Homeschooling: Break? Year Round? First Day of Homeschool? Q & A

I did not want you to be left confused. I feel like explaining things that are difficult for some people to understand. I decided to do this in the form of a Q &A, but ask and answer the question myself. The questions people have asked of me.

Q: Do you take a summer break, or do you homeschool year-round?

A: Niether and Both. We do relaxed homeschooling and tidal wave homeschooling, a form of education which means that we are like the tide coming in and going out.

We try to do as best we can to get to where I consider to be “at grade level” in each subject for each child. We do not ever stop working on this, but we are also not always concernd about this.

We have ebbs and flows. Sometimes, with much effort, we learn a whole bunch and progress a lot in a period of time (this sometimes looks like an accelerated school for the gifted or early college, and sometimes looks like a 1900 one-room schoolhouse). At other times, we are more like unschoolers. Sometimes, we have a day that looks like montessori school. Sometimes, we have a field trip day. When people visit or we visit others, we have a day completely dedicated to only socializing. When we visited Grandma Preece or when Uncle Steven came over, we dropped all of our concerns and cares, and just visited. The kids learn plenty by visiting and socializing with others.

Q: Homeschoolers do not have to start school when the public schools begin. Isn’t that right?

A: This has a long answer, too. We do not have to, but because of classes we signed up for, we do.

We enroll in some classes not led by me but by teachers my husband and I chose or hired. One of these is free and it is The Church Seminary Program. (Oh, did you catch that? I almost used the acronym). Early Morning Seminary this year begins the same day public school begins in my area. This means that although we do not really care when homeschool begins or ends, I can choose a day when I can say something officially begins. It is the day Seminary begins.

The hired teachers and has also chosen certain dates to begin their classes, vacation days and end dates. Likewise, many homeschool parents join “co-ops,” which are groups of homeschoolers who get together and do learning together. These co-ops have a set schedule. A co-op has a start date, vacation dates and end dates, too.

I would not want to have the first day of homeschool for the kids which have teachers who’ve given them start-dates, and not have this for the younger 4. After all, the younger 4 are so looking forward to “doing homeschool” officially again. Their siblings are officially starting and so are their neighborhood friends and cousins.

This would be when I to the part called “get the kids ready for the first day of school (by clothes shopping at the back to school clothing sales) as a mom” and the part where I do “put in full-time hours of preparation of the homeschool room, planning and getting ready for homeschool to officially begin on August 27, like a paid public school teacher,” at the same time. (The second part includes getting in on back to school curriculum and supplies sales).

Speed Tour of my Recently Cleaned and Re-Organized Homeschool Room

Of course, many teacher moms do this. They get their own gets ready and sent off, and they also go to the school all day for a couple weeks to get their public school classroom ready.

This “Photographer Mom” is prepared to do “First Day of Homeschool 2018” photos next week!

It’s just a little different. I do not get paid and I do not have to get someone to tend the kids while I go off to work. They are here and I am here, which means I do the prep work and they wish I wouldn’t because it means I am not giving them the attention they would like. It is hard on the kids here, as they are eager to “officially start school” again, and frustrated that their mom is working on prepping and pretty much just letting them “fend for themselves” (except the littlest, who at least gets fed by mom and gets a lot of attention because he demands it).

I hope this helps everyone to understand my world so that they are not confused. There are so many different ways to homeschool. Sometimes, there are jokes or memes on the internet that give one impression, and the people who do not know that all homeschools are different get so upset when things are not the way a youtube video says they are.

This one is a funny one by “It’s a Southern Thing.”

Tell me, are the others exaggerated? Yeah. So do you think the homeschool mom one is? Think about it. I am a homeschool mom and I still laughed at it. I was not upset by the inaccuracy. I know it’s all exaggerated and it is a joke. It’s very funny. If you like it, subscribe, because all of their videos are just as humorous!

For the record, homeschool moms and kids do get dressed in day clothing because they are very busy. We get dressed for the same reasons that you get dressed during the summer. Also, homeschool moms usually put together or join in on a “Not Back to School” park day or party on the first day of local public school. We all know when school starts, including those who do unschooling! We all look forward to getting the museums and parks back to uncrowded. We love it when school starts and are very aware!

I am most like the photographer mom, by the way. I am very sentimental, an artist and a graphic designer, after all! So, yeah, homeschool moms are all different, too, and we have personalities that are all different from the personalities of other homeschool moms. We love our variety and differences!

Thoughts as They Come, Influenced by the Holy Ghost

Thoughts as they come, influenced greatly by the Holy Ghost, as I have been praying and receiving answers:

I have been working hard planning college for my eldest. I recently prayed. I recently prayed to Heavenly Father for guidance. I felt strongly this morning that the plans for college are all wrong, in that I get a really bad feeling about it and had thoughts while dreaming and while in my subconscious, about the college plans. Because of this, I could not get back to sleep this morning. I hope I can nap later today to make up for lost sleep, but I felt an intense desire to commune with Heavenly Father whilst the children and all of the do-list item pressures are both sleeping.
     Even though I have purchased guides and other learning materials for one CLEP and one DSST test, I am now doubting that this previous desire of mine to have my children get University Credit in 9th to 12th Grades, is a good one. I think it is good that I have a desire to give my children the best education possible. I am just realizing through God’s guidance, that it is possible that He would rather I teach my children something entirely different.
     Yesterday afternoon, I was watching the YouTube video of a young man showing a good way to study and learn and a bad way to do the same, the learning being cramming for CLEP tests. I was watching so that I would know how to teach my kids well so that they could study for and pass many CLEP tests in their 9th to 12th grade homeschooling high school years. I often seek YouTube videos about such things.
     After watching half of the video, it was time to put one of my children down for a nap. As often happens when doing this, I also fell asleep for a short time. In this relaxed state, a thought came to me which likely was not my thought, but was likely the Holy Ghost whispering to my mind and soul. I saw the young man studying and imagined him studying with the same intensity, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, The Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, words of the Modern Day Prophets and the like. It occurs to me through the spirit now, that with that intensity, Joseph Smith sought answers from the Bible at age 14, before going to pray and ask God for answers.
     If Joseph was 14, he would have in our day been ready to enter the ninth grade as is my eldest child. There were many other things he could ahve studied with the same intensity. Why did he choose instead to study with intensity, the Bible? What kind of a difference did it make for him and for all of us, that what he chose to study with the greatest intensity at age 14, was the Bible? 
     This morning en la madrugada when I awoke to come commune with God and write my thoughts down, I thought of something else as well. Jesus did not find his first followers who were to become his 12 Apostles in grand, well-paid careers, but most of them as fishermen and very poor, humble people in humble occupations. His earthly father who raised him was Joseph, a carpenter. In Alma in the Book of Mormon, the humble people who were willing to listen, were those cast out of the synagogues because of the coarseness of their apparel (because they were poor as to the things of the world). 
     The state of these people was a state of not being busy taking on the influx of the thoughts and ideas of the world. That is why it was important that they be in the conditions they were in. The reason Jesus said it is easier for a camel to fit into the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God, I think, had less to do with money and more to do with the influence of the world. A person can have a lot of money and be close to God. Abraham had a lot of money and He was very close to God. I think it has less to do with money and more to do with this: Often those with money are those who sacrificed greatly to get that money.
The sacrifice to get the money in our day and time is the time our children spend getting the world’s version of “an education.” I distinguish is that way because God’s version of an education is very different, BUT what IS it? That is the question of this morning for me. What is God’s version of the BEST EDUCATION for my children?
     Jesus took people away from the influences of the world’s “curriculum” and “educational standards,” and, in the most common, everyday and humble settings, taught them eternal, heavenly truths from God. He did know carpentry, I am sure. He also knew how to read and do math. He knew the basics that a child learns until the age of 12. At 12, he went to the temple to teach the people there. He told his parents he was “about (His) Father’s business?” Age 12 in our day would be 6th or 7th grade. By the time middle school would have begun for Him in our day, he knew the scriptures so well that He taught the men at the temple things they did not know, and astonished them.
     I can see that the kid of education He got was enough of the basics, but also a HUGE amount of the scriptures and the truths of God. He knew how to speak in parables when He was older. Did He also when He was 12? It is very likely He did. There is a great liklihood that His mother was so close to God, that she was taught how to teach the Son of God through the Spirit (from the Holy Ghost). Perhaps she taught Him in everyday things, as He later taught others. I am sure she taught Him about prayer, love, the scriptures, doctrines, service and obedience to God.
     Can I not also learn to teach my children in the same way? In the Book of Mormon in Jacob 2:17-19, we find, “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good–to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.”

From this scripture I see many steps:

  • -“before you have the riches to share with others, first seek the kingdom of God” (first, become strong in being like Jesus. First, be strong in the gospel of Jesus Christ. First, build a strong foundation in Christ. First, read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. First, learn everything God wants you to learn. First, get a Godly education, like the education Jesus received. This denotes an obvious priority. Before worldly education requirements (CLEP and DSST tests, high school, University) do these Godly Education items.
  • -“And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches” (We must first obtain a hope in Christ. I think this means much more than it says. I think it means we must truly put all of our trust and all of our hopes and dreams, in Christ. We must only seek after what He would have us seek after. Our desires must be desires He would like us to have.)
  • -“If ye seek them” [(Many who have a firm foundation in Christ never do “seek them,” and I think it is because they realize they are not needful. Jesus did not ever have them. A person can enter into the kingdom of God more easily without them. However, some righteous people, like Abraham, have obtained riches. For some, like David and Solomon, riches and power together influenced them into making poor choices. We must strive to be like Abraham, then, and only seek riches if we can still be righteous whilst we have them (and are free with our substance).]
  • -“and ye will seek (riches) for the intent to do good–to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.”
  • -“think of your brethren like unto yourselves” (the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you).”
  • -“be familiar with all” (know everyone, by being friendly and caring about their lives and days)
  • “and free with your substance” (freely share what you have that is of worth with others–I see knowledge and the gospel as part of the “substance”)
  • -that they may be rich like unto you (so they can be happy and comfortable in life, as you are)
  • -“that they may be rich like unto you” (so that they will be happy and well like you)

     My kids have awoken.