We are in the midst our 12th year of homeschooling. I don’t feel like we have been at it that long. It has just become a part of the way we live. I have learned a lot over the past 12 years about how to use my materials and about buying curriculum or not buying curriculum. I have learned how to use the internet for free worksheets, unit studies, e-books and games. I have been blessed by others who just give away books that they don’t want & it is exactly what we needed but I could never buy.
We have 10 kids and my husband does not make a lot of money. He had a different job when we first started schooling and did make more money, but that job ended and his new occupation has not proven to be a big money maker. So, just about every penny he makes goes to pay our bills (which are not much at all), buy food & the occasional pair of shoes or clothes that are needed. After all of that there usually isn’t anything left for school books. At least for the past 2 years anyway. I have learned how to homeschool our kids with out spending much money, if any at all. What surprises me most is that they are still learning even without all the fancy books & programs I thought they needed. Of course there are still areas of study we haven’t been able to do yet that I want to do, but God is making it possible in his time for us to learn what HE wants us to learn.
Through this whole journey I have learned how our school is not based on what curriculum we use anymore. And I think that is how God wanted it to begin with, but as long as I had planty of money to spend on books and fancy programs I couldn’t get that message. Our school is based on our relationship with the Lord and with each other.
Now instead of depending on a phonics program to teach my little guys to read, the older kids are practicing with them and we are reading together more.
No more early math curriculums, now we play games & drill each other.
For history, we read about the real people, dress up like them, cook their food and recreate important moments in their lives. This year I really want to work on building timelines that can unfold and stretch across the room, then fold back up & fit back into my filing cabinet. I want to try lapbooks!
Our science lessons happen when ever I clean out my refrigerator, or the boys find another critter in the yard or the baby swallows a dime and it comes out in his diaper. Have you seen that one? Wow, talk about a great lesson on the chemical reactions in our digestive system.
There are a lot of things I would love to do with my kids, but money just won’t allow it, but I am learning that maybe we just don’t need to do those things. It would probably take away from our time with each other or maybe it just doesn’t fit in with God’s purpose for our family.
So, I’ll go back to my lesson planning. Planning out how to teach new things to my kids with out spending money, but realizing the huge investment it is in their lives