How we home educate

Hello and welcome to this page on education where I fumble around to describe why and how we home educate our children.
For the sake of time, both yours and mine, I will not rehash our entire curriculum journey on this page. I will give you the highlights and you will still have time to read to your kids or have one more snack before bed. I give you full permission.
I requested a curriculum catalog from a Christian home-educating company when our oldest was only two and I carried it everywhere for weeks. I think we knew we would be homeschooling by then, but it was the how that would burden me for months and years. And really, the burden of deciding meant hours spent reading, researching and reviewing. In between the soul-searching and overwhelming confusion, there was plenty of enjoyment in those hours.
As we began in Grade/Year 1, I had a plan, but I also had two baby girls: one who enjoyed nursing several times a night and one who was developmentally delayed. I leaned heavily on The Well Trained Mind teaching method and curriculum choices, but also was trying to understand and implement Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online. I did my best.
Several years in, as I began to implement more and more from Charlotte Mason, I stopped using The Well Trained Mind as a guide and began to make sly comments to homeschooling-minded friends that would resemble a soft sales pitch for Charlotte Mason.
As of Summer 2016, we have completed Year 7 for my oldest and Year 1 for my youngest following Ambleside Online and I still am shedding ideas from The Well Trained Mind that I find myself still following with our youngest. It's not terrible, it's just different than how I think now.
Because I have gotten my Charlotte Mason act together for more than three days in a row, I clearly was ready to start helping some of my local friends work through these ideas. I have now told them everything I know, which probably took about twenty-three minutes, but we still continue to meet, although we are on summer hiatus. They inspire me to think through my decisions, to keep reading Charlotte Mason's own writings and make changes as needed to our lessons. We have a wonderful time together.

Our decision to home educate our children was born out of the desire to provide every opportunity for ourselves to teach, train and yes, even enjoy(most days!) our children as God's gifts to our family. We desire to be the primary influencers and nurturers in our children's lives, completely free to teach them about God and His world as we understand it.
And if you are wondering why I have used the term home-educate throughout this page, instead of homeschool, it's not because I like sounding pretentious. If that was the case, I would say private tutoring in my best Jeeves and Wooster accent. I have been consciously trying to remove the idea of school from my vocabulary since it does not describe what we are attempting to do in the best way. We are discipling children and youth in our home. In my mind, school is something else. But it's a thought-process in progress so if you are caught in the same room with me, you will likely still hear me talking about homeschooling if provoked. 
Several years ago I wrote about the confidence I had gained through Charlotte Mason. I still feel this way. Whenever I write a post that discusses our lessons at home or ideas from Charlotte Mason, I tag the post with a 'homeschooling' or 'Charlotte Mason' label. This is the only way I currently contribute to the Charlotte Mason conversation on my blog. I am incredibly indebted to those who have gone before and who have given back to this community in countless ways and for the many avenues of support the internet makes possible. They are true educators and friends.

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