First Year of Homeschooling

(This series of blog posts is excerpted from Sarah’s book, Windows to Our World: Sarah’s Journal – Growing Up, Crossing Oceans, Finding Love & Giving Life to 10 Children)

As the children neared school age, Josh and I knew that we would homeschool them. After our first year, we couldn’t have been happier with our decision.

In those first few months, I watched Isaac unlock the mystery of reading. With his new-found power, he set out to happily (if not slowly) read anything that sparked his interest. I also taught him the basics of math and then watched as he put all his learning together and started a successful jewelry-making business, not unlike my own childhood venture.

Apart from the basics, Isaac also took a special interest in fossils, so we took trips to Ohio and Florida to learn more. Our greatest surprise came when he found and identified a trilobite in a friend’s rocky driveway. Isaac also was fascinated with maps and started a globe collection, often looking for them at garage sales and thrift stores. He had fun comparing the changes that history made on his globes. China became one of his favorite countries, and he got excited every time he discovered a “Made in China” sticker. He also learned some of the sad stories behind those stickers, like the deplorable working conditions and child labor in factories. The missionaries who gave their lives to reach China with the Gospel became his new heroes. He wanted to learn Chinese, and he happily ate fried rice and noodles every chance he got.

Isaac also became a little builder, dreaming up projects with leftover wood from the mini barn. Anna followed him everywhere, and wanted to be his helper. Sometimes we took special trips to Home Depot so he could learn about all the different types of nails, latches, and power tools. One day he taught his little sister how to hammer nails correctly, and no one got hurt.