About Us… Homeschool Before & After
Homeschooling my first 6 years … the before
I quickly became worn out, discouraged, and frustrated with homeschooling. I felt like a constant slave to my curriculum and lesson plans. Some days, I pushed my kids through the lessons not knowing how I would do it again the next day. And on the days when we didn’t make it through all of the lessons, I wound up feeling like a complete failure, worried that I was causing my kids to fall behind.
- I wanted time for fun learning.
- I wanted the flexibility to follow my kids’ interests.
- I wanted to dig deeper into topics that really interested us.
- I wanted time to take a day off for a field trip or other projects.
In my meltdown moments (cycles is probably a better word),
- I researched new curricula and new methods.
- I abandoned curricula mid-year.
- I redid our schedule.
- Bought new resources.
- Tried a new method.
- And started the cycle again when things didn’t work out.
Homeschooling since those first 6 years … the after
In 2006, I found a way to end this cycle and everything changed.
Now I have these freedoms...
- I am no longer tied down by curricula, methods, schedules, or lesson plans.
- I freely plan my year around my family’s needs and desires.
- We have time for fun learning.
- We have complete flexibility.
- We dig deeper when we want.
- We can follow kids’ interests.
I have found my joy in homeschooling!
Finding joy and freedom in your homeschool does not need to take years of experience, struggles, trial-and-error like it did for me.
About Our Family
We have a blended family of ten children. I have four adopted, four biological, and two step children (some adults, some in public school, and the rest homeschooling somewhere K-12). My husband and I both work full-time from home.
What we do each year is different according to what the season holds for each child, our marriage, and our jobs. We face unique challenges and logistics with such a diversely blended family, but there are also tremendous blessings. :) The opportunity to homeschool is just one of those blessings. We homeschool using a blend of methods that lend themselves well to notebooking. Notebooking isn't ALL we do, but notebooking is what gives us the freedom we enjoy in our homeschooling.
We have learned valuable lessons through trial-and-error and many struggles. It is our sincere PLEASURE to share these experiences and lessons with you. We pray our homeschooling stories, free resources, products, and memberships bless you and your family!
& Brian Reed
What others have said about us ...
The 50 States Complete Set is the set that launched our first notebooking adventure! We started studying each individual state in the summer of 09' and to date it is my kids favorite subject, hands down! There have been many tweaks and adjustments to our geography studies but this set remains the corner stone!
I purchased the "explorers" notebooking pages and we've been studying explorers since November. My 4th grader loves to fill the pages out with a picture and about 5 sentences of important facts. My 1st grader, is not a very good writer so the notebooking page with 3-4 pictures and 3 big squares next to the pictures work great for her! We're all able to enjoy history together and actively participate in learning thanks to your notebooking pages that are made appropriately for different levels!
I wish I could remember how I was initially introduced to notebooking. I believe I Providentially stumbled upon this website for it has been the springboard for major changes in our home.
After almost a decade of homeschooling, I knew what I wanted our schooling to look like, but at the same time I knew it was looking less and less like my vision. When I discovered these notebooking pages, I decided to use the freebies offered to try it out with my children. They didn't really notice a difference at first, so I began substituting some of our "independent" work with more notebooking pages. I was so pleased with the outcome. My children were becoming masters of the material we studied!
I was sold! I purchased the Notebooking Pages Treasury during the Fall Sale and took advantage of the other bonuses offered. I asked for the Epi Kardia curriculum for Christmas and was again very pleased.
My children were not as optimistic as I was about starting "another new curriculum." I was so pleased yesterday to hear my oldest son comment, "Is this what we're going to do more of? This is really fun!" I am now spending time reading all those wonderful books with my children, exploring the volumes of creative notebooking pages for ways to express what we've learned, and sharing it all with excitement to Daddy when he comes home. What a blessing this has been for our family.
The key to our successful transition to notebooking was the wonderfully helpful emails that I received the first couple weeks after my registration on the website. Each email walked me through the process of incorporating these into our schooling. Without that I would have been too overwhelmed to know where to start. Instead it was an exciting process and a gradual (more permanent) transition.
Thank you again for blessing our family!
About our numbers ...
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