How Distance Learning Saved Our Homeschool
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When we first started homeschooling everything chugged along very smoothly. My oldest was three and my youngest at the time was under one. We’d sit together and play with play-dough, read stories and finger paint to our hearts content. Time passed and my sweet baby turned into a screaming, jealous toddler... who still had her very sweet moments, don’t get me wrong. I found ways to occupy them both at the same time. He would play with play-dough and she would eat a snack in her high chair. He would draw with his crayons and she would play with some egg shakers. You get the idea. They both needed me constantly, and one after another the squeals for help would come. It. Was. Exhausting.

We had lots of wonderful times, too. Dance parties, music-making, and story times cuddled together under blankets are my favorite memories from their little years.

As my first and second turned 5 and 3 we added another sweet little boy to our crew. He was an easy infant (as far as my mommy brain remembers). My oldest was reading and moving rapidly through math (he’s still a year ahead), my daughter was learning her colors and shapes and a little bit about letters and numbers. It was very busy, but fun.

When my newest little guy turned about 14 months old, all bets were off. I was just starting to get good at juggling my older two with their needs, and he started screaming. You know the sound, somewhere between pterodactyl and a migraine. We figured out a little ways down the road that he was borderline speech delayed. We all learned a lot of ASL together and the screaming pretty much stopped. You can imagine how much “school”, or any organized activity for that matter, happened during that very frustrating toddler phase. None. Nada. Zilch. The blessing is, homeschooling is a way of life and we learned a lot through that short-lived challenge.

Time passed. We tried again to do art, or some sorting, or some handwriting and a cute little stinker would come and snatch things out of the bigger kids’ hands. Again, we went back to survival mode. At this point all three were still napping, so nothing could even be done while my toddler slept.

Again, by the grace of God we all still learned. Progress was made in reading, writing and math but I was really starting to feel burned out from all the juggling.

I reached out to my mentor and friend. She is always full of wisdom and encouragement. I had no idea how I was going to continue homeschooling. She told me all about this new program she was using. It had awesome teachers, everything was organized and printed for her and the kids loved it. They even had favorite teachers. How sweet it was to hear the joy and relief in her voice. She had 7 kids from about 2 to 22 at that time.

I knew I wanted to use something like that but wasn’t sure how my kids would like it. That January, BJU Press Homeschool had an awesome sale, $99 for any Distance Learning Online class, without books. I was so excited!!! We got 1st grade Phonics & English, Reading and Handwriting, which is actually one class with breaks between subjects. You read that right- FOUR subjects for $99!!! I also got 1st grade Heritage Studies and Science, they are a semester each, so it counts as one class, another $99. I was dumbfounded. I managed to get all of first grade except math and spelling for just over $200 plus some used and new worktexts.

The kids all loved watching the videos and my oldest learned so much! I was finally able to manage my home and my 3 little ones without the pressure to teach in such a busy season. I did teach and play with them as time allowed and we had much more fun together.

I’ll never forget that moment when my husband and I were preparing dinner, the two littlest were playing together and my oldest asked to watch some of his school videos. We chopped and diced as he was learning and enjoying it. We both sighed a big sigh of relief and agreed that this is how it should be from now on. This is what works for us.

About a year later my oldest was about to go into 2nd grade, my daughter was heading into Kindergarten, and my youngest at that time was...2. 2-year-old craziness, here we come. Oh yeah, and another baby was on his/her way.

First trimesters and I do not get along and this pregnancy was no different. I couldn’t get out of bed without getting sick. We actually had to have a friend from back home in Connecticut come stay with us for a week (which turned into three) to take care of me and the kids. What a tremendous blessing that was.

Despite illness, exhaustion, doctor’s visits and toddler craziness, school still got done, fun was still had, and my kids grew in their love of learning. I couldn’t ask for a better fit for our family.

If you need advice for your family, I would highly recommend that you contact a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant. They are homeschooling parents who understand your journey and can give you homeschooling help and special pricing on BJU Press Homeschooling materials.

Meet the Author


Sharon Huizinga - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant
www.homeworksbyprecept.com/sharon-huizinga


 

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