College, not our end goal

Our philosophy is for our kids to grow up as self-reliant, outgoing, honest, caring, and an all-around good-natured person who goes after what they want in life.  If college is needed for what they want to achieve, great, I”ll send you off with a smile.  However, if something else interests them and college is an unnecessary step, then we want to guide them to be successful without college as well. There are many careers available that do not need a college education.

Jason, my husband, is an entrepreneur and has managed to create his own business without a college degree. He started his first business when he was in high school. The only thing a degree would have given him (us) is a giant hole of debt he needed to dig himself out of, you can never get rid of school debt, so make sure your kids are wise about money choices.  We want to raise financially smart people and going to college just for the sake of saying they went to college is the biggest waste of money, but if a doctor is their dream, then of course it would be needed.

We know many people who have gone to college and are not using their degrees, or later change their minds and go back to college, earning another degree before they pay the first one off.  We also know many successful business owners that never went to, or dropped out of, college.

So, no, we aren’t homeschooling our kids for the sake of going to college, we have other goals for them (mentioned in the first sentence above), but if college is in their future, they will be completely ready academically for that venture as well.

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How we [school]

This past year has been full of changes.  I was also attending college full-time, but recently decided homeschooling is where my focus should be and now we are adjusting to find a way to do things daily, that everyone can benefit while keeping it fun.

We homeschool year round.  This seems to be the easiest, less stressful, and most rewarding way.  Because of this schedule we are able to take breaks every month.  We want the kids to know school and learning is a way of life, and not something you do for only 9 months.

We do 3 weeks on, 1 week off.  This gives us time to take field trips or vacations every few weeks.  The kids are able to build off what they have learned without needing to go over it again.

With this schedule we have 39 weeks on and 12 weeks off, with 195 days in class at home.  Technically, with only 180 days needed, we have some wiggle room for sick days or an unexpected trip.

Our last day (this year) will be June 27th.

Any other year-rounders out there?

A thought on Curriculum

Throughout the last year and a half, I have read and reread about so much curriculum it gives me a headache.  Choosing a curriculum, if you do that sort of thing, can be daunting and it can burn you out before you even start your homeschooling adventure.  I think the best thing to do, is to follow your heart, not your head.  That will lead to a love of learning that will be instilled in your children, or we can at least hope!

It’s easy to compare your kids to other kids, but remember they are all individuals, with the same goal in mind, but maybe not the same path chosen to get there. The program you choose needs to work for both the child and the parent, or success won’t be there.  You are a team and must work, learn, and grow as a team to ensure all goals are met. If your child really hates that Math book, put it down and find something else (it will save you from having to constantly battle with them to do Math anyway). The same goes for every subject or activity.  We have switched many times because I want my kids to love school and learning.

If you are finding you aren’t sure what to get, go to a convention so you can see first hand, before you buy, what it’s all about, with your kids and make sure you’re on the same page.

Our ultimate goal is for our kids to be happy and successful in whatever they pursue, and to raise well-behaved and outgoing individuals. I don’t think it matters if I pick (insert name here) or (insert name here), as long as they like it and understand it.