Friday, March 30, 2012

Why I choose to home-school

I must brag that I have the perfect job! I teach 2nd grade at a school that is part home-school and part Christian school and in perfect harmony. It is truly the best of both worlds. I started teaching there last year because I wanted to work part time so I would be home with my kids more. That reason alone would make this opportunity appealing. Honestly, I never wanted to home-school before because I am social and loved going to school and sad to admit, I thought some home school kids I knew growing up were a little weird. . My original plan was to teach part-time until my kids were old enough to go to school and then I would return to full time teaching at a nice Christian school that my children would attend. Don't get me wrong, I still think that is a good plan. But then I became part of Tampa Christian Community School and found a much better plan for my family. I realized somewhere along the line that just because it is "normal " to send your kids to school 6-8 hours a day being influenced by someone else does not mean that is best for them. I want my husband and I to be the main example in my kids lives. I want to be with them and build strong core values based on the Bible. For us, public school has always been out of the question, especially since I've worked in one and want no part of what is valued. Maybe when they are older and I believe they are a strong enough to keep Christ first, I will reconsider but it would depend on the child and situation so I will cross that bridge when I get to it. Even in a Christian school, someone else could still have a greater influence on my children than I do. I want to be the one to shape their minds. I want to see their faces when they learn a new concept. I want to be the one who builds their confidence, teaches them to read, to write a poem, make a family pictograph, discover how large a blue whale is and memorize their math facts. I want to incorporate Christ in all lessons and teaching moments. I love the school where I work because it allows me to do all of that and it allows my children to still be part of a classroom and enjoy cooperative learning. At TCCS, teachers and parents partner in the education of the students. I send lesson plans to every parent and they are all 100% involved and supportive. I am amazed that the things my 2nd graders can do. I am so excited for my children to be part of the community at TCCS and to home-school them.

I'm way too excited to home-school!!!

Today was a very good home-school day! Normally home-schooling my 4 year old is a huge task because he is very strong willed and I am not. This usually does not make for a pleasant experience. However, I am determined that I will not give up. No one will love him like I do and I'm afraid that not many will have the patience that I do...well that he needs at least. He is only 4 and already attends VPK so I never go over an hour of home-school. Just 30 minutes of  Math and 30 minutes of Reading , and an occasional animal project for Science because he LOVES it!. Well, today was exciting because I implemented my discipline chart!!! Yes, it was exciting! First I introduced the three home-school rules.
  •  Respect Mommy
  • Follow Instructions
  • Finish your work 
We went over the rules and even acted them out both positively and negatively. ( He loved getting to be bad)  Then I showed him the TARGET!  I made a target with 4 colors ( green, yellow, orange and red). He starts off on green and  every time he breaks a rule, he has to move his magnet up a color. Yellow means no TV for the evening ( we only have movies that we rent from the library), orange means no computer games for the evening ( he has yet to know that video games exist) and red means...well..I will not admit on the internet what red means but he does not want to get on red, :o) He can move back to green for good behavior but still gets the consequence.

I also made a sticker chart. If his magnet is on green at the end of our home-school day, he gets to put a sticker on his sticker chart. I made a chart with three columns and three rows. When he completes a row, he gets to choose a special treat from the dollar store, When he completes the whole chart, he gets to choose between McDonald's or going to the movies with  Mommy or Daddy.

He even got his first sticker today! He did move to yellow and lost TV privileges but was able to move back to green before home-school was over. I am thrilled at his excitement and can't wait for many good home-school days to come!