For a homeschool mom-blogger, I suppose I don’t talk about homeschooling very much.
This is probably because I really don’t feel like a serious, professional, homeschool momma. There are other bloggers out there–Who share great ideas, create printables, and put together amazing curriculums. They get excited about homeschooling, and inspire me to do the same. Those are the homeschool experts. And next to them, I feel pretty lame.
I homeschool for many good reasons, but I am far from the poster-mom for homeschooling. I make sure my boys are getting a good education, and I LOVE to see them learning, but I usually feel like I just get by. I was the happiest woman on earth when I found a curriculum that I didn’t have to “teach,” and I find every possible way to simplify my role so that my boys hardly depend on me. (I know, I shouldn’t brag.)
But then it occurs to me that a few of you out there may actually relate to me. Maybe you too, don’t think you’ve got “homeschool mom DNA,” but you’re still considering…inching forward perhaps…to deciding to teach your kids from home. So, maybe a few of you will be encouraged to hear that I’m far from a die-hard homeschool mom, but honestly–I DO LOVE homeschooling my boys! I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. (at least most days! :))
And if you’re considering homeschooling, I encourage you to go for it! No, homeschooling is not for everyone, but given the right attitude, and a good curriculum, you will probably love it too.
So today I am just giving a quick update on what we’re doing now! And I decided to stretch this topic into two or maybe three parts…
Today I will share about the curriculum we use.
Then, I will come back to share an example of a typical school day…and perhaps one more post with some of the PROS and CONS of our homeschool life. (Because I love what we do, but let’s be honest–Nothing is perfect.)
CURRICULUM: I get lots and lots of emails asking me what we use for our curriculum. We’ve used many in the past, and I’ve loved something about every single one. But this year we are all settled in using ABEKA (ONLINE). I have never been happier! I plan to use this until my boys graduate high school. Or maybe college. (I wish.)
What I love about it/How it works:
1. in a nutshell: Abeka provides an excellent education. It requires very little of me as teacher, and it is organized in a way that works for our family. The boys watch a video which is taken IN A REAL CLASSROOM. They literally observe the class as though they are sitting in it. (An entire school year has been filmed of each class, so the teacher and the students remain the same all year long.) The teacher speaks to students in the class and then also refers to “students at home watching,” in a way that makes the kids literally feel that they are IN the classroom. They are assigned homework, which they do in books and workbooks.
MY JOB as the “on-site teacher,” is to keep them on task (biggest job! :)) to grade their work, and to keep records of it. If they have struggles, I am there to help, but everything they do in their homework have answers worked out in-full in my teacher book, so I don’t need to be an expert. Also, the teacher goes over ALL homework the day after it is assigned, so kids can always clear up any confusion at that time. There are the dreaded science projects and language arts essays that I must correct and grade, but the teacher’s manual is even extremely helpful in guiding me through grading those things.
2. Abeka has Biblical messages throughout every class. There is a daily Bible class. God’s in History, too. Math? Yep–You’ll even get little spiritual lessons in Algebra. God is very naturally in all subjects–NOT in a forced, or out-of balance way, but in a really cool, relatable way…Which is how we see God.
(**Side note: You can always choose to skip the Bible lessons if you want to, as they are not a state requirement, but you’ll still hear Biblical principles throughout the subjects.)
3. Time well spent/Positive peer pressure. Obviously, Abeka uses their most excellent teachers and students to film for these videos. Which means: My boys never have to wait for a video teacher to discipline a student, or deal with inappropriate behavior. It simply doesn’t happen. The kids in the videos are well-studied, respectful, dressed appropriately, and always on task. This sets my boys up to think that is normal, and expected. (hehe, positive peer pressure.)
No time is wasted. You’ll never find a movie shown instead of a lesson, and there are no interruptions for assemblies, or field trips. Every minute of every class is used to the fullest. (Though my boys would think they died and went to heaven if a teacher just popped in a DVD one day.)
4. You have a year to do the curriculum, which lets you figure out your own schedule, travels, holidays, surf days, etc. Can you say: FREEDOM? FLEXIBILITY? Those are words we like a lot!
1. Abeka is hard. I’d have to say that it has a very challenging curriculum which is absolutely college-prep style. If they do everything assigned (which I try to make them do,) then it is a very full, and challenging school day–every single day. This is not a “con,” obviously, but if you’re looking for an easy curriculum, Abeka is not it.
2. Each student needs to use a computer. For us that means that all three of my boys are using all three of our computers every day. And if the internet is down–Well, that is like our “snow day.” 🙂
COST: I think it comes to just under $800 a student for the entire curriculum for the year.
I should note that you can pay more and use the official ABEKA ACADEMY homeschool curriculum where you turn in your student’s work and the folks at Abeka grade it for you, give you report cards, transcripts, etc. We do not do that. I do all of the grading and recording, and we work with a local group here on island who do official report cards and transcripts for homeschool families. Bless their hearts. (This is another awesome part of our homeschool story, and something I would be happy to share more about in the future.)
So, I feel like I wrote too much, but I don’t know what I could cut out! Did I miss anything? Do you have questions? Let me know! I love Abeka, and I love homeschooling, and coming from this “I’ll never homeschool my kids” mom, that says a LOT! If you homeschool and have something to share, feel free to do so in comments!
As always–If you enjoyed this post I hope that you will share it on your social media sites! 🙂 Mahalo!
Much aloha! I’ll see you soon.
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