Just when I thought I knew what was coming, bam! Life changed very quickly.
It’s a super long story and one that I cannot really share online. But this week I resigned from my job AND decided to homeschool Ethan. I withdrew him this morning, and we are starting on Monday. I wanted to give him a bit before we started, but Robert and I agreed that he absolutely needs routine so we will start slowly on Monday! I’m working on a plan. I’m still waiting on a few things that I ordered, so we will add one new thing each day.
Since I resigned, we are on a VERY tight budget and are having to make a total lifestyle change. I’m used to being able to just buy what I want, when I want (with-in reason of course). Honestly, if I had lived frugally despite making a decent amount, we would be in a better place now. I guess the saying goes: “the more you make, the more you spend!” My next post will be about all of the changes we are making.
The decision to homeschool Ethan is purely for his own needs, but it’s also going to be very good for my mental health to not be working full time. Homeschooling will be just enough of doing something that I love without the full time hours and pressures from above. I’m also excited about what this will do for my relationship with Ethan. I have decided to not worry about it being perfect because anything that I do with him will be better than what has been happening at school (not necessarily the teachers’ fault… he has a very different brain… he just doesn’t fit the mold).
I feel very differently about homeschooling this time around, and I think it’s because I’ve had some more teaching experience the past few years. I haven’t taught teenagers since 2008, but I think it’s going to be fun!
I do NOT have this all figured out yet as we just decided a few days ago. I have some things that I am definitely going to use, and some other stuff that I’m looking into more. I have to keep it pretty inexpensive while still meeting requirements to put on a transcript. He’s not 100% sure that he wants to go to college, but I want him to be able to transition back to public school if we feel he can handle it in the future (if he wants to) as well as prepare him for college if he decides he wants to go.
Luckily since this school year is almost over, I don’t need a lot right now.
I am going to have him do the free trial of Teaching Textbooks pre-algebra and see how that works for him. He’s currently in pre-algebra, but I don’t think he’s quite ready for Algebra 1 yet.
English, Language-Arts, and Reading
I am using Brave Writer book studies for literature, some mechanics, critical thinking, etc, and The Good and the Beautiful grammar and writing.
The novel that we are starting with is called The Barren Grounds. He chose it! It looks amazing!
The Good and the Beautiful grammar and writing covers 8th grade and all of high school and it was only like $25! It’s a non-consumable book, so I will be the one teaching him with it. It is HIGH quality. I will possibly add the full high school 1 curriculum for next year because it’s like English 1 and includes geography, art, and poetry, too. I’m not 100% sure yet, and I don’t need to decide right now. I’m not sure if it’s a good fit for Ethan. In fact, Brave Writer might be enough! I’m just trying a few things out. They are both really great for different reasons. Ultimately, either one would be great! I just want to determine what fits his learning style best. I’m thinking it’ll be Brave Writer. We will see!
For history we are going to do some of the Blossom and Root’s A River of Voices. It’s not really for high schoolers (through junior high), though, so I’m not sure if we will continue it into next year. I just already have it along with the books that are suggested. I bought it before I started teaching again, and we never used it. I can probably extend it enough to make it work for a full year. There is a LOT of critical thinking involved in this curriculum. It’s amazing. It teaches US history from a completely different perspective.
This is one thing that I haven’t figured out yet. I have so many resources for science and nature studies. I’m going to choose one thing at a time to focus on and kind of follow his lead. I have a study on astronomy, weather, rocks and minerals, and lots of books that cover all of the sciences. I am still thinking about whether or not I should just buy a curriculum. I will figure it out soon.
I have these books coming, too!
I’m in the process of going through what I already have, and I will share that in another post.
I do have a TON of high school level books. I was collecting them when I was going to be homeschooling Karis her ninth grade year, then she ended up going to school (now she’ll be a senior next year!). It is all of the classics. But I also want to expand on that and make sure to include books that Ethan is interested in.
I told Ethan that he would finish this year at home and next year. We would take it year by year after that.
I gave the other two the option to homeschool. Karis said NO. She’s going to be a senior, and she’s doing really well in school. Levi hasn’t decided yet. I’m not going to force them to homeschool because they are doing well! I do want to give them the option, though.
Now that I’m not working full time, I get to be the person that I want to be again! We have new baby chicks and will be building a new, bigger coop and yard just for the chickens. These babies are White Plymouth Rock (brown eggs) and White Leghorn chickens (white eggs). They look exactly the same! I’m still looking for Easter Egger or Olive Egger chickens!
I’m working on my garden this weekend. I bought a bunch of plants a week ago or so at a nursery in Leakey, and I will be putting them in the raised beds tomorrow and Sunday. I got some basil, cilantro, tomatoes (various types), rainbow Swiss chard, cabbage, broccoli, a few different lettuces, jalapenos, and bell peppers. I will plant some seeds as well. I think I’m planting zucchini, cucumber, green beans, and okra seeds. Probably something that I’m forgetting!
The beds will take some work. The soil is packed down really tightly. I bought a hand-tiller to work on loosening it up. I also bought more soil, peat moss, and compost (I actually bought those last summer when I was thinking about doing a fall garden!).
I’m going to be making sourdough bread (and regular white and whole wheat), continue making homemade Greek yogurt, granola, and I’m back to making kombucha as well. I might start canning some things as well and fermenting foods. One step at a time. This is purely for enjoyment. Well, some of it will save us money, too!
I got a new book that I’m SO excited about! I follow Jill Ragan on Instagram (Whispering Willow Farms). It’s about building a small farm, and it will take a while, but I will make improvements each year until I have it the way I want it! I want to eventually build a greenhouse, have more beds, etc. We can’t plant straight into the ground here because our soil is mostly rocks, so beds are the only way to go. But I have dreams!
Being Who I Want to Be
This has been a long and bumpy road getting back to this place. It would take many, many posts to write the story of that, but I’m just going to say that I’m grateful to Jesus for what He is doing here and now. Even this week was REALLY hard for reasons I can’t talk about, but today I have peace. I know that what’s to come is going to be sweet.