Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is it hard to homeschool three kids?

I get asked that question almost every time we go somewhere. It's even more common than the infamous "What about socialization?" My answer is that of course it's hard to homeschool three kids. It was hard to homeschool one. It was hard to homeschool two. Homeschooling is not easy. It's not supposed to be. I believe if you do it right, it's supposed to be challenging and time-consuming and, at times, just plain hard. It's also a beautiful way to spend your days! <3

Since I'm planning to be painfully honest on this blog, I will tell you that this year has been our hardest by far. I have a middle schooler for the first time and a kindergartener for the last time (don't even get me started on that part, sniff sniff). And of course, I have a 3rd grader right in the middle.

Surprisingly, the easiest transition has been for Cora. If you know my family, you know that Cora is my spirited child. She is a hand full. And a complete joy to us! I was really worried about how she was going to do sitting down for school every day. She has done really well!! She loves My Father's World's kindergarten program, but it's really too easy for her. So we are going to try and zip through that and go ahead and start their first grade program because I really love their phonics.

Emma is doing really well with almost everything, though she still struggles with math. I have to remember that Emma is different than Anna, and I have to appreciate her gifts and focus on her strengths. She is a fantastic reader, speller, and writer and is very, very patient while I try to juggle the three of them. What a sweetie!!

Now, Anna...whew. This year has been really hard for us. She has ALWAYS been so easy; I don't know what's gotten into her this year. Actually I do...hormones. She is a whiz in every subject (except spelling, but she's getting there), but she claims she hates all subjects other than bible and science. I think she is full of baloney. I'm hoping my sweet girl comes back soon, lol.

I have felt the strain of homeschooling three growing girls. As you can see from the list on the left of this page, we have a full and rigorous curriculum. I am really really pleased with how well my girls are doing. And I am so thankful to God for the opportunity to have them home, even on the days when I want to chase the school bus down the road and put them on it. :)

We've been in school 6 weeks now, and we've figured out some really helpful solutions to the time management problem that I think all homeschool families experience to some degree. I want to share those with you!

*You might know that Sonlight requires a lot of reading, which is great for us because we love reading! We have decided that doing the assigned read-aloud right before bedtime works great for us. In the past the girls would watch a good bit of TV in the evenings, and I was happy for find something else to occupy their time!

*Patrick listens to Emma read aloud in the evening. This makes me so happy!! Patrick does not love reading, but he loves his girl, so he gave it a try. He really enjoys it now!! It is their special time. So sweet!

*I decided to skip the bible memory work that Sonlight recommends. My church has a fantastic AWANA program that my girls attend, and they do a ton of bible memory there.

*This year I gave up trying to do grammar, spelling, and writing 5 days a week. It was nice to finish the book early last year, but I figured out that if we do fewer lessons per week, we can spend more time on each one and still finish the book (I admit, I love to finish the book, lol). So now we do 3 grammar lessons per week and 4 each of spelling and writing.

*We save art, music, and poetry for Fridays. If we get everything accomplished during the week, Fridays tend to be lighter, so we can do fun stuff like art! It is a nice way to wrap up the week!

Maybe this will bless you. Or make you laugh. Or make you think I'm really bonkers. Either way, I'm glad you're here!


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