Guess what? Our homeschool journey began when Jeremy and I were kids. Guess what else? We met when I was 14 and he was 16 in a homeschool co-op, and I have the picture to prove it. Guess what again? Despite my better judgement and self-protection, I'm going to post it tomorrow.
This is a very happy picture.
It means that after three years of homeschooling my children through state-run programs, I have gained the confidence to actually choose what and how my children learn. I've wanted to do this since my oldest was kindergarten-aged, but it has taken this long to realize not only is it possible for my kids to thrive academically under my guidance, but we can all actually enjoy it (most of the time). Honesty.
Don't get me wrong, realizing every family has different situations, I can get behind any method of learning, from traditional to unschooling, as long as the family is loving on each other and the children are learning. That being said, the reason we chose to homeschool our kids in the first place was to instill the love of learning and to nourish our relationship as a family. After we relocated our family nine hours north from where I spent the first 27 years of life, I found CAVA and decided we'd go that route for our fist dive into homeschooling. I was tired from the move and thankful for everything being done for me. For free. We received ten plus boxes in the mail, including a computer, printer, many math and science manipulatives, and curriculum galore. It was amazing. And overwhelming. After a couple months, I got the hang of it and even enjoyed some of it.
So many of the required books we read aloud together just wasn't the literature I'd have chosen, and I could already see agendas trying to be instilled in my little five-year-old. It was all an opportunity to discuss why we agree/disagree with what the characters in the books were doing and saying, but I realized my daughter was learning more about what we weren't about instead of what we were about.
However, we were in a very big transitional time in our lives, and life got pretty hard for a couple of years, so I was thankful for being handed a no-prep, legit method of homeschooling, and we continued with CAVA for two years. All-in-all, for where we were in that season of our lives, we were very thankful for CAVA, but at the end of kindergarten, my daughter already decided she "hated" school, and that made my heart sink. Something needed to change.
And now, my kids have finished cleaning up their messes so as promised, it's time to play in my parents' pool together. Tomorrow, I'll share about our Charter School experience and the aforementioned picture, as promised.