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    Homeschooling 101 – Introducing April!

    Written by: April Staples

    Hi!! Okay, can I just say that I am super excited about this?! As a 31-year-old mom of three, there are few things that excite me more than homeschooling. You can probably guess what some of the other things are, because you are reading this blog… wine, food, family, and yes wine. But the reason I am writing is to share some insight about the world of homeschooling. My name is April, I currently live in the middle of nowhere Arizona, with my husband of 9 years and our 3 little monsters …errr, bundles of joy, they are ages 7, 5, and 2. My husband’s job moved us to Sierra Vista, Arizona a small town mostly kept alive by the Ft. Huachuca U.S. Army Intelligence Center. The town itself isn’t so bad, but we began to hear some things about the public school system that were disheartening. Some of the issues included lack of funding, teacher shortages, and large class sizes. Jon and I looked at our options, we could send them to public school, be super involved and pray for the best; after all, we both went to public school. We could enroll them into a private school, which would cost us about 15k a year for three kids, or we could homeschool. The we was mostly I, because of course Jon worked a full time job. The decision to homeschool didn’t come quickly, but before we get to that…

    I have known Talia for many years, we lived in a pretty small town, and went to high school together, and thanks to Facebook we’ve been able to stay connected. When she posted a status update stating she intended to homeschool, I of course offered my advice. If there is one thing we all know about Talia, it’s that she appreciates honesty, I mean she’ll Talia like it is!  So in that spirit, I am going to come clean, I really am just fumbling through this homeschooling thing, mostly in the same way I fumble through marriage and mommy-hood.  But after 9 years of marriage, three children, and three years of homeschooling, I think I might have something to offer. So here goes…

    The decision. There are going to be a million things going through your head including how am I going to do this? and the million other things I have to do? Am I patient enough to homeschool? No, definitely not patient enough, that’s why I drink. Dang, I was looking forward to getting rid of them for 8 hours a day! Read? How the heck am I going to teach them to read?! Are we going to be weird? Like, Are people going to think we are the jean skirt wearing, crazy Christian homeschoolers? Will my kids be super awkward? Well I’m kind of awkward, so that might be okay… But will it?  And it just keeps going… until; you realize you don’t have all the answers, even if, you choose to send them to school. Because that’s what parenting is right?! Its just this life long question, or series of questions which come down to this, Am I gonna screw this up?

    So, a confession. I often watch the show Hoarders: Buried Alive, because it makes me feel better about the mild mess in my house. You do this too, right!?  Anyway, I kind of took this same approach when it came to making myself feel better about adequately educating my children. For example, according to the U.S. department of Education and National Institute of Literacy, 30 percent of U.S adults only exhibit “basic” reading levels. Did you know that most public brochures and reading materials are written within 6th-7th grade reading level? Surely, I can at least get my kid to read at 6th grade reading level! I mean I get 18 years! haha, you get the point. Once you begin to look at the big picture, you begin to realize that you are capable. YOU know your child better then anyone else. YOU have made it this far. YOU taught them how to poop in a potty. YOU taught them to say please, and thank you. YOU taught them shapes, and colors, and their ABC’s. YOU can do this! Say it with me, I can do this.

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