Where Have We Been?

It has been a loooong time since we’ve posted! I think our last post was Josh’s blog about Johnny Sacks cabin from our Solar Eclipse trip in August.

So what happened to us? Quite a few things have turned our household upside-down since August.

Number One: I started homeschooling our kids in September 2017 for the current school year. I was using a different approach than our 2016-2017 school year, which basically means I had no idea what I was doing! I made the switch from a streaming video-based curriculum to a literature-based curriculum called Sonlight.  Since the new curriculum meant sitting down with my kids and actually teaching, which is definitely not a bad thing, I had no time for my baking. This is why I haven’t posted any baking posts in 7 months.

Number Two: We had a baby! Gavin Joshua was born December 28, 2017. He’s made our lives a little bit crazier since he was born, but we can’t imagine our family without him. Being a family of 8 isn’t that much different from being a family of 7, but it did mean having to buy a larger vehicle. We went all out and bought a 12-passenger Ford Transit. It makes me feel like I’m driving a bus but there are definitely less arguments about personal space amongst our kids!

Having a new baby also means very little baking (or even cooking). I was able to bake scones this past weekend and three weeks before that, my last bake was a batch of brownies! Josh has actually been taking care of most of the cooking. I firmly believe that his being able to be home for the past six weeks is the main reason I haven’t gone totally mad yet.

Now that life isn’t quite as crazy as it has been, we want to get back into posting to The Geek Homestead. We can’t guarantee that we will post regularly, but we will do our best to write interesting posts.  Thank you so much to those of you who take the time to read this! We also look forward to getting back to reading our community’s blogs.

A very much belated Happy New Year to everyone!

 

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Homeschooling Post – Pros and Cons

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but I haven’t had a chance to sit down and think it all out! Finally, I decided to just write this post as a draft, save it, and then come back and modify it until I think it is ready to be published.

Our curriculum: BJU Press Online, streaming video

Equipment: One Ipad, one laptop, and one desktop computer

Grades: 6th grade, 3rd grade, 1st grade

Extra-curricular: Piano lessons (all), flute lessons/band (6th grader), computer programming/video game design (6th grader), computer programming (3rd grader), art (1st grader, 3rd grader), recorder (3rd grader)

Pros to Homeschooling:

  1. Flexibility: I tend not to be very flexible, but our schedule does allow for going out for lunch with family, or taking a day off here and there for fun outings.
  2. Hot lunch: At school, my boys hardly ate anything at lunchtime. At home, they get a hot lunch every day (unless it’s peanut butter and jelly 🙂
  3. Bathroom breaks: My boys can go use the bathroom whenever they want. This is their favorite perk to homeschooling.
  4. Extra-curricular: We have time for fun stuff in the afternoon. Examples: Art, Lego Mindstorms (robotics and building), Computer programming, Board games, Puzzles, and Building Blocks
  5. Work at their own pace: There is very little dead time. Once they are done with one subject, they move on to the next one.
  6. No uniforms: Shorts and a T-shirt is their usual dress. 🙂
  7. Cost: Homeschooling is definitely cheaper than private school.

Cons to Homeschooling:

  1. The paperwork: I usually have paperwork coming out my ears.
  2. Small house: Six people stuck inside all the time all together in a small living area.
  3. The Toddler and The Preschooler: Yes, the two youngest are a con. lol They are very, very distracting to my 1st grader if they don’t feel like watching his classes.
  4. Socializing: I do miss seeing the other parents at school events. A lot of them are my friends, and their kids are my kids’ friends. Most of the time, we only see them at church.

Our schooling history:

I love our church-school and it has improved greatly since I went to school there! My oldest son went there until 4th grade. Tuition is not that expensive compared to other Christian schools in the area but about three years ago, I realized that we just could not afford to send 3 kids there at once. So homeschooling was our next choice. I was not too thrilled about this, and there are days when I wish they were going to the school (usually when I am grading papers and I feel like my kids might not be learning as much or as well as they should be). I have never felt like I would be a good teacher and actually taught 4th grade Science and Spelling at our church’s school in the afternoons for one semester. That was very difficult for me because I am not particularly fond of public speaking! One of the main reasons I like the streaming video classes is that I am not my kids’ teacher. If they have questions though, I can usually help them.

Our usual day:

Since 3 of my boys are taking piano lessons, we try to get music practice out of the way first. Practice takes about an hour and a half. We don’t start school most days until 9:30.

Before we start classes, we say the Pledge of Allegiance and pray that God gives us a good school day.

Lunch and recess are any time between 11 AM and 1 PM. Both together take up about an hour. Most days my boys are finished with their videos and worktexts around 2:30 PM. The early days are very nice. They can go play outside, or we can be ready to go somewhere as soon as Josh gets home from work.


 

We don’t usually let the kids watch television or play video/computer games (unless it is part of their computer programming classes) on weekdays. If it’s a weekday pizza night or the boys are done with daily chores early, we may let them. So my kids really, really look forward to Friday!

There are still many things that I feel like I need to work on. For example, how do I grade papers, do laundry, entertain the two youngest kids, and still get to the baking/cooking in the kitchen? And when do I go to the grocery store?

I have to admit that most of the time the grading ends up not done and the laundry is clean but not folded. I find ways to get out to the grocery store. It is a good thing that my boys are mostly self-motivated and get their work done without too much prodding from me. It also helps that we are all in the same room and it is easy for me to tell what they are doing.

So there are pros and cons to homeschooling just like everything else in life. I do know that we are doing what is best for our kids right now. And this is the most important thing: my kids enjoy homeschooling!

-Lynn

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