Sunday, March 16, 2014

Homeschooling 2014-2015

Chris and I have been on the fence about the educational path for our kids.  I have written two posts about reasons to homeschool and another with reasons to send them to an institution.  After some back and forth, we made the decision to start homeschooling this fall.  We did not take the decision lightly.  I personally had a hard time committing.  A few years ago, I really didn't think we would homeschool, but the seed was planted a few times while attending MCCW (now CWOC).  We had to really discern if this was the right choice for us.

For now, we will take it one year at a time, and I am going to try and keep my expectations low.  Hopefully not the quality.  There are so many possibilities in a homeschool, and many are extremely appealing, but in the end we can't do it all.  Not everything will work for the kids, and not everything will work well for me.  Part of the beauty and the stress is trying to figure out my kids as students and myself as their educator.   We will have to rely on our intuition, because we really do know our children.  We have to trust that we know our children, too.

We are now in the process of buying our curriculum for next year.  For me, I became very overwhelmed...maybe even over-stimulated.  Again, the endless possibilities getting in the way. What foundation are we wanting to lay for our kids?  Are we making the right choice?  Are we going to completely  ruin our kids?  Am I even smart enough to do this...because really, I'm clueless about everything.  I grammar people!!!  I'm guessing some people really have the focus and know where they want to start even if that might change along the way, but I was having a hard time finding that focus.

I am very, very blessed to have friends who are currently homeschooling.  Their kids are roughly the same age as mine, just a tish older since their kids are currently in kindergarten.  Anyway, they are a great resource, and even better people.  They have been able to answer my questions, give advice, and help narrow down our search for next year's curriculum.  I kinda feel like I'm just copying them, which is silly since we all have very similar goals for our kids.  After some prayers, talking to Chris, and looking through the material I feel like their suggestions were a good place for us to start.  I'm sure next year I will have more questions to ask, advice to seek, and need someone to talk it out if I need to vent. we go.

So, here's our list for 2014-2015:

We are starting with Mother of Divine Grace.  We have purchased her kindergarten syllabus specifically for her book list.  She has a book list of the saints, liturgical year, and rich literature.  Many of the books on these lists I would probably never have found on my own.  We have already started buying some of these books.  Each time one comes in I excitedly read through it with the kids.  So far my favorite book was a gift to Owen from my mom, The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith.  It is a cute story about the value of the Mass.  The book list by Mother of Divine Grace would be great to have in your home even if you don't homeschool.

Owen working on his Occupational Therapy "homework".

For reading and writing we are using Institute for Excellence in Writing. A very comprehensive and hands on curriculum, I think.  One of my friends felt that it was great for boys.  I am positive that Owen is going to hate copy work, but OT is helping some of his frustrations, but I think he will really enjoy the games.  I actually won't be surprised if Amelia learns to read at the same time as Owen.  She is already interested in letters, words, and sounds.  At this age Owen couldn't have cared less.

Amelia has "homework" too.

Saxon Math K is what we have chosen for math.  K level uses the calendar, patterns, shapes, counting, graphing, and manipulatives.  Again, it seemed comprehensive, hands on, teacher/student friendly, and expanding on what Owen is already learning in Pre K.  I already feel like Owen has more of an interest in math.  I could be wrong.  I'm trying not to have any preconceived notions about what my kids will or won't like.  So we will just take it on day/lesson at a time.

Simon being cute. (the ladder situation is confusing)

Finally, I am most excited about this resource, and I hope Owen loves it as much as I already do.  Classically Catholic Memory incorporates religion, timeline, history, geography, math, science, poetry, and Latin.  Again without trying to have any preconceived notions, I think Owen is going to love the science and geography.  Religion, Latin, and poetry will probably be my favorite.  There are 4 levels Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.  We are doing Alpha this year.  The next 3 years I will just get the next level, then I will repeat.  When we come back to Alpha Owen will be in the 4th grade, and we can get into more details about historical events, the timeline, science, geography....all of it really.

I'm so excited for next year!  The task of creating lesson plans and scheduling out the year is a little daunting, but it can be done.  It must be done.  Of course the baby due at the end of September will be a nice little curve ball just as I might be getting use to schooling.  But maybe the comfort will never come...who knows.  Here we go 2014-2015, the Lockharts will be a homeschooling family.  {big exhale}


  1. Welcome to homeschooling! Take your time. Take a deep breath! You've picked out some great resources. And this: "We will have to rely on our intuition, because we really do know our children. " You are right. And don't forget you really do LOVE your children. Nobody wants them to succeed and be faithful more than you do. That's why you are going to do just fine!

    Oh, and if you haven't read Sarah's Teaching from a State of Rest series over at Amongst Lovely Things do check it out! I don't want to leave a link because I don't want it to hit your spam folder, but if you need help finding it, let me know.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I have read her serious and frequent her blog often. I'm very excited and nervous about this new journey, and just try to focus on the excitement. We really do think this is the best choice for our family right now, but it will be a lot of work too.