Why do I Homeschool?

There are many reasons why some parents choose homeschooling instead of enrolling their children in public or private school. I’m not professing homeschool as the only right choice for all children’s education. And, my reasons for homeschooling, although they are many, are probably not the same reasons as the next homeschooling family’s. I recognize that for most families, traditional schooling works best for them, for many different reasons as well.

The majority of my friends and family do not homeschool, and I do not judge them negatively for that choice in any way. In fact, I hope my daughter can always play alongside their children, and that I can continue to enjoy the good relationships that I have with my friends. I’d also like to add that my husband and I both attended public school from Kindergarten through high school, and we both were very successful academically, and really have just a few reasonable complaints about our experiences there.

Since we made the decision to homeschool one year ago, many people have asked me, “Why do you homeschool?” Well, honestly, my reasons vary from day to day, but my husband and I know without a doubt that it’s the right choice for our family. When I first began this blog, I wrote these reasons down as I tried to define my homeschooling philosophy. So, here they are, just some of the reasons why we’ve come to believe that homeschooling is for us (in no particular order):

Colorful Chunky Crayons (from Old Melted Ones)

Frugal Free Homeschool Ideas - melted crayon recipe

Here’s a great way to use those old crayons – don’t just throw them away!  You can melt them and create mixed colors that look really pretty on paper.   These chunky rainbow-colored crayons are so much fun for little hands.  I just did this today, and Laynie loves them!  Here’s how to make them:

  1. First, take out the blacks, browns, grays, and dull colors from the rest of the brighter colored crayons.  These darker colors don’t really turn out so well in the “rainbow” mix.  Be sure to have a good balance of lighter and darker colors – I like to put about 2/3 lighter colors like yellow, orange, pink, lavender, etc. with about 1/3 darker colors like green, blue, and purple.
  2. Peel the wrappers off of the old crayons.  I took a paring knife and cut a slit lengthwise down the wrapper and they came off very easy.  Laynie helped me peel them, and this chore was done in 5 minutes.
  3. Put them in a large bag, and break them into small pieces.  I used our meat mallet!
  4. Using a muffin pan, fill each cup about ½ full with the broken crayons.
  5. Put them in a 300 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Most of the wax will be melted, but a few chunks may still remain.  They’ll finish melting even after you take them out.  If the crayons are too runny, they’ll mix together a little too much.  Be sure not to mix them!
  6. Allow them to cool until room temperature.
  7. Pop them out of the muffin pan and rinse with a little bit of soap and cool water to remove the oily cooking spray.  Pat dry.
  8. They’re ready to use!
*I’ve heard you can melt crayons in the microwave too, in small bathroom-sized paper cups.  I haven’t tried it myself, but I would assume it should work just as well.

 

Website of the Week – Preschoool Sites – GreatSchools.net

Each week, I’ll present a different resource that will help you in your endeavors to teach your preschooler at home as cheaply as possible, or even better – FREE!  Or, I’ll introduce you to another great website to assist you in living an abundant life on a not-so-abundant budget.  So, without further ado, here’s this week’s fine pick! 

What Your Child Should Know

Here’s a great FREE online resource that I think is very handy for homeschoolers (even though it’s geared for (public/private-schoolers”).  It’s What Your Child Should Know in Kindergarten, by Miriam Myers at GreatSchools.net.  This is the most concise list I can find anywhere, and I’m checking it to make sure Laynie is prepared for Kindergarten (homeschool).  I’m feeling pretty good right now – she can already do all but 8 things on the list, and she’s only 3!

If you’re unfamiliar with this website, it is a place where you can find lots of interesting information about public schools.  When I used to work in public schools, I used this site to research the schools I was applying to work at.  Click around – is your local elementary school listed?  The school where my child would attend is, along with some interesting parent reviews.  It really is a handy website, all around.

Got older kids?  There are lists for the following grades, also published at GreatSchools.net.
            first grade
            second grade
            third grade
            fourth grade
            fifth grade

Do you have a great suggestion for a preschool resource or a frugal-living website?  Please email me and let me know!