Why we chose to homeschool our children

This is a reprint of a post I did on my other blog on January 6, 2006. I thought you might enjoy reading it.

When our oldest child was in 2nd grade at public school, I read a book by Joni McCoy, called “Living on One Income in a Two Income Society.” She talked about homeschooling her children in this book. I became intrigued at the idea of teaching my children at home. I LOVED being a stay-at-home-mom, and I MISSED my daughter greatly while she was in school. At this time, I also had a two-year-old at home. And I was dreading the time when he would go to school. I thought I would have to get a job outside the home again.

Around the same time as I was reading this book CBD (Christian Book Distributors) sent me a catalog with homeschool materials in it. I would sit and look at this catalog every day. I REALLY wanted to do the “Prairie Primer” study. I talked to DH about homeschooling, and we neither one knew a lot about it.

So we just kept sending our daughter off to public school year after year. By the time she was in 4th grade, her younger brother started kindergarten. We also had a another son and another one on the way. Our second child made it less than 2 weeks in the public school system, before we took him out to teach him at home. His class at school had too many children in it, mostly boys. And our son was in trouble daily. The breaking point was when he was sent to the assistant principal for a minor infraction. He was scolded until he cried. We decided it was not worth his self-esteem to leave him there, so we took him out. At his age, we did not have to notify our state of this decision.

Our daughter was not happy in 4th grade. The homework was overwhelming, and they were using the semester system to teach science and history. And this meant a lot more homework and tests more than once a week. I talked to the teachers and principal about it, and they were unwilling to make any changes. Our daughter asked to be homeschooled, too. So we registered with our state and took her out of public school on her 10th birthday.

We have not looked back. I felt like I got my children back, and our daughter tells us that her worst dream is that we would send her back to public school. She is a 9th grader this year, and she is loving high school. We are providing opportunities for her to be with other teens, and we are hosting a monthly dissection class at our house. We have all ages at this class. Last month, they dissected cow eyes. And this month, we did microscope work. Next month, we are dissecting a sheep’s heart.

God has blessed us as a family since we took the leap of faith and followed Him in teaching our children at home. (See Deuteronmony and Proverbs for more info on that.)

I am also blessed to be serving the homeschool community with our home-based business. It is our goal to honor God with this business while serving homeschoolers. I hope one day someone looks over my catalog day after day and dreams of homeschooling, too. And then I hope they take the next step of faith and decide to homeschool.

Have a blessed day! Tami

PS We finally did use the Prairie Primer!

Lapbooking is a great way to teach your children

(This is a review that I posted on my other blog in January 2008. We have been using lapbooks to learn about various topics, and it has been a fun way to learn facts.)

Oregon Trail Lapbook
By Hands of a Child – Niki McNeil, Kimm Bellotto, Katie Kubesh

Recently, my children and I embarked on a study of our country’s westward expansion. I enlisted the help of a friend of mine, Niki McNeil from Hands of a Child, for a fun way to learn about the Oregon Trail. She provided me with a project pack with the reproducible pages already copied onto color paper called a kit pack. Since I was teaching four boys of various ages and abilities, she sent me pages with “type it in” words on the activity pages for my younger boys. And the copies for the older boys were blank for them to fill in the information themselves.
Ms. McNeil also provided me with a teaching guide that provided me with a daily lesson plan for approximately ten days of teaching. It took us closer to two weeks to complete our lapbooks. I am a novice at making lapbooks, and all of the resources that Ms. McNeil provided enabled me to easily create these lapbooks with my boys. I did most of the cutting of the projects due to the fine details of the projects that were provided. My oldest son is 12-years-old, and he could cut his own activities out. My sons, who are 8 and under, needed my assistance with the cutting.
The Oregon Trail Project book also includes the teaching materials for the activities. This made my job so much easier, since I was able to read the section in the teacher’s guide that went along with the daily lessons. Katie Kubesh does most of the research for the project packs for Hands of a Child, and she did an outstanding job on the research for this lapbook. It was informative without being overwhelming.

We enjoyed creating lapbooks for the Oregon Trail that I have ordered four more project packs to complete with my children. I would highly recommend any of the project packs or research packs from Hands of a Child for your lapbooking projects. You can even choose to purchase their template pack and create a lapbook on the topic of your choosing.

If you would like to see more of the items available from Hands of a Child, please CLICK HERE to visit their website. It was recently upgraded, and I love the new look and new features!

Submitted by: Tami Fox of Discount Home School Supplies (http://www.dhss.com/)

December 2007

iBible Pro King James Version

I received a really nifty gadget called an iBible Pro, and it is an electronic pocket Bible. It has all kinds of great features. I can look up any passage in the Bible and read it. I can also type in a phrase and search for it. And I have the option to have the Bible passage read to me. It also has some PDA features, and it can use a miniSD card for MP3 functions.

As a busy homeschool mom, I know how hard it is to find time to read my Bible every day. I have a little helper who gets up every morning at the same time as I get up, so he is always chattering about while I get my day going. It’s not very conducive to a morning “quiet time.” So I have to find time when it fits in my schedule to have my one on one time with the Lord. With the iBible, I can select a passage and have it read to me. What an ingenious idea! And it is small enough that I can put it in my pocket and listen while I am washing dishes or doing laundry.
I added it to my website, so if you want more info, you can click HERE and read more.

Fun train destinations in NC

The first destination is Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC. This is one of our favorite field trips. We buy season passes each year, so we can go multiple times. And with our passes we are able to ride Thomas the Train when he comes to visit Tweetsie each June.

The fall is probably my favorite time of year to go, and if you are not a season pass holder, they have a great way for you to visit. Each Friday in Spetember after Labor Day and each Friday in October, you can particpate in Education Days. The link for information about that is found at http://www.tweetsie.com/for_groups/education_days.html. You do have to register as a homeschool group and have 20 people in your group to qualify for the group rate. It is well worth the trip. And on Fridays in the fall, it is usually not very busy. There are school groups there in the mornings, but they tend to leave after lunch. We have found we can do everything in the park in about 3 hours on a Friday afternoon in September or October.

While you are on the Tweetsie site, be sure to check out the Kidz Zone. There are 4 free coloring pages that you can print out. My little ones are coloring right now.

Another fun train experience in NC is the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Dillsboro, NC. We have only been there one time, but it is set in a magnificent little mountain town.I do not know how they classify homeschoolers, so if you are planning a trip there, please ask when you make your reservations. The Polar Express looks like a fun little excursion.

And the last train experience in NC that we have participated in was at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. This train and other transportation museum is situated closer to the middle of the state than the two previous train experiences. I am hoping to set up a homeschool field trip there this fall. Click HERE for group information.

If you decide to go to the NC Transportation Museum, you need to allow time to visit the Dan Nicholas Park. They have several things to do at this park, including riding a miniature train. They sell tickets for the various acitivties at the park, and all of them are reasonably priced. In the warmer months, you can rent paddle boats and cruise across the lake. I noticed that they offer educational programs at the park as well. It is definitely worth the trip, if you are close to Spencer or Salisbury, NC. We like to go to the Transportation Museum first, and then have a picnic at Dan Nicholas Park.

If any of you have other train experiences in NC, please comment below.

Have a blessed day! Tami

Welcome to my new blog!

Thank you for stopping by for a visit! I am in the process of moving my blog from HomeschoolBlogger to this new domain for Tami’s Blog! I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

For my new readers, I will introduce myself. I am a homeschool mom of 6 children. I also own and operate a homeschool business, Discount Home School Supplies. I began our homeschooling journey in 2000.

I hope to share with you about our homeschool, about products that I have found useful, and other interesting things as I come across them.

Thank you for joining me!

Have a blessed day! Tami