Saturday, July 12, 2014

A true blessing...of curriculum :)

A couple weeks ago I found out at the last minute that a local private school was closing down and they were selling everything they have. I went to the sale and was amazed. I was able to get some great deals on book shelves, library books, learning and "regular toys", wall posters, and CURRICULUM. I mean really really good deals. I was so thrilled. I posted on our local homeschooling message board but with me finding out so last minute and the sale being on a Saturday not many families could attend. Luckily one of the ladies at the sale offered to meet with some of the homeschool ladies another day in the week so others were able to benefit from the sale.
Then came the following Tuesday, the day my husband and I were going back to the school to pick up the bookshelves we had bought. I learned that all the extra curriculum was going to be thrown out because the school had no place to get rid of it. They didn't have the money to ship it overseas or even across the country and offers of donation to public libraries had been turned down. This was good curriculum, Abeka, Bob Jones, BJU and others. This is curriculum that some may struggle to buy, especially someone with multiple children, especially in this area that has been so hard hit by unemployment. Text books, workbooks and even the teacher's guides.  My husband and I thought about it and decided we HAD to take it all, take it all and find homes for it. We spoke to the lady and she agreed to let us have it all. Not being prepared with boxes, we loaded all the books up in our van and MIL's truck, then drove up and unloaded it all into our dining room. I had moments that I thought maybe I made a mistake, all these books piled in my dining room. Was I crazy? Maybe, but today I can say that I am so glad we made that decision. I am not one bit sorry we did.

I took a day organizing and sorting all the curriculum by grade and subject and then notified every homeschool message board I could find in the general area and even a state wide one. FREE curriculum for anyone that wanted to come pick it up. I held two open houses and anyone could come between 9-5 to go through and take what they wanted/needed. After that I opened it up by appointment.
I was absolutely amazed with the number of people that came. I met so many homeschool families and heard stories from most of them. Why they homeschool, struggles they have, joys they have, etc. People told their friends and more came. Some came to pick up for themselves as well as for friends that lived even further away. Some came from hours away. My two favorite stories: the lady that told her friend about the offer. Her friend  homeschools 8 children and has fallen upon some hard times and wasn't sure how they were going to do it this year. She literally cried when she heard that we were giving away the curriculum. Then the lady that had just decided to start homeschooling. They had decided for sure to homeschool one child and were unsure on the other two. She told me that after this offer and another for cheap curriculum she didn't feel she could ignore God's call to her to bring the other two home for school as well. mean my husband and I were used by God to speak to someone. What a great feeling. What a true blessing this curriculum has been to our family and to many many more families. We still have a small amount left but I will find it a home :)
So there you have it, the story of the surplus of curriculum!
(PS. please forgive my errors in writing today, I'm feeling a little bit of brain fog and didn't put my glasses on when I started and was too lazy to go get them after I did)


I would also like to take a moment to wish my amazing husband a Happy Birthday today. He is a loving and supportive husband and a man with a huge heart. He didn't bat an eye about us taking this project on! I love you babe!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

EEEK...has it really been that long and It's okay if they aren't ready

So today while commenting on another blog I signed in using my Google acct. It's been a long time since being on my Google account so I clicked on my name and it brought me to my blog. My blog that I haven't wrote on since my baby was really a baby. My blog that I said I would post on every day and then maybe just once a week, etc. Well, I guess I didn't do so well on that. I am going to forgive myself though. Heck I am raising 5 children (the youngest 3 now and the oldest 15), and not only am I raising 5 kids but now that my husband is traveling for work I am responsible for them on my own a good percentage of the time. So I think I will come back to my blog, it's a nice release of my thoughts. However I make no promises that I will post every day or even every week. I will post when I can, when I have something to say and when it's possible.

So It's July now and I am gearing up for our new school year. I haven't really came down from last years though. I am doing kindergarten and pre-k with my two youngest over the summer. Last fall I was all set to start kindergarten with my 5 year old and guess what....she wasn't. She was absolutely not ready to start. I freaked out for a very short period of time and then remembered one of the great benefits of homeschooling, she didn't have to be ready yet. So we stopped, no begging for her to try, no frustration, we just stopped. The world didn't end, no one was putting me down, she wasn't all of a sudden sooooo far behind others. She played and did normal kid things and I continued life as normal. Then earlier this year a light bulb came on, she started soaking things up and had this amazing desire to learn. SHE was ready. We started slow, just getting a feel for what she knew. Amazingly she has a natural gift in math. Easily doing 1st grade math her head. However her reading skills were less than stellar :) (no honey, c c c does not say dog). Once summer hit and the other kids were done with school I started with Zoey. We are doing "How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" and using a pre-k/k workbook to work on other concepts. I also print out 1st grade math worksheets to keep her passion of math alive. Lilly (3) loves to sit with us and does the work right along side us. She isn't grasping the reading part but is definitely grasping the letter sounds and that is great. Back to Zoey though, I really cannot emphasize enough the difference 6 months made in her desire to learn and her ability to learn. I think what I really want to say is it is okay to not follow the traditional school schedules. It's the beauty of homeschool, working with the strengths of your child. Not fitting them into a box and expecting them to accomplish everything they can on our schedule but allowing them to accomplish things on their schedule. Learning isn't a chore to Zoey now, it's not confusing and frustrating, it's fun and exciting. Her eyes light up with amazement in herself when she grasps a new concept instead of getting upset because she didn't understand before.

I have to go feed these children now but my next post I will tell you all about the surplus of free curriculum I got and what I did with it :) It's really a great story and you won't want to miss it

Until then,