With our world turned upside down after the accident, so many people have asked me if we are homeschooling this year. My answer to that important question is a resounding, “Yes”!
With our boys and I all recovering from major injuries, dealing with the trauma of living through such a tragic accident (Josh, my husband, and I were all cut out of the car and Josh was conscious and remembers all of it), and grieving the loss of daddy and my husband…our decision to home school our family has become even more important to us.
Homeschooling allows Josh and Michael precious opportunities to stop and talk about their feelings of loss, fears from what they lived through, ask questions about heaven, and take extra time to snuggle together as we read or pray together or just cry if we need to do that. It also gives us the flexibility for them to take frequent breaks to rest, which is needed as they recover from injuries…as well as the flexibility to work around multiple physical therapy appointments, grief counseling/Post Traumatic Stress processing with the wonderful Christian woman who is a counselor and comes to our home once a week too. In addition we have monthly doctor’s appointments and bathing aides in our home throughout the week. So as you can see…homeschooling is just right for our family even more now than before the accident.
(Our road trip to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, this past Friday, for their Orthopedic Surgeon follow-up appointment turned into a field trip in so many ways! This was one of their favorite engineering displays we got to check out in the hallways of the hospital!!!)
When Will and I made the decision to begin homeschooling our family in 2011, we had no idea we would someday face challenges like these…but our Heavenly Father knew!
Last Spring when Will sat down with me and shared his heart concerns about how much time I was having to spend pulling together lessons from scratch for each of our boys as I created our own curriculum and the stress and exhaustion it was causing me…we had no idea we would be facing these new challenges now without him here to lead us…but our Heavenly Father knew!
I am so grateful to the incredible wisdom that God gave my husband, Will, when he led the two of us to prayerfully research and find just the right “prepared curricula” that would address the goals and values we hold for our family’s spiritual, character, academic needs and our boys’ learning styles and my teaching style. I stumbled upon “Heart of Dakota” as I was blog hopping one day. After reading over the website, I was intrigued to say the least. I immediately sent a link to Will and he began researching the beliefs and values it held while I read through everything I could get my hands on regarding how the lessons were set up and where our boys would fit in with their skill levels. After completing this research and checking out all of the sample lessons, we were both excited.
Josh came into homeschooling with large gaps in his social studies/history and science areas and had some holes in his math and grammar too. And we needed something that had a very strong godly character focus too. Heart of Dakota was perfect for what I needed to pull together learning opportunities for him. Carrie Austin, the author of the Heart of Dakota guides pulled together excellent resources from other companies and combined them with the best reading program I had ever seen and fantastic history and science that kept a Biblical focus through them AND lots of hands on learning lessons in every unit!
She did what I was struggling to do! She combined unit studies, a Charlotte Mason approach using “real” books instead of getting stuck in a workbook and textbook only mode, introducing excellent poets and poetry, wonderful Bible Study, godly character learning throughout all the subjects, enjoyable handwriting lessons, and she integrates Rod and Staff English Grammar and Singapore Math and an amazing Reading program that I am totally in love with called “Drawn into the Heart of Reading“ into the mix as well!
Will and I knew it was what we needed and we were blessed with the funds to order in April. As soon as we got it, Josh, Will and I were very excited. The amazing thing is that Will had the foresight and wisdom, led by the Lord, to go ahead and order a second full guide package for each of our boys while we had the money…just weeks before Will went home to heaven!
(Michael loves his books for this year…especially his new Bible! This was taken on the first day of school this year!)
Josh is loving his new books for this year! (taken on the first day of school!)
Now I have all I need for the next 2 1/2 – 3 years!
Since I started using Heart of Dakota curricula with our boys, I have been able to relax and enjoy the learning process with them and add in some extras of my own without stressing about any of it!
So now you know what I am using as a core and solid foundation overall…I know that some of you want to know which guides we are using for each child and what books we are using to make them just what each of our sons need. I can’t wait to share all of it with you!
So I hope you will join me in my next article in which I detail the books/resources I am using with Josh, age 9, and then the next which will detail what we are using with Michael, age 4, for each subject. There’s just too much to share all in one article!
Sooo…will you join me next time?
Are you a homeschooling family? I would love to hear about what you are using with your family! Please share about it in the comments below and if you are a blogging mama and have written about it be sure to include a link to your post so we can read about it there. I always love finding new and inspiring blogs to read!
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Unwrapping His Grace,
P.S. I did NOT receive free materials from Heart of Dakota and this is not a review. I’m just excited about sharing what we found that is working for our family. I just can’t help but share it!