Friday, September 14, 2012

Unique!

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It's that time again - Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop Week 2! This week's topic is "Making My School Unique." At first, the topic presents a bit of a challenge to me. I often find it hard to know just what makes us unique. It is hard to pick out the unique when it is so familiar to us.

So, I presented the question to Doug. Rarely do I stump my amazing husband with my questions. He has such a quick mind, and usually within a few moments of thought he has an overwhelming list of ideas and suggestions. Not this time! "I have no idea!"

Finally, I mentioned it to my children. Steven, obviously, had no clue. As a sweet, innocent six-year-old, he still has a hard time grasping that school is done any other way. The other day at the breakfast table we joked about missing the school bus again, and Steven asked, "Mommy, what is public school?"

Angela and Olivia had some thoughts, though. I asked the question on the tail end of Bible time. As we read our Unique3missionary story, both girls practiced their crochet chain stitches they had learned the day before.

"How many kids practice crochet while listening to their teacher?" asked Angela, grinning.

"Oh, and we get to do school wherever we want to, as long as we're diligent," Olivia contributed.

That (and the prayers I know my sweet hubby was sending up) got my thoughts churning. True, other homeschoolers might do some of the same things we do, but I doubt anyone does everything just like we do. Our uniqueness lies in the fact that we choose the things that work for us rather than simply falling into a mold cast by someone else. Oh how I love homeschooling!

So, other than crocheting on the couch while listening to missionary stories, what works for us?
  • We are mobile! Everything we need for each day is stored in crates and carts. We can grab and go Unique2wherever we choose. Sometimes that just involves picking what room in the house we prefer to work in that day. Other times, being a ministry family, that means a more drastic move. We've had school in various rooms at various churches, in a hospital waiting room, in the middle of some session with kids on the floor while Mommy and Daddy listen to a speaker, and in the cafeteria of our denomination's state convention building while waiting for Daddy to finish a meeting. Most days find us right here at home, but mobility is an easy thing for us!
  • We use an established curriculum, but the implementation looks different for every child. Olivia craves being taught while Angela would rather be left alone to learn. Steven rests in between, wanting a combination of teaching and independence. Their schedules are tailored to their personalities as well rather than holding to a specific daily school schedule that works for the whole family.
  • We have to put a limit on books! To say we are bookaholics would be a understatement. Sonlight, the curriculum we use, is literature-based and utilizes a heavy reading schedule. But my kids beg for more. I have to keep school books off limit for all except school use (primarily to keep them from reading ahead!), but even then my children manage to find other copies of the same books and delightfully read them on the side.
  • Last but not least, there is no waiting for anyone else to finish their school work. My children can migrate straight to the Legos without delay as soon as their own school checklist is done! Since they all love Legos, I call that pretty decent motivation!Unique1

Now that the thoughts are flowing, I could go on and on. But I'll stop before you get tired of reading! I definitely enjoy this topic, though, because it makes me stop and think. It also reminds me just how precious it is to homeschool, knowing that we have the freedom to be unique. I cannot wait to see the things my fellow review team members share. Don't forget to click the button below and check out their Blog Hop posts this weekend!

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And, of course, we have another giveaway. But first, last week’s winner…

Julie G!!

Start looking for your first issue of the magazine in early December!

This week, Home Educating Family is giving away a wall calendar (click on the button below to learn more)! To enter the giveaway, simply leave any ole comment. You'll get a bonus entry if you can share something unique about your family, whether you homeschool or not.

wall calendar
I forgot to add this last week, but due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only. This giveaway is not tied to any social media site. All prizes must be claimed within eight weeks.

7 comments:

Alix said...

Loved this article :)
Alixst.amant@yahoo.com

Ann said...

Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

Choate Family said...

Ann, just the other day, somebody asked us if we thought that Sonlight involved too much reading (with the inflection that of COURSE it was). I shocked her when I told her how much we loved all the reading and that we were doing three cores with the read-alouds. So thankful that homeschooling gives our children the best possible fit for their education!

Ann said...

I love that, Joanna!

Anonymous said...

Too many books!! You have to keep an eye on the book reading!! I smiled when I read that... what a problem to have! I would have loved to be that kind of homeschooler when I was a child... even to this I cannot get enough of books.. I think that is why I like to homeschool (hehe).

Maria

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I totally understand about the books, though sometimes I tell them to go ahead and read ahead, but we'll discuss it all together :D

And - yay! - I won! Many thanks,

Julie

Ann said...

Maria, I was the guinea pig for homeschooling as a child because I was the oldest. I was sooooo jealous when Mom finally settled on Sonlight for my youngest siblings (I was too old for what they offered at the time) because they got to read fun books for school all the time! I knew then that was the way I wanted to teach my babies!

Julie, CONGRATULATIONS! I'm excited you won - I think you'll love the magazine. And, my kids usually read ahead and tell me later. I guess it's the "confession is easier than permission mentality." Fortunately, they only do that with reading! :-)