My Homeschool Education: The Early Years

I was educated at home from kindergarten through high school, but I don’t have any specific memories about the first few years.

I know that homeschooling was a relatively new thing, or it seemed to be, anyway.  My parents seemed to be worried a lot about being reported to the school district.  We weren’t allowed to play outside by ourselves until mid-afternoon, when the public schools were out.  When we went to Wal-Mart during the day, we usually said we were on a field trip if asked why we weren’t in school.  Replying with I’m homeschooled was an answer that would raise more eyebrows, much more so than it would today.

We used a combination of Abeka, Bob Jones, and Saxon curriculum, at least from what I can remember.  I have many mental pictures of Abeka’s Grammar and Composition books.  Oh, how I hated diagramming those sentences, and I always struggled with identifying adverbs that didn’t end in -ly.

I distinctly remember our lesson plan book.  It was always green, with the days laid out in horizontal rows of six squares each.  From left to right, there was Spelling, Math, Grammer, Literature, and the final two squares were always divided in half: History/Science and Music/PE or Home Ec.  The second square for Math always stood out because it was the only one that was in my dad’s distinctive writing.

For a time, our whole family got up at 6 AM and read three or four Psalms out loud before my dad left for work.  I sometimes wonder if any of us were awake enough to comprehend what we were reading.  I chuckle now as I remember that we kids would usually go back to bed after Dad had left for work.  If I was really motivated, I’d pull out my schoolwork and start working on it so I could get done early.

Our church had a large population of homeschooling families, and a very active organization that held many field trips and activities.  A lack of “socialization” was never an issue for us; we were always going and doing this and that thing, both with the homeschool group and on our own.