mean, part of my dream homeschooling was to be able to teach my children about
all the things I've always been curious about but never learnt about myself -
like slide
, astrolabes
and proper grammatical rules - but I assumed that certain topics like math
would be straightforward, at least in the elementary years. Then I purchased a
homeschooling math curriculum, Right Start Mathematics and discovered just how
much math I did not know! And that brings me to my next thing I didn't
3) ... that good curriculum is worth its expensive
price. There are tons and tons of workbooks around cheap, and I know quite a few
homeschoolers who rely directly on those but workbooks are not curriculum.
Curriculum should present different ways of looking at something, provide new
information and have a plan for how the information will fit together. One
doesn't need to have curriculum for every subject, but doing one's research and
finding good curriculum for specific subjects can be invaluable.

4) The flip side is that there are tons and tons of
good resources available for free. Youtube is a good resource if you take care
to sort the wheat from the chaff. There's great documentaries on almost any
topic. Another good source of free information is local libraries. I did not
expect to be taking 30+ books out of the library weekly, but that's what we're
doing. While my oldest was five or six we went through world history one era,
one culture at a time taking a stack of books from the library and working our
way through them. One of the best homeschooling teaching skills is the ability
to predict which library books will interest one's children. I know the styles
of graphic layout they like, the types of pictures they dislike and their love
of charts and graphs, and knowing that I can interest them in an amazing array
of subjects.

5) Homeschooling is scary. I was homeschooled
(grades 7 - 12) as a teenager, so when my husband and I decided that I would
homeschool our kids, I didn't think it would be as scary as it is. Yet homeschooling makes me very aware
that I am the primary influence on my children. They don't have teachers or
classmates to help balance out my eccentricities. Questions about authority,
ethics and expectations keep popping up and I don't have all the answers.

Homeschooling is a lot of work, but it is also incredibly rewarding.


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