Why We Homeschool (Part One)

I have a five-year Mom's journal in which I try to record our boys' growth and experiences over time.

I have not been very faithful in my daily recording,  but when I opened it up recently I realised I had written almost exactly a year from today (28 Jan 2014),  "This is our first official day of homeschooling!  We are starting with a unit on vegetables and did painting with chickpeas today. " Our older son was about 2 1/2 at the time and my inspiration for our first unit study (though I didn't know what they were called back then) was to stir up an interest in vegetables in my then fussy eater.
Z rolling chickpeas for his painting work.
Great for his psycho-motor skills.
He was excited to choose the colours
for his painting.
Broccoli printing. Getting him interested
in cutting the vegetables meticulously
was a challenging process for our
energetic son.
Admiring his masterpiece.
Seems like a rather unglamorous start to what has actually become a crucial long-term educational choice for our children and one that has drawn many varied responses from people we meet! In fact,  fast forward a year and I can't seem to recall how we actually ended up choosing this route, yet we are currently more certain than ever that it will be one we will take for at least the preschool years ahead, and God-willing much longer.

Looking back,  I would never have dreamed that a year later we would have finished one round of the Before Five in a Row curriculum and be moving on to Math,  Phonics and Science in the year ahead.  I would never have thought that the restless toddler who could not sit still and listen to instructions could now sit for at least half an hour, quietly working on his handouts or craft or puzzles.
Nature studies while learning
"We're Going on a Bear Hunt"
Getting the feet muddy as he embarks on the bear hunt...
Learning about friendship from the book "Play With Me".
Learning about how to relate to different animals.
Z especially liked the book "Corduroy", perhaps because he
could identify with how lonely the bear felt.
"B" is for "Bear" and also for "Button".
Threading with "buttons".
Even more unimaginable,  I would never have thought that God would give us an added and most unexpected blessing of being immersed in a community of fellow homeschooling friends,  many of whom share similar values and perspectives,  and yet on the other hand are enjoyable because of the varied experiences and gifts they bring to the community.

A real added bonus was when one of our close friends decided to homeschool their three girls as well!  Blessings we never even asked for but have received in full measure. We now belong in at least two playdate groups who meet regularly. Our boys enjoy building close relationships with friends of different ages,  and we get to meet up with other parents who are a great source of support.

I am so thankful.

Click here for Part 2 on Why We Homeschool.

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