Thinking About School

Ferry boat to Whidbey - it's still summer!

Last week we bought school supplies, and yesterday we headed to our local uniform store to buy school uniforms for Honeybee.  Yes, Honeybee is joining Dimples at school this year.  She is entering the fourth grade, one year ahead of Dimples.  We spent last year doing intensive tutoring, not knowing then that we would choose school (rather than homeschooling) for Honeybee, but we are as sure as we can be that this will be the best learning environment for her.

I say it to myself, and to others, regularly, “My children all have different needs.  We can’t do everything the same, because that would not be best for them.”

This year I will have one daughter in medical school, another daughter and a son-in-law both at local universities, Noah and Samuel at a local university, Dimples and Honeybee in third and fourth grade at a small Christian school, Rusty taking a combination of classes at home and at the local high school (another first for us) and the rest of my homeschoolers in seventh, third, K and preschool.

I”m looking forward to Sonlight American History for Ladybug (7th) and Sunshine (3rd), teaching Eby to read (and letting Little Man come along for the ride), seeing Honeybee and Dimples come home happy and tired after a good day at school,  “sharing” Rusty with the local school (okay, I’m actually nervous about that), and supporting Samuel as he begins his college education.

It’s going to be quite a year and I look forward to sharing it with you as I begin my twentieth year of homeschooling and my more recent experience of having children in school.

What you are you most looking forward to this school year?

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Giann
    August 5, 2010

    Wow! I am looking forward to hearing stories this year from the adventures you will have! 🙂

    I am going to try and survive my tenth year! As it looks right now, I may not! Yikes!

    ~Blessings and Prayers~

    Reply
  2. [email protected]
    August 4, 2010

    We will have my two older kids (10 and 7) at the International Community School. They go to class 2 days/week and homeschool the other 3 days. I will fully homeschool our youngest (age 6) along with our newest child (age 7) who should be adopted from China in September. I look forward to the structure that our school year builds into our days at home. Preparing for the adoption this summer, I've felt like everything has been chaotic – too unstructured. While we don't follow a strict schedule – school seems to give me just enough structure to make our days more productive.

    Reply
  3. Ajay
    August 4, 2010

    Wow…what a variety! We're anticipating the arrival of our newest addition, a 9 year old girl from Ethiopia, and the plan is to homeschool. My first time homeschooling…my first time parenting a 9 year old, but still confident that God will guide us through each day! I spent the day today trying to nail down more options for her for ESL opportunities with the school system, but no luck so far as the options are not available to homeschoolers. Also researching the best opportunity for her to also mix with some kids her age. My 2 and 3 year old are scheduled to attend a small Christian daycare three days a week for 4 hours each day to give my new addition and I some one on one time together. (Praying we're doing the right thing here.)I just did my school supplies shopping tonight! Getting excited!

    Reply
  4. sandee
    August 4, 2010

    I am nervous about my new daughter starting 4th grade. We have been doing tutoring this summer, but I just can't imagine her being able to catch up…….I don't have an option other than school….so nervous nervous…but I always love the back to school time….and am looking forward to all four…the morning drive to school, how cute they look in their uniforms with their new backpacks…. and hearing all the stories on the ride home.

    Reply
  5. Kim
    August 4, 2010

    I'm a newer reader of your blog (been lurking for a few months – first time to comment) who is drawn to your transparent writing and your love for your family and the Lord. Our family is large as well, and though we have always had a heart to adopt, those doors have not yet opened.
    Our oldest two sons are out of school, one working as an electrician and the other, our first college graduate, working in the entertainment industry. Our weekly investment in their lives is a meal at home and the numerous phone calls, "Dad, my car…… about my house……" Third born, our only girl, is settling into a new city six hours away from us and a transfer into a new university as a young bride. Our wedding was just weeks before yours and I, too, am learning to wear the mother-in-law hat.
    So this homeschool year leaves just four of our children, all boys, at home. Our senior in high school is our entrepreneur and all of his course work, at home and the local university, centers on furthering his landscaping business. Our junior in high school will be trying college classes for the first time and doing Sonlight 300 at home. Our sophomore will be studying Sonlight American history (100). And our "baby", in 6th, will be doing Sonlight 6. We will be having two additional students study with us daily this year – one in 8th and one in 11th. Their single parent mom needs someone to help shoulder her burden and this is our way to offer support for the fatherless. Our school is also heavily influenced by the presence of 89 year old Grandpa who lives with us. He adds some interesting insights to our history classes! I have been working all week on getting a schedule down on paper – both for the school day and for my week. So much to juggle with all these people entrusted to our care!
    Keep writing – you encourage me daily!

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      August 5, 2010

      Kim, it is nice to meet you! Thank you for introducing yourself; it sounds like you have a full school year coming too. Blessings on your busy household! I'm glad I can encourage you on your busy journey. We could probably talk for hours about what a life change it is to have a daughter get married – just one more topic I hope to blog about one day.

      Reply
  6. reneestauffer
    August 5, 2010

    We're doing Sonlight also, core 3. Lydia and I are very excited to do an American History focus and are already planning field trips :o)

    Reply
  7. Heidi
    August 5, 2010

    I'm looking forward to my first year of venturing into "school". I'm actually thinking of it more as organized play since my little guy is only three. He just loves learning and doing activities with me, so I'm going to take advantage of it. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Chantelle
    August 5, 2010

    I'd love to hear more about why you feel that 'school' will be better for the 3rd & 4th graders. I ask because we're considering it ourselves (even though we typically homeschool) for our most attachment challenged 6 yr old and would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks & God bless.

    Reply
    1. Julie
      August 13, 2010

      Lisa, I LOVE your quote. It is so true. We are doing something different with each of our kids this year, according to their needs, as well as the needs of the rest of the family.

      Chantelle, We put our 5th grade biological daughter in public school last year, as well as our adopted kindergartner, both for different reasons. Our 5th grader was having a very hard adoption adjustment, and she just needed a place where she could be herself and develop her own self-image. She needed a break from the intensity at home. We also knew that it would boost her self-confidence if she could succeed amongst her peers. (I had a lot of fear with this decision that she would be too tender-hearted and get her feelings stepped on daily. That did not happen, but she did have a hard time with all the "drama" that 5th grade girls create.)

      Our kindergartner needed to see another authority figure without the intensity of family relationships. She needed the social instruction of kindergarten (sharing, taking turns, sitting and listening). And honestly, I needed a break. Our relationship is off-the-charts intense, and I just needed time to regroup, give the big boys some attention and take care of my household. We just did half-day, because I didn't think she could handle full-day. She was ready to learn, and soaked up so much her first year, though she is still behind. It was a very good experience for her.

      We also put our oldest in public school back when he was in 3rd and 4th grade. Mostly, it was the same self-esteem reasons as our 5th grader, but also because our middle son needed some one-on-one with mommy. He was getting lost in the shuffle between our firstborn and our newborn.

      Hope that helps.

      Julie

      Reply
      1. One Thankful Mom
        August 13, 2010

        Julie, thank you for sharing this. It is so important to remember that children are different, their needs are different, and sometimes their educational path will also be different.

        Reply
  9. jgumm
    August 5, 2010

    Peace and quiet… is that okay to admit? 🙂

    All 4 kids attend our local Christian school and love it. We've had Beza doing some extra reading tutoring this summer and have seen her make significant progress. After being home 18 months she is reading at grade level although she was struggling still with some of the vowel sounds.

    My husband and I both work full time from home for World Orphans and so it has been difficult balancing kids and work this summer. Both have probably suffered.

    Reply
  10. Laura
    August 6, 2010

    Time for the color coded calendar to keep track of everyone's schedule!

    Reply
  11. Sara
    August 6, 2010

    What program do you use to teach your kids to read? My fost-adopt son is ready to learn but not emotionally ready for school.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      August 6, 2010

      Sara, many of my children learned to read using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. More recently I taught Dimples and Sunshine to read using Phonics Museum from Veritas Press. It was fun and a nice change. I haven't decided what I am going to use for Eby this year…I may keep it simple and go back to 100 Easy Lessons with him. I'll let you all know!

      Reply

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