Welcome to my blog! I'm hoping to document my journey in homeschooling with my daughters. This is our first official year of homeschooling!! M is turning 5 this year, and is starting kindergarten, and H is now 1 and is starting to try to join in. I plan to use this blog to keep track of ideas, track our progress, and see what works and what doesn't for us.

A little background information about me:

I have always been interested in learning. I loved school - math, science, English, I loved it all (well, maybe not history so much, but we'll tackle that later). I was very successful in school, and I believe I owe a lot of that to my parents. They had high expectations, but I never found them to be pushy about school. They both love to learn, and passed on that excitement to me, and I will be forever grateful for that.

After high school, I moved South and attended Clemson University. I started with a major in Biosystems Engineering. After completing two years and a summer internship, I decided that engineering just wasn't for me. I switched my major, and after a great internship in Washington, DC with the National Association of Conservation Districts, I graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences. After college, I worked as a Project Coordinator for a local nonprofit dedicated to conserving land and developing a nature park. Through this position I became more interested in environmental education, and after two years I left my job to pursue a teaching career. I received my teaching certification for secondary science, and completed 5 years teaching high school science. I can truly say that I have no regrets about my decision to teach - I learned so much about myself and about the educational system in the five years I spent in the classroom. I also learned that I would prefer something completely different for my children!

During my time in the classroom, I taught two engineering courses, biology, physical science, and freshman success. I taught a wide variety of students - those who received college credit for passing challenging engineering classes, and those who could barely read and write. The hardest part of teaching was seeing how little interest many students had in what they were learning. And who could blame them? Even when I spent hours (as I often did) attempting to plan exciting and engaging ways to present the material, I was still teaching material that the state decided I must teach, not material that the students chose to learn. By the time they reached me, most of my students were bored with school. 

This is not the experience I want for my daughters. They are so curious, so interested in the world around them. I don't want them to lose that! I have complete faith that my girls will learn everything they needs to learn by exploring and discovering what interests them. As I continue to research, read books, and explore various blogs, I am drawn to the idea of child-led / interest-based learning. This idea of "following the child" is at the center of the Montessori philosophy that we follow. Especially in this age of technology, I feel like it is so much more important to learn about the world and to foster the creativity and love of learning in my children than it is to teach any specific content. I can learn almost anything I want online - either by reading, watching videos, or finding a mentor to help me. I can only imagine that my daughters will be able to do the same - and so much more- when they are older. Why not let them learn at their own pace? Learn what they want when they are ready to learn it?

While we do focus on academic subjects, and I do create materials and lessons for my older daughter, I do so by following my daughter's interests and choose topics and themes for her to explore. Throughout the week I will post updates based on what we actually did. 

I hope you'll join us on our journey!

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