Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Homeschool Sisterhood | Guest Post by Kristi McInerney

I have known Kristi since my high school youth group days. We often refer to each other as "Twin" because we do so many identical things without knowing that the other one is doing it too until after the fact.

I asked Kristi if she would be willing to write a guest post for me. I was so thrilled when she agreed to! She is sharing with us the value of sisterhood- specifically as it pertains to homeschooling.

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I have been homeschooling my kids since they were infants. Honestly, I didn't even realize it but being a teacher in my "previous life" before my children were born, made me an instant educator.

Reading books with my kids, doing crafts, taking them to the farm and other learning field trips all paved the way before pre-k, kindergarten and first grade came.

I have been inspired by countless women in my life who dedicate their lives to raising their kids and teaching them how to read, count, their colors, their shapes, history, science, problem solving. There is so much to teach and so much for kids to learn. Kids are little sponges and they WANT to learn.

Being an educator and having my Masters in education did NOT make homeschooling easy. Homeschooling is hard work. And it made me really use my resources of my fellow homeschool sisters to have the confidence to do it.

CREATIVE Learning

Homeschooling when done well teaches the child all they need to know in a creative, well rounded way. As the parent of your child, the beauty of homeschooling is knowing how your child learns. They may learn by moving, by doing, by listening, by drawing, by watching. Everyone learns differently. I loved asking other moms and friends advice on how they creatively taught math, reading, spelling, history, and science. Books are awesome! But I have learned that my kids Julia (6-first grade) and Mark (4-pre-k) love learning hands on, out of their seats and into the world. We love to explore museums, farms, trails, science centers, etcetera. Play dates with other friends and homeschool families really help to learn from each other and see how the kids learn outside of a book, a workbook, a test.

COOPERATIVE Learning

This was our first year joining a coop. We LOVE it. Both my kids love the friends they made (me too) and they love learning all different subjects from all different teachers. Get plugged in and find out what groups may be available in your area.

Julia took cooking, art and history last semester. This semester at coop she is taking magic school bus science which has been amazing, she loves the science experiments, art (because she's my artist) and adventures in reading. I never knew how talented my child was! She wrote a story on the 25 minute drive to coop. She then illustrated It and read it to her class. The teacher and I were amazed. I never would've known to ask her to do that. I didn't even know what she was capable of!

SUPPORT sisters

Having a group of sisters that you can talk with, vent with, share and even pray over your homeschool year. It's so important. Being at home alone can make you feel alone but you aren't. I learned so much about myself as a parent and became a better teacher to my kids this year by having this sisterhood around me.

I feel blessed to know that I'm not alone. That homeschooling is hard and rewarding to everyone. I also learned that I do well getting out once a week and being with other moms like me.

I've also joined classical conversations and an 8 week farm class with other mom friends because I trust them, I enjoy their families and because my kids do well with their kids. In a way we've created our own learning classroom.

This has been a turning point in my homeschool year. I was going to send my kids to private school next year but after feeling so connected and so much support and so much confidence I know I can do it!!! You can too!

You can read more about Kristi and follow her homeschooling journey at Keeping Up with Kristi.

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