Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Christian Classical Homeschooling Journey

Several of you have asked, so here it is: the story behind our homeschool. This is the short version. In the coming weeks, I plan to write more about Christian classical homeschooling and how our family makes it work.

I'd never heard of homeschooling until several years after my children were born. When my oldest was just 3, we moved to a new town and the small church we attended had 5 or 6 homeschooling families. The other moms nurtured me along, lent me books, and invited me to homeschooling outings and events until it seemed the most natural thing to teach my oldest how to read. By then, my husband and I, through much prayer and thought, decided that God was calling us to homeschool. My parents (a pastor) were all for it. My husband's family thought we were going to permanently damage our children.

Very early on, I received a copy of the Veritas Press catalog with several articles about Christian classical homeschooling. Then I read The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer & Jessie Bauer. The methodicalness and orderliness of classical homeschooling attracted me at first, then I realized how much it made sense to study historically and how many benefits would be gained by learning Latin and studying logic. We enjoy discussing worldviews from a biblical perspective and watching God's hand work through history. I also liked that I could do some things my own way (cheap and easy spelling and handwriting booklets, skipping some books I didn't like, and throwing in plenty of fun activities), but yet have a framework to follow. Ten years later, we still homeschool classically, and I still do it my own way.

We used mostly Veritas Press materials for the first 8 or 9 years, but have branched off somewhat in the past year or two. My first child is my guinea pig; my second child definitely gets the better end of the deal (I'm more relaxed!). My favorite grammar program is Shurley English, and we've always used Apologia Science. We've gone through several different math programs, but are currently using Math-U-See. My 10th grader's favorite class this year is the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum.

High school has been a challenge, but I can't imagine sending my girls to school. We are, however, going to try to take advantage of a few dual-enrollment classes at our local community college next year. Our homeschooling journey has had its ups and downs, but perseverance to God's calling for our family is the key.

Q4U: Leave me a short message on how/why your family started homeschooling. I love reading others’ stories!