Monday, August 11, 2014

Jump Start Your Homeschool Batteries: How to Have a Million Dollar Curriculum Without Robbing the Bank

This week I’m bringing to you 5 Days of Back to Homeschool! Are you ready? 

Of course you are! 

I am going to talk about a little of this (and that). I had trouble narrowing down what I wanted to write about this week. There is so much I need to say…and so much more I still struggle with myself.
So this week is going to be a little bit of a mixture of encouragement, practical tips and some occasional nonsense (because this is me we are talking about). 

I know that there are been times I have looked ahead at our schooling adventure and thought, “Are you kidding me? I don’t think I can do this another day.” Have any of you been there? 

 Are these the kind of questions that run through your head? 

“Am I doing it right?”

“How can I do this on a ramen noodle budget?”

“What do I do when it’s just not working?”

“Will Colin Firth ever become Doctor Who?” (or is this just me?)

One of the main issues I have struggled with through my years of homeschooling has been curriculum choices. There is so much out there!

If you are a Homeschooling Family with unlimited resources and the world at your fingertips you are in the minority. Most of us are single-income households. 

 I have had the benefit of several years of trial and error. I’m still trying and sometimes I don’t get it right. But there are a few things that govern my schooling choices.

1.      Our Budget
2.      Josiah Dyslexia and Dyscalculia
3.      My own personal education philosophy and leanings. 

I am about to share with you my own feelings on education. These are not life changing thoughts. However, I want you to think a little differently about education than you might have previously. 

Towards the end of my post I will give you a link for my homeschool Pinterest Board on Free Homeschool curriculum choices. If you are trying to find a way to make it all happen these will be practical resources. 

I want to first start by saying I am NOT a Curriculum Expert. When I taught school I taught what was provided to me. I had to use my own methods and resources to make it happen, but I still taught in the framework of what the kids were expected to learn.

When I first started homeschooling, I started reading. I read blogs, articles, books. What kinds of things were working with other families? What kinds of things wouldn’t work with my family? What was my goal in homeschooling? 

Education isn’t something that comes out of an institution. Consider our Self-taught presidents and noted citizens. Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin come to mind. What made them different?
I realized I wanted Josiah to be exposed to all manner of interesting things. I wanted him to grow in character. I also wanted him to learn despite of the labels he wears. Education is far more than what we learn out of texbooks. 

With that in mind I started to think a little differently about our homeschooling experience. Suddenly, my homeschooling goals were about so much more than what curriculum I purchased or what methods I used. Those became secondary. Here are 5 things to consider. 

1.      Purpose. Why are we here? What does it mean? I don’t mean to get all deep on you, but many of us wander through our lives with no sense of purpose. As a Christian, I understand my purpose. There are Godly principles that I want to pass along to my son. I want him to be a faithful contributor to society, I want him to serve others and be a blessing with his life. Think about what kind of purpose you are instilling in your children. Are you just existing as a family or are you living with purpose. In our home we practically teach these things through our daily Bible studies, prayer times and devotions. We also practice by serving others and trying to live a life of gratitude.

2.      Passion. When we discovered that Josiah was dealing with some significant reading issues, I made it a point to make sure that there were other things in his life that he could excel at. His passions exists apart from my personal gifts and talents. It is important for all of us to have something in our lives that we feel passionately about. Does your child have a passion? Are you supportive of that passion?
3.      Curiosity. To encourage a child’s curiosity is show him the world. Are you fostering that curiosity?  I have become one of those parents. “I don’t know. We probably need to Google it.” Anybody else have a boy with more questions than he has sense?

4.      Relationships. Think about those special people in your life. What a joy that we can edify one another and develop those relationships. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that Josiah has exposure to people from all age groups. We volunteer at a nursing home. He also considers my friends his friends.

5.      Experiences. Our experiences don’t include fancy vacations. They don’t just happen over a summer break. They happen daily. A nature walk, an afternoon movie, a trip to the Art Museum, a visit with an elderly friend, creating a volcano or time curled up together with a book. Consider what you do. You might not be able to take your children around the world (other than in a book), but you are providing them with precious experiences. 

So as you consider your children’s education I invite you to think beyond the textbook or curriculum. Does it have purpose? Are they finding their passion? Are you encouraging curiosity? Are you fostering relationships? Are you creating simple, but memorable experiences? 

You can check out my Free (and sometimes Fancy)Homeschooling Board on Pinterest for a few practical links. Tomorrow I am going to talk about Planning. “Don’t Leave Home Without It.”  I hope you come back this week. I am going to be sharing some really cute printables and helps for FREE (I love FREE!)
I am joining in with other blogging friends from the Schoolhouse Review Crew for the 5 Days of Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Below you will find a list of blogs I encourage you to explore. I know you will be blessed. There is also a terrific Giveaway that some of the bloggers are participating in. Go check it out!

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop


  1. THANK YOU. THANK you for giving me a giggle this morning. You had me from "Will Colin Firth ever become Doctor Who?"! I mean--seriously?! He'd be so perfect! LOL!

    Second giggle. LOVE your selfie. (snort)

    And your article was awesome. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Good questions you pose there to ask when considering curriculum. Right now I'm struggling with what approach I take with math... it'll be a challenge to figure. :)

  3. You. make. me. laugh.
    That is all.

  4. Love it , Rebekah! And experiences...yes! Let's make sure we don't save those up for just breaks. Daily is best! Thanks for the giggles- your blog always makes me smile!

  5. Great post and tips. A hearty AMEN to your curiosity question. :P Love it.

  6. I'm definitely checking out your Pinterest board. Thanks for such an encouraging post!


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