Cale began using DVDs in the eleventh grade. He has a little set up in his room now where he does his school work. The DVDs take alot of work off of the parent. I do check his work and listen to him recite his Bible verses, but that's about it. I get much more done during the day than I did when he was in first through tenth grade.
S word! SOCIALIZATION! When we first began homeschooling, we knew that God was leading us in the endeavor, so I reckon we assumed that the whole world would be so happy for us! NOT! I would be so excited when someone ask about the children. The first year or two of homeschooling can be very intimidating and a bit frightening to the parents. I mean, we are talking our children's education here! Questions come to our mind like: "What if I don't do it right?, What if I fail my child?, What if they grow up to be dumb as a box of rocks???" And I am sorry to say that sometimes our friends and family can multiply those questions and make us question our calling. Right after we began homeschooling, a dear lady asked if I was working or what; and when I told her (just beaming!) that I was at home teaching my children, she grabbed my arm and looked me straight in the face and said, "Oh Liesa! What about when they get into the real world? They won't know how to act. You can't shelter them like that." Needless to say, I was speechless for a few seconds. Remember, I am a people pleaser. I replied, "Well, as you know, we are not like most people anyway, and this is what we feel we should do." That happened again the same year at the Christmas parade. I could tell by the look on another dear ladies face and by the sound in her voice that she felt so sorry for my children. Did those ladies reactions affect me? You're mighty right, they did! Tore me up! I went home in tears questioning my ability to teach my children. On one side of my mind, the pro side, I'd think: I really feel like this is God's will for Noelle and Cale. I want to raise Godly children...I want to raise my children myself...The con side of my brain would say, "Liesa, you don't know the first thing about algebra or chemistry. Your children will be so dumb and it will be all your fault!" Oh, how I'd struggle. After much prayer and a good talk with Scot, I'd plant both feet back on the ground and go at my 'calling' more determined than ever. You see, I came to the conclusion that Scot and I will answer for the way we raise our children. We will answer to God, not to our friends and family. And our friends and family won't answer to us for how they raise their children, so therefore, we have no other choice but to obey God in our home.
I often kid around and say that if our children were any more sociable, we might as well sell our house and buy a motor home. Through the years, our children have always been active in church activities, sports, and other past times. Both children love babies, younger children, old people and all in between. They are patient and kind, especially to younger children and older people. Both are very considerate, mannerable, hard workers, very interested in other's, and believe it or not, both children have and practice alot of common sense at home and outside of the home. Scot and I have many other children other than the two that are our own because we have always welcomed our children's friends into our home for wonderful times of fellowship.
Here are some synonyms of Social: genial, amusing, entertaining, companionable, pleasurable, civil, polite, polished, mannerly, pleasure seeking, hospitable, pleasant. According to Webster, my children get an A+ in socialization!
As for the education part of it; I do not keep up with grades in the way we did in school. I check their work and ask questions to see if they 'get' it! Did they understand? Did they learn? If not, I call for a 'do-over'. Noelle and Cale try hard to understand their lessons and do their work correctly the first time, that way, it saves them time in the long run. We kid around and say that they have a 'mean' teacher, but quite honestly, it's pretty simple. The rules have been set before them many years ago, they know what we expect, the rules are the same each day, so therefore, we reap wonderful results each year.
Noelle graduated in 2007. She is now a full time certified teller at a very nice reputable bank. She has been taking banking classes on line for the past two years and plans to continue doing so for as long as she can. All of her co-workers seem to love her and enjoy working with her. I hear alot of good remarks from many of her customers too.
Cale will graduate next Spring. He is not sure what he will do after graduation. I panicked when Noelle didn't know, but I am a bit more calm this time around. I don't see Cale sitting inside behind a desk or anything, but I know he is a very hard worker and a determined young man who can accomplish anything he sets his mind at. The most important thing I know is that God has his hand on Cale and Cale has a genuine desire to be in God's will and to be pleasing in His sight.
I will comment a little about our schedule....I plan our school year according to what is going on in our lives. For instance, most years, we would begin school the first week of August. That gave us some extra 'play' days as we call it just in case something came up during the year we had to take off for. Last year though, we were in the process of buying a house in August and was not for sure when we would be moving, so we didn't begin school until after Labor Day. Yes, we were in school up until the first of June which had never happened before, but that is what worked for us during that time in our lives. We do not have a set starting time each day. Cale aims for 8 to 8:30. We don't have a set time to do a particular subject. He just works until he's finished with everything. He works homework in his daily schedule which makes for free nights!
And the most popular question that has been asked, "Do you do school in your pj's?" They didn't every day, but yes, it happens from time to time. My children have never been allowed to sit around the house dirty and unkempt, so they know to be presentable and clean, but other than that, we are at home, and home is the most comfortable place to be!
I know I have not covered everything about homeschooling, but I thought it would be neat to make a few points about what little I do know and about a few things that have worked for us during this wonderful journey and season of our lives. Has every day been easy? Goodness no! Am I confident in what I've done? No, I never have confidence in me, but I do have confidence in God. And with that, I can say, All is well, and all will be well.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. ~Deuteronomy 6: 5-9