Friday, April 13, 2012

Seeds of Wisdom - Homeschooling Highlights and Challenges

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us..."
~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities 

Homeschooling can sometimes feel like that introduction to A Tale of Two Cities.  Some days, we are reaching the mountain top and other times, well, we are trudging through the valley.  Today's discussion is in response to a two part question: What was the highlight (or favorite part) of your homeschool year? What was the most challenging (or least favorite part) of your homeschool year?

Marla ~ Seeing both of my girls learn has been the highlight of the year. They have both learned far more than I anticipated this year and it has been so cool to watch them learn and watch them get excited about their knowledge!

The biggest difficulty of this school year was homeschooling during our move. Trying to continue teaching my child through boxes, a month of living with family and in hotels, and while getting adjusted to our new home has been rough. We are still working on getting back into our homeschool routines, but we have managed to keep teaching/learning throughout our move.

Jessica ~ The highlight of our school year has been our history studies. We have been focusing on the earliest parts of American history (beginning before European discovery) and it has been so fun to watch the children play out famous scenes from history in their free time. Even when they aren't 'in school' they are applying and enjoying what they've learned.

The most difficult part of this year was schooling during the long hospitalization and eventual death of my mother-in-law. Even so, school was such a comforting anchor for us in the midst of everything. It allowed us a level of flexibility that enabled us to meet many more needs than we could have otherwise. It also gave the children a schedule open enough to participate in as much of the care of their grandmother as they desired. It was a difficult time for us, but not because of homeschooling - our family lifestyle made dealing with a difficult situation easier than it could have been.

Sam ~ Math has been our biggest hurdle this year, and finding the right fit {at least for now!} has been one of our biggest accomplishments.  This year I don't feel so new at this, and having more confidence has helped me tremendously!

Dorie ~ Our biggest challenge was maintaining a momentum.  We had several major {beyond our control} unscheduled breaks in our school year that negatively impacted our motivation.  It has been a struggle that is finally ending.  Our highlight has been seeing our children's creativity develop.  Watching them try new things, express their ideas, and create art in many forms has been beautiful. 

Tracy ~ My highlights have come during our challenges—homeschooling through morning-sickness and the birth of our third child has presented a lot of challenges this year. The highlight has been seeing the kids learn when I've least expected it. It doesn't necessarily take organized crafts and well-planned lessons; sometimes learning can just happen.

Ralene ~ The highlight of my school year was whenever I saw my children apply what they had learned in their lives. Whether it be me catching them singing some of the songs we learned to their animals or when they come up and tell me that they were going to do something they weren't supposed to, but then they remembered their Bible verses and did the right thing.

The most challenging was dealing with Alana's struggles with school and her attitude when she wasn't getting something right away.

What was your highlight or challenge in homeschooling this year?

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