For years (OK, my oldest is just turning 5, but we've been thinking about homeschooling from the beginning!), I've resist the whole "packaged curriculum" thing. Us homeschoolers, we want to be creative. Buck the system. Do your OWN thing. And I still intend to be creative in teaching my children, and do things in ADDITION to the curriculum. But a curriculum can be a very freeing thing. Someone has already spent hours (years, really) thinking this thing through - what does a Kindergarten child need to learn, and what is a good way (maybe the best way?) to present it? I have a plan for everyday - what needs to be done, and as long as I move forward, our children are guaranteed to learn this year. Of course, I'm the mom, and that means I get to make the final decision of whether we are going to do this thing, or learn that thing, but so far the A.C.E. (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum that we chose has been really good. And I think the boys are going to have a BLAST with it! They've watched me coloring pages, buying packages of balloons and stickers, and asking, "when do we get to do all this?" It's funny that the thing I resisted so hard ended up being so fun in the end - both for them and me! I know that no curriculum is going to be perfect, but at least I have a starting place.
I really, really love homeschooling! I used to do substitute teaching, and I really liked teaching (well, SOME classes anyway), but this is even better. As a parent, I like the idea of getting to decide what my children learn, having the privilege of teaching it to them, and the satisfaction of seeing them learn. As a teacher, I don't have to deal with the home/school gap - dealing with parents who don't seem to care, discipline issues with children that you don't quite understand because you aren't with them all the time. I'm with my boys all the time, so I know when they can't concentrate that it's probably because we had a late night last night (and hey, I can start school LATER if I want to because of it). I know their personalities, so I know how they learn best - what really "lights them up." I like that they are already each others' best friends. One day Seth got to spend the day at Aunt Lacey's while Jude and Daddy worked out on the property. As it was nearing dinner time, Jude asked Daddy if we could pick up Seth because he missed him! I thought maybe he would enjoy having the day with Daddy all to himself, and I'm sure he did, but I thought since he's always with Seth that he wouldn't miss being away from him for the day. So sweet! They truly are buddies. I'm so thankful that I get to spend my days with them!