I have wanted to start a blog for quite awhile now. I never knew how to begin, or what my blog content would look like. I decided to take the leap, and here we are! Brace yourself, it’s a long post!
My reason for creating this blog?
I would like to share a few things about myself in order to start things off. First things first, I am not much of a “writer.” I absolutely love reading and writing, however, I don’t think I’m all that great at the writing part. Ha! I am a former public school teacher who misses her job immensely. I spent three years teaching fourth grade (hence the blog name “The Fourth Grade Brigade”). I had a blast teaching fourth grade. For me, fourth graders were the perfect age range to teach! Although I loved teaching fourth graders, I loved the idea of being a stay-at-home mom as well. When my daughter turned three years old, I began to reflect on how quickly her first three years had gone by and how fast pre-kindergarten was approaching for her. I struggled with the desire to stay at home with her and the desire to continue teaching fourth grade. Sure, there were tough moments in my three years of teaching that made me feel like throwing my hands up and quitting right then and there. Just ask my husband. Ha! However, I still loved teaching. As my third year of teaching came to a close, I notified my principal that I would not be returning the following year. Talk about one of the HARDEST things I have ever had to do. I cried. I worried and stressed over my decision for days after letting her know. Questions like, “Did I make the right decision?” went through my mind non-stop. It took me about six or seven months to finally feel like I had made the right decision for our family. There are still days that I wonder if I made the right decision (mostly when our financial budget is tight), but I am pretty confident that God has led me to where I need to be, and that’s right here at home with my child.
I love creating educational materials and products that can be used in the classroom or at home by homeschoolers. So, the majority of my content will be about new materials and products that I have created. I will also share reviews of some of my favorite teacher author’s and their products. As a former teacher turned homeschooling parent, I want my blog to become a place that current teachers and homeschooling parents can come to for encouragement, educational tips and resources, and just fun ideas for the family.
Other content I may share with you besides education related content: DIY projects (I am not very crafty, but I like to pretend that I am!), recipes that I (more like my husband!) cook for our little family of three and how we survive on a firefighter/paramedic’s income.
Why did we decide to homeschool?
The idea of homeschooling our child never really crossed my mind until our daughter turned three. Our daughter was probably three and a half when I first shared my idea of homeschooling to my husband. I’m sure at first he thought I had lost my mind and didn’t think I was serious about it. Ha! As I talked to him about it and expressed my pros and cons list about homeschooling vs. public school, I became more and more passionate about the idea of homeschooling our little one. I have told my husband a few times that I didn’t think I would have ever developed the desire to homeschool our daughter if I had never been a teacher. We have great schools in the area where we live, and I felt confident in every teachers abilities who taught at our local elementary schools. So those two things were never an issue for me. Listed below are a couple of reasons why we decided to homeschool our little one. I will periodically share other reasons why we decided to homeschool but for now, I think this post is long enough!
1. Freedom: This one has always been at the top of my list when I think about all the different reasons why I am so passionate about homeschooling. Homeschooling laws are fairly relaxed in the state that we live in, so we have the freedom of choosing our own curriculum and I know our daughter will be exposed to ALL academic subjects.
2. We are not confined to a set schedule: With homeschooling, we get to choose when we start our school day and which days we do our schooling as long as we meet the state requirement on number of school days. We get to decided when our fall, Christmas, spring, and summer breaks will be. If we want to do school year-round with more smaller breaks, then we can. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic who works a very inconsistent work schedule. He does not work 9-5, Monday through Friday. He works most holidays, and has required overtime shifts that can pop up at the most inconvenient times without notice. He sometimes receives calls at home at 6:00 at night just as we sit down for dinner, asking if he can come in for extra support on a structure fire. It’s the life we choose to live, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves what he does, and I will forever support him in his career. Since he has such an inconsistent work schedule, vacations and regular family time can be hard to plan. We don’t have to worry about that with homeschooling. If my husband gets approved for vacation in the month of September, February, or even April, then we can schedule a break from homeschooling during that time, or take our homeschooling lessons on the road with us!
Look for upcoming “Day in the Life,” or “DITL” posts where I share how I set up our “school room.”
Kindness & Love,
The Fourth Grade Brigade
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that counts. It’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln